Banana Republic: Sorry Our Credit Card Website Sucks, Try Not Using It

Reader Maegan wrote Banana Republic to let them know that their credit card website was buggy and annoying to use. She got back a canned response that halfheartedly apologized for the state of their website and recommended that she use another service to pay her bill.

Maegan writes (to Banana Republic):

…I pay every bill I have online bi monthly. That means that 2x every month I get so frustrated with BR I want to shred my card and never shop in the store again. I have set and reset my login/email/pw etc, multiple times. I can realistically say that I have potentially reset all of this info every single time i have used the site to pay my bill! I write the login info down in my budget and never does it work again.

Then, I try to retrieve my “lost” info and it says my secret answers are wrong. The questions I picked and the answers, I have written down at least 20 times. My life is technology based and i am always plugged in. I find that there is absolutely NO easy of use with your site(in terms of “Managing your account”) and it is driving a loyal customer away from your store. Please revamp the usability ASAP. or see a loyal shopper move to JCrew. Argh!

Here’s the response she got:

Dear Ms. [Redacted]

Thank you for your e-mail. We apologize for the difficulty you have experienced with our site. With CheckFree’s WebPay E-Bill Service, you can pay your Bananacard online. Please note that the online bill payment section of our web site links directly to http://www.checkfree.com. For questions regarding online bill payment, may we suggest contacting CheckFree’s Customer Support directly at 1-888-212-9342, or by e-mail at ebillinfo@checkfree.com.

For questions regarding customer service or account information for your Bananacard, please call the Bananacard Customer Service Department at 1-877-969-0327, Monday through Saturday 8:00 A.M. to midnight, Sunday 10:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M., Eastern Time.

If we may be of further assistance, please contact us via e-mail at custserv@bananarepublic.com or by calling 1-888-BR-STYLE. Our Customer Service Consultants are available 24 hours a day for your convenience.

Sincerely,

Dana
Customer Service Consultant

Maegan says she doesn’t appreciate the canned response and doesn’t like using CheckFree, and would rather use the website to pay. Time to get a J. Crew card?

Comments

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  1. sleze69 says:

    Navy Federal Credit Union’s website suffers from similar problems. There is no autopayment to pay off balance every month. There is no button to pay the bill from your credit card screen. You actually have to write down the balance amount, go through the transfer screen and then type it in manually.

    I am still debating whether the rewards are enough to justify the inconvenience of paying it off every month.

  2. Ugh, I cancelled my BR card a year ago when I got slapped with a $25 late payment fee – and I pay ON TIME ALL THE TIME. Called them up and told them that I’d cancel my card unless they waived the fee, and they wouldn’t so I cancelled. Store cards are such a rip-off, I’d rather get cash back from one of the evil empires…

  3. warf0x0r says:

    I use it whenever I have to pay my bill there. Yes it is one of the worst sites I’ve ever seen. A while back they tried to automatically give every card holder another Credit Card, some type of Visa. I opted out on their online form and never got a Credit Card. I had to call their support desk to long into the site because of other problems. After 3 calls someone finally just had me create a new account. When I logged in the first thing I saw was Your Credit Card ending in: xxxx has been mailed to you. >:O

    So I came here, to consumerist.com, got my credit report for free from Experian and there wasn’t a Credit Card opened for me! So their site lists a card that doesn’t exist!

  4. bravo369 says:

    i’ve had the same problems. Sometimes i figure it’s their sleazy dishonest way to get people to pay late fees because they can never get into the site.

  5. warf0x0r says:

    Oh and you should consider using the Checkfree System. It’s about 100x better. It lets you schedule payments ahead etc etc… pretty much what you’d expect. I use it for my Dell purchases and I used to use it for my BR card in college, but have since changed accounts there and my BR card is still linked to the old checkfree account. I’m sure if I called them they’d be able to help me out.

  6. Juggernaut says:

    Check-free was the payment plan of choice on Dell’s Small Business site also. It only works after you’ve entered every possible piece of your life at least 21 times, you’re almost there… don’t give up now!!

  7. Bladefist says:

    Or an Express card. I wear all express and i am in their VIP club, which basically means I Get “$15 dollars off $0 purchase” 3 times a month. Pretty bad ass.

  8. Bladefist says:

    @bravo369: I’m not an expert on this, but I think their bank, the one that does all the clothing credit cards, would be the profiteer of that.

  9. yourbffjill says:

    @warf0x0r: Macy’s uses CheckFree, which would not accept my bank account number for some reason. When I called customer service about it (and several other grievances) I was told “Yeah, a lot of people have problems with CheckFree, you should just go into a store to pay your bill.” Uh…. thanks.

  10. realjen01 says:

    I HATE Banana’s credit card website! I just use mycheckfree to pay them.

  11. cyclade says:

    I had a similar experience and was also directed to mycheckfree.com. It’s actually a pretty good service, and I’ve now got my utility bills hooked up to that system so I’m pretty much, um, check free.

    Store cards do generally suck, but the Banana Republic card (which works at Gap and Old Navy) offers some pretty sweet incentives and discounts. And, if you buy more than $800 in stuff within a year (a lot, I know) and you get free tailoring and shipping on items ordered online. For an urban, business causal drone like me, that’s quite a deal.

  12. senor_tron says:

    what is with the BR card’s customer service? i had to call three times to get card cancelled and turned out they issued a second line of credit without asking me.

  13. enm4r says:

    @sleze69: At the transfer screen you should see the amount after the name of each individual account name. At least that’ll save you the step of writing it down.

  14. slim150 says:

    I had a horror story with Express. I signed up for a card to save on my purchase. I got my bill. Went online and paid, and thought that was the end of it.

    Except for the fact that as a bonus to me, the girl at the counter (without my knowledge) signed me up for a 10/month security “feature” that protects my identity online. Later the CSR told me that the girl had to of received my permission to let me have this. Oh ya right “Sir, would you like to spend 10/month to protect your identity even though you told me you only plan to use this card once?” SURE!!!!

    But then also when I made my payment online it “automatically” without saying signed me up for paperless billing. I gave them my secondary email so as to not get spam from them and I never realized i was getting billed.

    long story short months went by , it got put into collections, and i had to pay all these crap fees. This is why I don’t go to express

  15. cbartlett says:

    For the record, bi-monthly means every other month. I think the writer means semi-monthly.

  16. KittensRCute! says:

    Jcrew once my favorite place to shop, has now reached a level of suckitude one would thing only a place like walmart could match. The last two items i bought were leather belts that were ruined after just 6 wearings and turned out not be leather AT ALL. their “cashmere” pills after just ONE wearing. The last 3 pair of pants a bought had to be returned because the zipper would not function correctly.

    So i think maybe it is time to go with someone other than jcrew.

  17. katylostherart says:

    as soon as i saw bananacard i thought

    BANANAPHONE!

  18. KittensRCute! says:

    @cbartlett:
    incorrect.

    bimonthly can mean every other month or twice per month.

    Main Entry: 1bi·monthly Pronunciation Guide
    Pronunciation: ()b+
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: 1bi- + monthly
    : occurring, appearing, or done every two months; sometimes : occurring, appearing, or done twice a month

    :)

  19. KittensRCute! says:

    @cbartlett: incorrect

    Main Entry: 1bi·monthly
    : occurring, appearing, or done every two months; sometimes : occurring, appearing, or done twice a month

  20. KittensRCute! says:

    sorry for the duplicate.

  21. chiieddy says:

    Ann Taylor uses the same bank as BR. Both sites are pretty damn awful.

  22. satoru says:

    God have you tried Verion Wireless online payment website? It’s so horribly slow! It takes literally 30 seconds to click through any link. I suspect it must be running on an old 486 DX (or maybe not even DX!)

  23. Ann-Marie says:

    Wow — I’m somewhat relieved to hear that others have had the same problems as me! I can never get that darn site to work! And the kicker is that you’re trying to be a responsible person and pay your bill, but it’s bound and determined not to let you! Arg! I listed the BR credit card website as one of my least favorites in a team poll a few weeks back: [www.whatsthediff.com]

    Needless to say, I feel your pain! Thanks Maegan for at least trying to reach out to BR for the rest of us.

  24. littlemoose says:

    I also have a Banana Republic card, nd I’ve had the same problems. My CheckFree is also messed up — it tells me I have bills to view but then never finds an account when I try to log in. I get paper bills most months, but not every month. I just stay on top of the due dates and amounts and use my credit union’s bill pay to send the payments. Still ridiculous though.

  25. amyschiff says:

    My electric company uses CheckFree. I don’t find it to be all that bad… just a few clicks and my bill is paid. I can’t tolerate bad e-commerce sites though… I would have said goodbye to BR a long time ago.

  26. drago79 says:

    I really don’t understand how anyone could hate MyCheckfree.com.

    I’ve been using it for well over four years for various credit cards & utility bills and have never had a single problem. I’d love it if all of my accounts used Checkfree!

  27. NoWin says:

    Checkfree is the back-end processor for billpayments for many “branded” cards, which all (most) contract will Checkfree to provide online billpayment processing.

