GE's CareCredit Card to Refund $34 Million to Customers

GE unit to reimburse consumers misled over credit cards
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON -- General Electric Co.'s credit card division will refund $34.1 million to consumers who government regulators say were misled about the potential costs of relying on a deferred-interest plan to pay their medical bills.

The settlement announced Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau affects more than 1 million people who obtained CareCredit cards from GE Capital Retail Bank since 2009. GE Capital didn't acknowledge any wrongdoing in consenting to the order.

Regulators contend that the GE Capital Retail Bank exploited consumers by not taking adequate steps to ensure they understood the terms of the credit cards that they obtained to help cover the costs at doctors and dentists around the country.

In many instances, health providers told patients that the CareCredit cards would provide interest-free financing for a year, according to regulators. But the charges could only be avoided if the entire amount was paid within a year after the charge.
If an outstanding balance remained at the end of the one-year grace period, interest accruing at a rate of nearly 27 percent was then tacked on to the bill.

"Medical debt is already a big problem for many Americans," said Richard Corday, director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a statement. "Poor credit card transparency should not be making the problem even worse."

GE Capital Retail Bank spokeswoman Dori Abel said CareCredit has one of the highest customer satisfaction levels in the industry, with about 60 percent of customers deciding to charge additional bills on their cards.

CareCredit agreed in June to provide more information about its deferred-interest plans as part of a settlement reached with New York Attorney General Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

General Electric (GE) last month announced plans to spin off its consumer finance division in an initial public offering next year.


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bettyjmccann

BJ - I had the GE Care Credit for just one little service by my dentest. And
paid all notices on time as asked. And my bill kept going up, They kept adding to it. My begening total $1000.00, first payment $42.00. 11-12-11,
until 3-12-13, I paid $79.00. From there I paid $60.00 a month up till the 11-19-13, bal at that time bal. was $518.01. At that time I had saved some money on the side to pay off some bal and there extra charges. Leveing me a bal on $518.01. As some of the other comments I have read I am still very confused about how they do there accounting. It does not make any since. BJ

December 12 2013 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bulldoggin

So, they have to refund "over 1 million people" $34,000,000 ? If my math is right, isn't that a little UNDER $34.00 per person?? LOL .... and that's BEFORE taxes, mind you. What caught my eye about this story in the FIRST place was the headlines' tag line that said GE would refund $34 million dollars because its consumers were "misled by deception". I thought, " Wait... is that the PURPOSE of deception????" LOLOL

December 12 2013 at 7:23 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bulldoggin's comment
M

Just \"pocket lint\" for the banksters to pay out.
No wonder they didn\'t try too hard to fight it, they already have the money, and only need to return a tiny portion of it.

December 12 2013 at 7:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hi Ivan

For over 2 years I've been a Care Credit card holder, during that time I've never been late on my payments and always paid way more than the minimun, however my balance instead of going down it went up and up, eventually I end up owing much more than the original charge. How was that possible? Last month I had enough and called the company. I was fumming, they made a lot of excuses that made no sense to me, they were even charging me for a credit protection I had no idea I had and never agree to it. before I was going to end the call I told them I was going to report them to the BBB and let them deal with my situation. They changed their tune and I don't know how and why they cut my balance from 6000 dolars to 2600 of an initial charge of 3500, I know the payments I have made overweight the sum they credited to my account, but well... at least my call ended an extra charge and now my balance reflects the payments I'm making.

December 12 2013 at 7:19 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
srlaperla

What's most interesting about this, and reading most of the comments below, the figure "34 MILLION DOLLARS" sounds like a WHOLE lot of $$ to the average Joe. When you consider that, only AFTER being sued and their tactics discovered, G.E. STILL GOT THE WAY BETTER OF THE DEAL... Think about it, if they can even seriously come close to "refunding" that amount of money, think of the amount of OBSCENE profit they made, IN THE FIRST PLACE!!?? Companies like this, that do unethical things (think WalMart) still get the better of the deal, because the money they make on the ripoff, prior to being found out, must be SO MANY millions more, right? So, even though it sounds like justice is being done, and they are being forced to pay back "34 million dollars", think about how many BILLIONS they must have made in the past, ripping people off like this? In the end, its really just a slap on the wrist, sent back to work, ripping more semi-conscious people off, all over again.

December 12 2013 at 7:07 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Bill

Who really benifits from this service? The Doctor.
If a Doctor or Dentist office pushed this on you without explaining how it worked, they should share in paying the interest.

December 12 2013 at 7:04 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kathynky

People need to be responsible for themselves. I have had a care credit card for 5 years. It was brought up to me at my dentist office when I handed them my personal credit card for payment. They basically told me that I could make payments with no interest as long as I paid it off in a specific amount of time(that simple). I was given a pamplet at that time from care credit that spelled it all out. I cannot believe that this many people were tricked into believing something else. There are way too many people in this world that make mistakes and want someone else to pay. They are ruining it for the rest of us. We are a sue happy nation and it needs to stop. PERIOD

December 12 2013 at 6:43 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Michele

I hope I am one of them to be refunded.

December 12 2013 at 6:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fritz4bass

If the end result is a profit for such scams after penalties and no admission of wrong doing there's no incentive to refrain from such activity. Any profit gained from illegal business activity by anyone or business entity should be forfeited so that there is "0" profit, and of course jail time for the
perpetrators would significantly curtail these kinds of scams.

December 12 2013 at 6:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
witchesway13

The Medical providers should also be held responsible for fraud. They offered this credit to provide services. They increase the costs to low income, uninsured patients and take advantage of an unfortunate circumstance. ASPEN DENTAL is nothing more than a business. Doctors and Dentists are the ones who need to be regulated, not the patients.

December 12 2013 at 6:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bbe185

Why do they do it? Thomas Jefferson answered it best in the declartion of independance.
"Mankind is more disposed to suffer while evils are suferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they has become accostum" maybe not exact statement but close. From things I've read about the banking industry practice it appears to be Rackatering.
Two Judges, William Alsup, and William King have ruled thier practices to be Fraud. If so then why isn't anyone going to jail. Fraud, thieft by fraud, conspiricy to comment fraud, conspiracy to comment thief by fraud.

Why is it that no one goes to jail.

Mankind is more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable? When while the American people rise up to right themselves again?

December 12 2013 at 6:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bbe185's comment
srlaperla

I agree entirely bbe.... paying back "millions" of dollars accounts to really NOTHING for huge corporations like this, who have benefitted off the backs of consumers without reprisal for years. If no one actually goes to jail, what, really, is the penance for such a crime?

December 12 2013 at 7:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply