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Troubleshooters: Store credit card winds up costing more

READ MORE: Troubleshooters: Store credit card winds up costing more
Penni Jordan bought a prom dress for her daughter at Camille La Vie in Independence Mall. She signed up for a store credit card to get a discount on the dress, but she says that credit card ended up costing her much more than she saved. Penni Jordan bought a dress her daughter fell in love with at Camille La Vie. She went to the store in person on the day her store credit card payment was due only to be told they only accepted payment by phone or by mail. "I’ve never been to a store where I could not make a payment on my credit card at the store. I could go to Kohl's tomorrow to make a payment on my card, at Sears, Penny's, any of them,” said Penni Jordan. Frustrated, Penni called TD Bank, the company that processes credit card payments for Camille La Vie. She paid a $10 convenience fee to pay by phone, so the payment would post on time, and thought things were taken care of. But that wasn't the case. “And then since I did it on a Sunday, they didn't credit my account until Monday the 4th, and then I get another bill two weeks later saying I had a $29 late fee.” If you read the fine print, TD Bank has a policy that they only accept payments Monday through Friday. Penni says that seems unreasonable, since her payment was due on a Sunday. She thinks it seems like an underhanded way to ding people for more fees, but local financial experts we spoke to say there probably isn't anything sinister about this policy. "It is not a blatant attempt to take any more money. What they're doing is trying to keep it as simple and straight forward as possible,” said financial planner Ross Marino. Since credit card companies have a standard contract they use with all customers, Ross Marino says they try to keep things simple by making payments due 30, 60 or 90 days from the beginning of each billing cycle. That means your due date could potentially fall on a weekend, or even a holiday. Marino says it's up to the customer to make sure their payments are in early if payment isn't accepted on the due date. "Credit is a risk no matter how you look at it. If you will not have too many cards, and you will make sure you pay it off on time, then maybe you won't get hurt, however, every time you go into one of these deals, and you are one day late on the payment, it may cost you much more in interest than you ever saved on the product.” While TD Bank is separate from Camille La Vie, the dress store managers intervened on Penni's behalf, and convinced the bank to waive her $29 late fee. Even though she appreciates their efforts, Penni said the card wasn't worth the trouble, and she's since cut it up and thrown it away. While current law does not prohibit banks from making payments due on days they don't accept payments, the practice will not be permitted under new federal credit card laws that take effect next year.

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