    It is possible the OP is scrubbing any secure encrypted cookie that may eliminate some of the log-in issues, but she should look at her own bank bill-pay (if available) to solve her problem, or sign up direct with http://www.mycheckfree.com, which links to BR, but not through the BR website.

  28. kathyl says:

    Man, yet another reason to refuse all of the store-branded cards, because there’s no customer service to back them up and they’re so desperate to make them even more profitable than selling you the items in the first place that the websites put up to support them must have been built in 15 minutes by the son-in-law of one of the VPs.

    I know that 10% off your first purchase or whatever carrot they offer seems tempting, but boy, they really wouldn’t offer you that if they didn’t think they’d make that money back and more over the life of the card. But look at poor slim150 up there who actually was smart about the use of the card and they still got effed, and you can see that these cards are so unbelievably not worth the meager savings they offer you on that initial purchase.

  29. Snakeophelia says:

    I personally love MyCheckFree – I pay AmEx, Tmobile, Verizon Wireless, Progressive, and PECO with it every month. The one time there was a screwup it was my fault – I set up a bill to be paid with a bank account that no longer existed – but I was able to fix it via a chat session with a CSR. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them.

  30. yubbie2 says:

    I have the same problem with the BR site. Neither Safari nor Firefox works at all.

    *****
    Using the Opera browser causes the site to render correctly
    *****

  31. Amry says:

    I don’t have a BR card, but based on my experience with other companies and their store-branded cards, I’d guess that the website is owned/run by GE Moneybank (the bank that owns most store-brand cards) or Checkfree, not BR, and therefore inherently sucks. Why? Because both GE and Checkfree are terrible.

  32. brewmonkey says:

    The BR website sucks, as do all of the websites associated with GE Money Bank. I use the bill pay provided by my bank to take care of the payments to BR.

    I do love the $10 cards i get every couple of months and the $15 birthday bonus I get.

  33. Exek says:

    With my BR credit card I just use the BofA online banking bill pay. I gave up using BR site when their site refused to take more than two payments through their website a month. As someone who Is trying to pay down the credit card as quick as possible the two payments through their site a month really blows.

  34. userboy says:

    I have to echo brewmonkey. I also had an Amazon account through them, that I switched over to the Amazon Visa to get away from them.
    If her bank doesn’t have effective online banking/payment options, she should find another bank.
    Checkfree is very easy to use, certainly compared to BR site.
    In my experience, the BR card is one of the more rewarding. I have lifetime LUXE status, which includes free shipping with no minimum, free alterations and not to mention the rebates. Just don’t carry a balance, because the interest is close to pawn shop rates.

  35. pgbuss101 says:

    I also hated Banana Republic’s bill pay site, so had requested that I only receive paper statements. Unfortunately, they have completely mismanaged my account, resulting in negative information being sent to the credit card agencies. I had signed up for paperless statements in 2007 and have attempted to opt out many times because I hated the site. I received paper statements in 2008 (I have copies) and in January 2009, they stopped sending paper statements. As a result, I had a late bill in March 2009 because I did not receive statements for the January bill.

    At that point, Banana Republic promised me that I would receive paper statements. I received them in the summer 2009 (again, I have copies) and in July/August, I did not receive them again! I called Banana Republic on August 31 and they apologized for their mistake, credited me the $25 late fee, and assured me that it would not affect my credit since they messed up and stopped sending me statements. They even told me to wait to pay my bill until I received it in September.

    I discovered on my credit report that they reported the $6 past 30 days due in September and I now have a negative account on my credit report with two 30 day past due records (one under $20 and the other $6)! They lied to me! Now, Banana Republic customer service will not help and I have to send letters and Banana Republic won’t address the issue.

    Banana Republic has completely messed up my credit by mismanaging my account. The worst part is that they lied to me about reporting negative information and now will not address it. I have copies of the paper statements when I did receive them and they admitted that they did not send them in July/August. I’m outraged. I used to only buy Banana Republic and Gap and now absolutely hate the brands.

  36. bfrazm says:

    The Banana Republic credit card website is such a nightmare! I try not to use it – I just use my bank’s online bill pay instead. Just recently I received my statement with a flyer that says ‘Earn 500 Bonus Reward Points’. All I have to do is log into ebill.bananarepublic.com and sign up for paperless statements….

    That URL auto-directs me to log into my BR credit card account and then after resetting the password, adding my mother’s maiden name, entering in the account number, etc., etc. it just takes me to my account summary with no links, explanation or directions on signing up for electronic statements! What, is this a joke? Banana Republic, why do I have to jump through hoops just to sign up for electronic statements? Why did you even waste your money printing out these flyers advertising signing up for electronic statements if your website isn’t set up to allow your customers to do so???