GE Capital Retail Bank has the worst customer service?

Posted by CreditCardGuru

The GE Capital Retail Bank credit cards receive an astronomical number of complaints on the forums. Who’s to blame… their customer service or their customers?

Do you have a store credit card? If so, there’s a high probability that GE Capital Bank (formally GE Money Bank) is the issuer of it. They manage cards for several dozen retailers, across just about every industry. The list is astronomical. As of October 2012, here are the retailers listed on their website:

  • Amazon (non Visa version)
  • American Eagle
  • Banana Republic
  • Belk
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Chevron
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Dillard’s
  • eBay
  • GAP
  • Ikea
  • JCPenney
  • Kirklands
  • Linens ‘n Things
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Lowe’s
  • Meijer
  • Men’s Wearhouse
  • Mervyns
  • Old Navy
  • PayPal
  • QVC
  • Sam’s Club
  • Shop NBC
  • Stein Mart
  • TJX
  • Walmart

And that’s only a partial list! There are plethora of others, many being specialty and regional retailers.

More cards = more complaints?

angry customersThe amount of negative reviews I see is overwhelming. But in defense of GE Capital Retail Bank, it’s only fair to ask… is the reason for that simply because they issue so many credit cards? In other words, because they’re so prominent, are they being unfairly singled out?

Let’s take a look at these 3 criteria to decide…

1. Take aspirin before calling the customer service phone number?

As someone who has personally investigated their cards many times over the years, I can totally sympathize with all the complaints regarding their sub-par phone service. It gives me a headache every time!

For example, if you call their customer service it feels almost impossible to reach a live human if you are just calling with questions about their cards. I called eBay MasterCard’s customer service (1-866-419-4095) to give you an example of this:

Computer: The first 30 seconds are useless jibber-jabber about making payments online by an overly-perky female voice. Then after listening to that spiel, you have to press 1 to confirm you are calling about the eBay MasterCard (Duh! Obviously I am if I called their direct phone number for it!)
Computer: Please say or enter your account or card number
Me: I don’t have it
Computer: I think you said you don’t have your account number, is that correct?
Me: Yes
Computer: [voice change] Alright. [pause, voice change back to perky woman] If you don’t have your account number, we can find it using your Social Security number. Please say your Social Security number or enter it using you’re your telephone keypad.
Me: I don’t have it.
Computer: I think you said you don’t have your Social Security number, is that correct?
Me: Yes
Computer: Now if you’re finished, say goodbye and hang-up.

What the duck is up with this?!? Talk about a privacy invasion… the system tells me to “say goodbye and hangup” because I won’t give them my Social Security number. Really? GE Capital Bank’s customer service number doesn’t deserve to have the word “service” in its name!

Rather than fining the major credit card issuers, in my opinion THIS is who the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be going after. If you want to apply for a GE Capital credit card and have questions/concerns about the payment terms and how they work, they make it nearly impossible to talk to a live phone rep.

And from my experience, the sales associates at stores are often grossly misinformed about how deferred interest works, so it’s imperative that potential customers be given access to knowledge phone reps.

Sometimes when I’ve called to inquire about one of their cards, I just keep pressing random buttons and after a couple minutes the computer will finally connect me to a live rep. But to add insult to injury, the live rep might be a foreigner who you can barely communicate with!

Verdict? They do have some US call centers, so not all of their phone reps are bad. But good luck getting through to them! The bottom line is that GE Capital is unprecedented in how they make it so difficult for potential account holders to call up and ask questions. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of other credit card companies who do this.

2. Are people pissed about the payment terms?

Kill the messenger. Perhaps the GE Capital Retail Bank’s customer service reps aren’t the worst. But it’s easy for people to feel that way, when they’re the bearer of such bad news.

What bad news am I talking about? The terrible payment terms that come with almost every GECRB credit card. Here’s an example…

high interest rate

Is paying nearly 27% interest a bit excessive? I certainly think so. Major credit cards from banks typically have APRs that range from 12% to 23%. But with GE’s credit cards, many of them give that hideous 26.99% rate to everyone, even if you have good credit.

However there are some that have APRs less than the 26.99% (the Walmart and Paypal are two examples). But even those, from what I’ve seen, seem to often have APRs which are still above average.

But what makes this really bad is the deferred interest. Many of their cards come with deferred interest offers. That means there’s no interest charged only if you pay off the entire purchase before the promo period ends. But if you don’t, then interest gets tacked onto your purchase going back to day 1:

GE Money's fine print

This “no interest if paid in full” gimmick can be quite confusing, because it’s rarely ever found on major credit cards with 0% offers (when those give 0%, you usually get it regardless of whether or not you pay off the purchase during the promo period).

And in addition to high interest rates, I’ve heard that the customer service at GE Capital Retail isn’t the most helpful if you ask them to waive a late fee.

3. Less credit-worthy customers?

I’m sure there are plenty of GECRB customers who have excellent credit scores. However the bottom line is that overall, store credit cards tend to attract less creditworthy customers. Why? Because many of them are easier to qualify for than say, a card with 5% cash back or good airline rewards.

