Bloomingdale's Sends You To A "Collection Agency" Over $5.00

Reader Haven accidentally underpaid a Bloomingdale’s credit card bill by $5, and so it was off to the collection agency…

Haven writes (to Bloomingdale’s):

May 27, 2008

Bloomingdale’s
Customer Service
P.O. Box 8215
Mason, OH 45040

Dear Bloomingdale’s Customer Service Department,

I have been a Bloomingdale’s card holder for about two years. In my time as a cardholder, I have spent close to $2000.00 at your store. Recently, I paid a bill online and because I didn’t have the bill in front of me, paid what I thought was due that month. To my error I had underpaid the minimum amount by $5.00. Two days ago, I received a notice from Bloomingdale’s (the first and, apparently, last notice I was to receive) saying I would be sent to collections for failing to pay this $5.00 – I thought this was odd as I had used my Bloomingdale’s card in the store about a week and a half prior. If my account had been in bad standing I would assume Bloomingdale’s would put it on hold and not allow me to complete my purchase. At the very least I expected to receive timely notice of the pending sale of my account to a collection agency, so that I could have a chance to fix the problem. Although I did receive “notice” from Bloomingdale’s, it appears this served only to let me know that I could expect to deal with a collection agency, and have no chance to rectify the situation with Bloomingdale’s. Yesterday (on a Sunday over Memorial Day Weekend of all times!) I had the pleasure of getting four calls from your collection agency MCCS. How a customer who has spent a considerable amount in your store could be treated in this manner over a sum of $5.00 is appalling. I was not aware that I owed $5.00, and if Bloomingdale’s had taken the time to notify me of this small error I would have happily paid it.

To think that Bloomingdale’s is spending time notifying collections and using MCCS manpower for multiple hours over such a small amount of money is completely illogical. The cost to do this I’m sure is well over $5.00 and totally inefficient. To bully me by potentially negatively impacting my credit standing over something so small is a bad business practice and completely ridiculous. You have lost a customer who until now was a supporter of your store and I will be mentioning this to other customers of your Company’s bullying tactics.

Sincerely,
H.

Ugh. It’s completely unreasonable of Bloomingdale’s to send your account to collections without giving you proper notice and a chance to fix the error. And into the open arms of Nordstrom you go…

MCSS is actually the collection wing of Macy’s. Still, calling themselves MCSS rather than Bloomingdale’s makes them sound like a scary collection agency, so it’s understandable why there was that confusion, a confusion that Bloomie’s/MCSS capitalizes on to get people to pay up. We don’t know about you, but in all the times we’ve ever been behind on a bill, we would just get another bill. It would be months before we start getting calls from places with acronym names. Even if H is overacting, Bloomie’s response to the $5 under-payment seems overblown.

(Photo: nfarley )