Update: Please see the important P.S. at the end. It appears Lisa wasn't entirely correct, either :(
While writing this post, I spoke to someone who finally explained it to me in a way that made sense, and now I get it.
Thank you, Lisa! :)
Because though some Wayfair CSRs are saying otherwise, according to the last CSR I spoke with Lisa, a supervisor - who just happened to answer the phone due to heavy call volume - Wayfair apparently did NOT end their contract with the bank abruptly and not tell their customers - they claim it was Comenity Bank, the issuer of the Wayfair credit card, that abruptly ended their contract with Wayfair early, on September 11th, and failed to inform their cardholders.
According to Lisa, Comenity Bank didn't inform Wayfair itself until September 11th - and the action was taken against Wayfair's wishes.
As for me, I only have one other credit card, a basic all-purpose credit card, and I don't get department store cards because of the higher interest rates.
I made a few purchases, great quality, arrived often very early, I was very happy. I made my first payment, well over the minimum amount, as I always do, with plenty of credit left on the card.
However, when I tried to purchase a throw blanket for the sofa today, the card wasn't an option in the payment field, despite there being plenty of room on the card, and making my first payment ahead of schedule and over the minimum.
So I called customer service/tech support because I thought there was either a glitch or perhaps something else was needed on my end, since there was plenty of room on my card for purchases.
Instead, I was told that Wayfair abruptly ended their contract early with Comenity Bank - the bank that provided the Wayfair credit cards - on September 11th, and were now going to use Citibank as their Wayfair credit card.
This, would mean I apply twice for credit with Wayfair within 60 days, receive 2 hits to my credit score, have 2 payments for 2 different cards for the same store, and 2 interest rates.
Of course I'm not going to do that. Who would?
The first CSR I spoke with at Wayfair had nothing to offer for the trouble, and in fact, seemed to totally lack in empathy or patience for helping clear my confusion about what just happened.
In fact, the conversation with the first CSR, went like this ...
Melissa/CSR 1: "We're not responsible, your credit card contract is with a third-party bank, so it's their job to let you know we ended our contract with them, not ours. And you have the option to apply for our new card, with our new bank."
Me: "Okay, but I applied for the card from your site, the card has your name on it - in fact, it says "Wayfair Credit Card," not the "Comenity Bank Card," and it was your decision to end the contract with that bank early, not the bank's, right? But you carry no responsibility for this?"
Melissa/CSR 1: "Well, we have the right to switch banks whenever we want. You have a choice to pay with a debit card directly from your bank account, nobody's forcing you to apply for our Wayfair cards."
Me: "Oh, so it IS Wayfair's card and your responsibility, then? Because you just used the word "our cards. :)"
"And did you seriously just try to blame me for this, saying it's my choice to get into this mess, when there's no way I could've known this was going to happen, when even you admitted Wayfair customer service didn't even know until September 11th, and Wayfair left it to the bank to tell the customers - but didn't? "
"Nice try, but we are NOT going to blame me, the customer, for the crappy, sudden decision made to end contracts between your company and the bank - NONE of this is MY fault - the fault lies somewhere between your company and the bank, and I'm definitely not holding this bag of crap for either of you, sorry, that's a manipulation fail - so try again lol."
"And are you trying to sell me a new card or not? Because I can't tell - one minute you're saying no one forced me to get your card, like I shouldn't have applied for it in the first place, but the next you're asking me to apply for your new card as my only option, so now I'm more confused than ever :)"
Melissa/CSR 1: "No, your contract is with the third-party bank, not with us, with Wayfair-"
Me: "With your company's name on card, Melissa, which I applied for directly through your website. And again, it isn't called the Comenity Bank card, it's called the Wayfair Credit Card. I'm not going to get legal, but I doubt if someone did sue you, including the bank you just ended your contract early with, the "it's not our responsibility" excuse would fly. :)
"Now, I'm not blaming you, you're not an executive making these decisions, and I realize there's nothing you can do or offer, your hands are tied from a CSR perspective - I'm just asking if you can even understand my frustration? Because your attitude doesn't sound like you do in the least."
"So let's just talk human to human, Melissa. If this happened to you, what would you do?"
"Would YOU want to apply for another credit for Wayfair, less than 60 days after applying for/being approved for the first one - causing a double hit to your credit score, making now two payments - one for a card you can't even use - and paying double interest, just because the store up and decided they wanted a different bank?"
