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Original purchase

Original dispute

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Angry phone calls to Providian

Angry phone calls Page 2

Not so angry phone calls

Consequences of Providian Financial screwing with me

Index of Documentation

Index of Recorded Telephone Calls

AbTronic - Scam or not a scam?

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Original Purchase

Since I could stand to lose about 30 pounds I thought it would be cool to lose weight while I sit at my computer working. I kept seeing this device on TV called the “Ab-Tronic”. I thought it would be so cool to sit at my desk and get a workout without really doing anything. I thought wrong. Later I would find out that it was a complete waste of time and money.

I should have foreseen trouble during my toll free call to order the Ab-Tronic. When I placed the call to order this worthless piece of junk the operator on the other end reading her cue-cards in a monotone voice kept trying to sell me “other stuff” like long distance service, magazine subscriptions and a multitude of other things I had no interest in purchasing.

After suffering through several of her wonderful offers and telling her no, NO, NO! each time she asked me if I wanted to try each of these gimmicks I finally told her, “Hey look, I called to order the Ab-Tronic for four equal payments of $29.95. If you want to sell me the Ab-Tronic then sell it to me already. I am not interested in anything else you have to offer. I want the Ab-Tronic for 4 payments of $29.95 and that is ALL I WANT.”

She again started reading her little cue cards and offering me more terrific deals. I again (getting angry at this point) reminded her that if she didn’t want to sell me the Ab-Tronic device and ONLY the Ab-Tronic device then the call was over and I would not be ordering anything. This finally got her attention and she took my credit card info and billing address. The call ended without further incident. All was well. At least, that’s what I thought...

Original Agreement

Here is the original paperwork that came with my card. Aside from the cardboard cutout form that held the card in place while it was being mailed this is all I received. At the time I thought it a little odd that I was getting an update to the account agreement before I get to see the account agreement.

In this initial document I agreed to the following:
  • Travel Accident Insurance (covers me and spouse if tickets charged to Providiots MasterCard)
  • Automatic Purchase Insurance (against theft/damage)
  • Extended Warranty (doubles warranty coverage on items purchased with card)
  • Finance Charges (fees can accrue interest and are considered “purchases”, when interest begins to accrue, etc. etc.)
  • How daily finance charge and average daily balance is determined
  • And here is my favorite part:
    You have the option to keep your current terms if you cancel your credit privileges, close your Account by notifying us in writing, and continue to pay at least the minimum payment due each month. If your account is already closed and you wish to avoid these changes you must still write to us. Send your letter to PO Box 194727, San Francisco, CA by October 31, 1999.
Well, having no problem with any of this I kept my account open and began using it. I activated the card the same day I received it. It wouldn’t be until May 2001 before I receive another “update”.


Nothing in here would suggest that Providian would one day claim that I gave them the right to enter into a contract and then just nulify it without refunding my settlement payment. These Providiots have rampant imaginations. Well, having no problem with any of this I kept my account open and began using it. I activated the card the same day I received it. It wouldn’t be until December 2001 before I receive another “update”.

The next update came in May 2001


The next update came in April 2002


The next jewels of wisdom from Providiots came in the form of a “Privacy Policy”

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