In a classic case of oil going to the squeaky wheel, a veterinarian whose soaring credit card interest fees roused the indignation of the Veterinary Information Network community has gotten a refund on excessive interest charges.
Dr. Carol Tice of North Carolina reported Tuesday that Advanta Bank Corp. had credited her account $664.60 to make up for a series of apparently unjustified rate increases imposed since March. The rate, which started the year at 7.99 percent, topped 37 percent earlier this month.
Alarmed and mystified by the increase, Tice described her situation on a discussion board at vin.com. Her plight caught the attention of many colleagues because her Advanta card is affiliated with Henry Schein, a distributor of veterinary, dental and medical supplies and equipment.
Tice wrote that she tried fruitlessly to get help from both Advanta and Schein. Consequently, VIN president Dr. Paul Pion contacted Schein executives on behalf of Tice and other VIN members who also reported that their interest rates had risen above 30 percent.
One member reported Monday that her rate, which had climbed to 35.95 percent last month, declined to 17.43 percent this month.
For Tice, the refund was bittersweet. “They helped me, but did they help anybody else?” she said, noting that complaints about Advanta’s rising rates show up in news stories and on consumer sites across the Internet.
“In all honesty, if it weren’t for VIN, I don’t think I would have gotten anything,” she said.
Although Tice still has a balance on her account, she said last week that she had already cut up the card.
Some 9,000 Schein customers hold Advanta cards, about 600 of them in the animal-health field, according statistics from Schein. Cardholders earn cash rebates or airline miles based on their charges.