Melissa/CSR 1: "I don't know anything about that because I don't have any credit cards. Well, not in my name, my husband does. No, you can't use the card you just were granted because we ended our contract with that bank. However, you have the option to apply for the new Wayfair card. The bank that holds your card should've told you that. "
Me: "Wowwww, okay. So ... though you have no personal experience with credit yourself, you don't even pay the bills, your husband does - you somehow obtained a job with Wayfair as a credit CSR, imagining you're qualified to instruct anyone at all on applying for even one credit card, let alone multiple credit cards, with your company?"
"Oh, I don't think so. Wow, Wayfair's making good business decisions for their customer's all the way around, then, aren't they? LOL "
"Okay, wait, that was out of line. Look ... I'm sorry. I'm sorry for the sarcasm, that wasn't necessary. This really isn't your fault OR my fault, but despite having no personal experience with credit yourself, don't you think you could have the tiniest bit of empathy and understanding for the frustration this caused those of us who are cardholders in good standing, who weren't even informed?"
"I mean, I've been through all my emails, my spam, my regular mail - there's nothing from anyone, Wayfair OR Comenity bank, about this taking place."
"But okay, I get it, there's nothing you can do, I'm screwed. Thank you for your time. I'm sorry, but no - I won't be applying for that new card with Wayfair now with Citibank, because I can't financially, and I shouldn't have to, after I just did on August 3rd, I qualified already and I still have hundreds of dollars left on the to make purchases, but it's now useless to be used at Wayfair or anywhere."
As I said, I don't hold any department store cards - in fact I only have one other credit card, a basic all-purpose card - and I opened this card because of special discounts and to expand my credit score.
However, I can't imagine if let's say Macy's suddenly changed their credit-card issuing bank and stuck you with a useless previous card and asked you to apply for a new one - who has ever heard of a reputable department store ever doing that?
In fact, with the CSR on speaker, my husband, Mark, was yelling, "That's a shady Trumper business scam move. See, this is the result of Trump and GOP senate rolling back Obama's consumer protection laws. Hang up on the fucking Trumpers! You're better than I would be, I would've said "Fuck you" already and hung up. Why do you keep trying to understand these people? LOL" in the background.
Lisa/CSR 2: "No, no - I think there are some confused CSRs. But please understand, we weren't informed of this ourselves until 6 days ago, so many are speaking without knowing the facts. Which as I understand it, we, at Wayfair did NOT end the contract with the bank, they ended the contract early with us, and without warning."
"And though it's true that we do have the right to change banks, we didn't - and even if we did, we would find a less crappy manner, far in advance, which Comenity didn't do at all, for at least half of their customers."
"And if it was our decision, we would offer you some compensation for the trouble because then it would be our responsibility - but because it was the bank's decision and not ours, it isn't - they screwed us too, basically LOL"
"Did someone at Wayfair tell you it was Wayfair's decision?"
Me: "Yep, actually two people - the first person said she didn't understand the details, but she believed Wayfair made the decision. The second one was as I told you, she really had no game at all lol."
"Thank God, I called back, thank you! I knew something wasn't right, this didn't make sense - and the scary thing is that those two CSRs DO think Wayfair made the decision and tried to make me feel bad for ever applying in the first place, as if it was MY fault lol."
"Wayfair is a reputable company and they're great with communication, I knew something was off - now it makes sense!"
"Oh thank God, if I hadn't spoken to you, and you hadn't explained what really happened, I never would've used Wayfair again, but I will."
"However, courtesy of Comenity bank, since the Wayfair credit card I just received a month ago is now useless, I guess I'll just be cutting it up and making lovely home decor out of THAT, instead of buying more home decor at Wayfair, because I won't be applying for the New Citibank card for a couple of months - you know, for when my points go back up from the last credit pull for applying for the original Comenity Wayfair card lol"
Lisa/CSR 2: "LOL! Hilarious! Right? Aw, I'm not laughing at you, though, I get it - but just remember, they screwed us too - and not helping is some CSRs actually believe WE did this and think it's reasonable to not even offer understanding or empathy for customers. That just blows my mind, that they'd even think we'd ever do that, and that's okay!"
"Just know, you're not alone. We're getting hundreds of calls, Comenity didn't tell many. That's why even though I'm a supervisor, I'm actually helping answer phones directly today. Actually, of the ones Comenity bank did inform, that's the way we CSRs found out - we knew before the company knew, because some customers called in about the Comenity letter, completely confused. We had no idea how to respond, because Comenity didn't even bother to tell Wayfair yet lol. Our customers were like "surprise!" We had no idea what to say because we didn't even know lol."
Me: "Well, it sounds like you're better off without that bank, with the way they do business. Citibank's fairly reputable. Somewhat, anyway, comparatively. You know how all corporate banks can be, these days. That's why I use a small local bank."
"I just wish we all had a better heads up, but it is what it is, I guess. Thanks again for your time and explanation, I'll be back. Well, in a few months, when my credit score points go back up, then I'll apply for the new Wayfair card lol. "
Lisa/CSR 2: "Seriously, right? LOL You're very welcome, and I'm SO sorry the priors steered you wrong and that this happened, but yes, it screwed us too, and it's actually pretty embarrassing for us, we had no control and we all got burned from it. I'm a supervisor, you just happened to catch me, and my name's Lisa, you can be assured this is the correct info. Have a great rest of your day."
Okay, Lisa was awesome - and I'm really not trying to be a Karen - but what are we supposed to say or do?
I mean, we can all see that people are shittier than ever, in general, right now - and as kind and fair as you try to be, many people are being especially unreasonable, right now, saying and doing crazy shit.
PS - After I wrote the above, I called Comenity Bank, because Wayfair suggested it, to see if they had anything to offer, since it was their choice and their responsibility.
Comenity told me that's not true - these things actually happen frequently, and they are almost always a a mutual decision, so it would surprise him if it was just his bank's decision and not a mutual one between Comenity and Wayfair - especially considering this is the second time Wayfair has used their bank for their credit cards, and Wayfair only returned just a just a few months ago - so it would surprise him if his bank just cut them loose after allowing them to return just a couple of months ago.
So that was useful information - and I believe him.
And the truth is, I don't think anyone's lying on either Wayfair's side or the bank's side - I think just being CSRs, they don't know what really happened.
The CSR said ... "Not anymore."
Which of course makes Mark right - this IS the result of Trump and Congressional rollbacks of consumer-protection laws with corporate companies and banks, which set in place by Obama and the congress of 2009 :(
In fact, I remember when Obama set forth the consumer protection laws, and Congress approved them, to stop the bleeding.
Because the transcription company I was working for went bankrupt and I never got my last paycheck - and my credit card company charged late fees 4 times in one month - and I wasn't alone, it happened to many people during the recession.
Thus, Obama specifically announced his plan to stop this, as well as other consumer-protection laws and Wall Street (Frank-Todd) law.
Congress passed it, and it all stopped - immediately.
However, all of those consumer-protection laws are now gone - courtesy of Trump and a Republican Senate - and corporations get record-high tax shelters in addition to shady business practices like this.
In my opinion, if we are headed towards another recession, it won't be because of just COVID - it will be because of the return of same shady corporate business practices and tax shelters that were in place that led to the fall of the economy and stock market in October of 2008, - which people forget was one month before Obama was even elected.
Actually worse - because these same corporate protections are in place more than ever :(
He also said that I mentioned Macy's as an example, and in recent years, this has, and will continue to happen, with Macy's as well. It happened with Amazon yet, but it will. It screws their own customer's credit, but they do, and they don't care.
Comenity Bank CSR: "I feel bad for you guys, because you apply having no idea this is going to happen and get stuck with a card you can't use and a hit to your credit, but it happens all the time."
Me: "Why did they even continue to accept applications, knowing they were going to do this?"
Comenity Bank CSR: "That, I can't say, that's above my pay grade, but I think we both know they're all happy to take your money and don't care you can't use it anymore or what happens to your credit score. All I can tell you is we continued to take applications for a credit card right until August 24th, anyway. And that I, personaly, feel bad for your guys. And I wish there was something I could do, but I can't. I'm sorry this happened, but ... lesson learned about store credit cards in 2020?"
So in the end, all I've learned is that in a way, it is my fault, considering I've never had an online store credit card like this before and had no idea this could happen.
Sometimes you're the statue, sometimes you're the pigeon lol - and there's nothing you can do but take it.
I guess it's just I've had more than my share of this kind of crap.
Never again, though - I'll pay this off and stick with just my other all-purpose card - regardless of what better deals are offered if you have get the store credit cards - because you can't even use the card if the store changes banks :(
Ya know, I didn't expect it to turn out this way - when I initially wrote this post. In fact, I was trying to be positive about someone handling a situation well (Lisa), and the Comenity Bank CSR was very good, too - it's just I can't get the real story from either, because they didn't tell their CSR's enough info, nor the correct info, and they keep blaming each other - and there's nothing they can do regardless.
But I will - eventually :)