Short on cash? No credit card or don’t want to use your credit card because the bank just changed your interest rate to 28% and now it’s paying millions in bonuses to executives? rides to the rescue, proving that no gimmick is so full of thorns that people won’t jump on the chance to buy now and pay later (and pay, and pay, and pay).

What is

“Bill Me Later” is a Web-based service offered by increasing numbers of retailers desperate to reach out to more customers (such as Toys R Us and GNC Live Well). Even if those customers don’t have any money. What’s wrong with this picture?

If you are at one such retailer’s Web site wanting to buy something, but you don’t have a debit or credit card and you think you still need to buy something, you can get it through Bill Me Later. Turn in your name, address, and part of your social security number and you get get a loan to make that purchase.

Pay back the loan during the grace period, which ranges from a few days to a couple of months, and you’re done. It was a free loan. But pay it back after the grace period ends and you’ll pay high interest and late fees. One man’s $20 purchase ended up costing him $40. Yeah, that’s not a lot of green, but look at it this way: that’s 100% interest!

Stand Up to Loan Shark Practices

If you’re pissed that your bank raised your credit card rates to 28%, and you should be, why do business with a company that charges 100%? Yeah, I know: You’ll pay it off during the grace period, and then it’s free. But how do you think BillMeLater can afford interest free loans? Yours is free because many more schlubs don’t pay it off and end up getting hosed. Suit yourself, but I choose not to be a part of that system. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I think if you can’t afford something, meaning you don’t have the money in your pocket or in your account, you shouldn’t be buying it. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way.

Have you been dinged by high interest and fees? Scroll down to share your experience in the comments. Nothing dries up the slime under rocks like sunlight.

Tell Your Story in the Lawsuit

If you feel you have been treated unfairly by Bill Me Later and want to hit back, contact this law firm and tell them your story. You might be able to get some satisfaction. (Read the news about the suit here.)

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Join the Discussion

  • Dont Rip Me Off
    Dont Rip Me Off

    Complaint Description:
    In August of 2009, I made the required payment to my account. then at the end of August 2009, I set up automatic payments through my bank, which made my next payment. It was received a couple days early so the computer did not include it for the next month, September. I made my October payment at the end of September, November payment at end of October, Etc… Since it was done automatically I was unaware of the late fees that were being attached. I called on December 29 2009 and was told to send a letter in to their fax, 443-921-1996. I did so and received no reply. Called again on 1/16/10, was told same thing. Faxed again, no reply. 1/26/10 spoke with Debbie, refunded 1 late fee, refused rest, I asked for a manager, was told no and hung up on. Called back and was transferred to Matt Benson, Supervisor in collections, He made another refund of 1 late payment, but refused rest, and would not let me speak to his supervisor. Called back again and left message for Supervisor to call me. Christine called me back and informed me there was nothing she could do. Refused to give me next supervisors number but said she was Gia and I left message for her to call and she never did. Christine acknowledged fax was received. I sent one on 12/29/09, 1/16/10, 1/26/10. Called again on 2/2/10 and left message for Supervisor Seth to call, no response. My account is paid in full minus late fees/finance charges for late fees, and they have received a payment for every month without fail, even early, but they refuse to correct this and sent me a bill for $109.92. I called today and was told nothing could be done, refused to give me a supervisor and was told to make another Written request to remove the fees they charged me du to their acknowledged mistake.

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