Fingerhut.com - the easiest credit I wish I hadn't received
Sep 30, 2001 (Updated Sep 30, 2001)
The Bottom Line
Expensive and poor quality merchandise. Easy to get credit, but you may wish you hadn't received it at all.
This is not only about Fingerhut.com, but Fingerhut itself as well.
I used to shop from the Fingerhut catalog several years ago while married to my ex. Getting credit was pretty easy. You filled out an order form, sent it in, and with a few weeks you either received a letter asking for a downpayment and then they would finance the rest or you would receive what you asked for along with a payment book.
Things are done differently now. You can now go online, fill out a credit application and maybe be approved. I also get offers in the mail starting with a $200 line of credit. Since they send this out to just about every Tom, Dick, and Harry, they kept the limit low in case you didn't pay your bill. Generally they give you $150-200 credit to start. It is an actual store credit card now thru Axsys National Bank called Fingerhut Credit Advantage. I have yet to find the advantage.
Anyway, they offer many miscellaneous items. Small appliances, towels, sheets, toys, shoes, clothes, furniture, and more. The site is fairly easy to navigate and the categories, such as apparel, are off on the left. This will take you to the clothing they offer. They don't off much, but they off small amounts of about anything you could want for your home. The colors may be ugly as all get out, but they probably off it.
My main problem is, most of the stuff we have purchased has fallen apart. We ordered a sheet and comforter set to start. By the second time we had washed the sheets, they no longer fit the bed. The had shrunk up so much we could barely get the fitted sheet on the mattress. The comforter started fading and shrinking, as well.
We thought, ok. That can happen no matter where you buy them, so we just avoided the linens. We purchased some bakeware. I didn't have any cookie sheets, loaf pans or anything else, so we bought a set. I am now down to just the pizza pan and the two cookie sheets, and they are barely hanging on. It was supposed to be non-stick cookware, but everything stuck unless we used cooking spray, and then everything burned. They have also rusted badly. The pizza pan isn't very bad, yet, but we seldom use it. The cookie sheets are rusting badly around the edges.
I have called a couple of times for a credit increase. Yes, call me a glutton for punishment. I was denied both times. Why I asked why, no one could ever tell me. My payments were only $7 a month and wasn't due until the 13th. I always made my payments on the 1st and paid, at minimum, $10. $7 just seemed like a waste of a check to me. I usually tried to pay $15-$20. I asked what they based their decisions on, after I called back so the person didn't know I had already been denied and called about it, and they said somewhat it is based on your credit, but mostly your payment history. I asked why I was repeatedly denied credit then, since I always paid extra and was never late. She didn't know. I told her what Fingerhut could do with my card (I was NOT nice about it, either, and did not mince words), told them to cancel the account, and hung up. The next month I had a whole $50 increase. Amazing how that works. :)
The interest rate was/is very high. My APR was 23.40%. I don't know if it is like that for everyone or not. My minimum payment was only $7, but they added at least $1.65 a month back in interest (obviously based on the balance and mine was between $100-150). Seemed like a never-ending story to me.
Another thing is they will telemarket you to death. I only had my account for maybe 2 weeks before I started getting the calls. "This is [Jane] from Fingerhut calling. Since you are a preferred customer..." Preferred? I hadn't even made my first payment yet, but I am preferred? I guess anyone with enough credit on their account to buy what they are offering is a preferred card holder. They calls all hours of the day, which isn't good since my husband is on midnight shift and the phone will wake him up. We added Privacy Manager to our phone for $4 a month and it has been worth it. They have to tell a recording who they are before the phone will ring thru, because their number comes up unknown or unavailable on our caller id. Most of the time when they get it, they hang up. Those that give their name and say they are from Fingerhut, I press the key for the option to forward to the call to a pre-recorded message saying we do not accept phone solicitations and to take us off of their list. They no longer bother us.
One thing that really bugged me was the fact that I had the account for well over a year and all of a sudden, 2 weeks before we paid it in full as a matter of fact, it shows up on my credit report as a new account. No payment history or anything, just a brand new account. We signed up for Privista.com and they email us once a week when anything happens at all with our credit report, including the addition of new information. When I saw this, I was very upset. If they were going to add it, why not add it when the account was opened so at least it would have my good payment history. Now I have an account on my credit report that is was, according to them, maybe 2 weeks old and I paid it off and closed it.
When I called Fingerhut about it, all they could tell me was that they randomly add the accounts to the account holder's reports. Just pull a few names out of the computer and contact Equifax and add them. I asked why mine was added over a year after the account was opened and it has a new account (never made a payment) status, and she didn't know. Someone was supposed to call me back and never did.
We just paid this account off on the 15th of last month and I must say that I am glad to be rid of it. The stuff they sell isn't worth they price and interest you would be paying on it. You would be better off buying something from Wal-Mart and maybe putting it in layaway.
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