So playing devil’s advocate, could the lower quality customer base be a reason for so many complaints? In other words – to put it bluntly – they have more financially irresponsible cardholders, and in turn, receive more complaints about customer service? I think that’s possible.

But just to be clear, if you have one of their credit cards I am NOT saying you fall into the less creditworthy category. Rather I’m just making the point that their cards attract a greater percentage of sub-prime customers than say, American Express or Chase credit cards do.

The worst… true or false?

So does the GE Capital Bank have the worst credit card customer service or not? I’m not sure the answer is clear cut.

In some ways – like calling their phone number – it is an absolute nightmare and they probably are the worst in that regard. Ditto to the excessive APRs. However I think part of the reason for there being so many complaints is because the crowd of customers they attract is often (but not always) less creditworthy.

And who has the BEST customer service?

AmEx and Discover often occupy the top 2 spots in the annual JD Power credit card satisfaction survey. However if I had to pick specific cards for 2013 here’s what they would be:

29 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Jessica April 13, 2014 at 10:57PM

    A lot of you are complaining about something that is in YOUR terms and agreements. YOU were not held at gun point to get the card, so when YOU don’t keep YOUR part of the deal, how dare YOU get angry that they did EXACTLY what they said they would? No where does it state in the terms and agreements that they offer a grace period for missed payments, however it does clearly state that if YOU are late YOU are assessed a fee. It also CLEARLY states how much the late fee will be, when it’s charged etc. The pay closing periods are disclosed, every single bit of information YOU need to maintain YOUR credit card, is thoroughly explained! How can you be mad when YOU accepted the responsibility of the card, YOU agreed to the terms, if you didn’t you could have simply never used the card. YOU are at fault, not the bank, not the customer service agent, no the ivr system … YOU THE CUSTOMER are at fault, READ YOUR TERMS AND AGREEMENTS .. THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE PROVIDED FOR! Not GE’s fault you didn’t read them! TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS!!! STOP BLAMING INNOCENT CUSTOMER SERVICE AGENTS! YOU are in control of YOUR own credit. See a pattern here? You, you, you .. WAKE UP! So quick to blame someone else!

  2. Cruzer April 8, 2014 at 7:27PM

    GE Capitol bank is set up to take your money. Like a car salesmen they confuse and bs around to gain advantage and charge late fees. Bought something last year for 22.00 and got a bill with a late fee of 45.00. That was the first bill I received. Then Robo phone messages twice daily. Couldn’t get on line to account and couldn’t talk to anyone. I wrote letters, tried to call and got nowhere. Another letter today says I owe 47.00. Don’t know what for? Nothing listed. There is just no way to get help or assistance with this company. They do this on purpose to make more money. Get as far away from them as you can.

  3. JG Rodarte April 6, 2014 at 9:32PM

    Yea this company is bullshit… been waiting on my credit card dispute since December…. these people are f**king assholes and stupid.I Really hate you walmart ge capital.

  4. Dan Cook February 28, 2014 at 11:38AM

    ok I have been sitting here reading all the complaints about the GE Capital Card and there customer service. I work for a company that issues this card and personally own one my self. Im not denying the fact that the people that have posted to this page have had a bad experience cause im sure you have as you will with any company in the world it just depends on who it happens to. I have seen some things on here that are just not true about there company. One being the fact that if you have good credit and pay off your bills on time all the time that you wont be approved for the GE Capital Card. This is extremely not true because i have an amazing credit score and have always paid my bill on time and GE was more than happy to give me a card with a very high limit which of course will never max out because i do not see the need to owe anyone that amount of money. The other thing is how every assumes thats they are a shady and thieving company LMAO. this company has been around forever and being as big as they are of course people are going to run into issues it happens. If you complain about having a 26% interest then dont get the card. The card is designed with a high interest because there are giving you the ability to pay it off in so many months be it 6,12,or 24 ect. Thats why people get it so they can have what they want right now with out waiting and pay the same amount as they would if they payed cash that day. If you don’t like the interest rate us a regular credit card and pay ur interest monthly, or make your payments on time and stop complaining. I dont usually post to sites like this but im so sick of hearing people bashing a company when in most cases it is there fault something happened or they had one bad experience so that company must be out to get everyone. things happen and this company has a very high rate of customer satisfaction. Sorry to rant just cant stand people that think everyone is out to get them and screw them over. Im sure some of your complaints are legit like the phone service but thats 90% of company’s automated service lol.

  5. JIMMY COLLIER February 13, 2014 at 2:13PM

    GE Capital is a rip-off company due to the fact that I was one day late with my Dec 2013 payment with is paid on-line I was charged a late payment of $37.00. This is the most unreasonable BANK I have ever dealt with. Please informed all family and friends do not deal with Rip-Off ass Company. Never again will I have an account with this GE Capital Bank.

  6. Jean patrenicola February 13, 2014 at 10:13AM

    They gave me credit at walmart. Now GE is saying its under reVIEW.What does this mean?

  7. dm February 10, 2014 at 1:25PM

    I have auto payment set up on my Lowe’s card provided by worked in 2013 and all of sudden it stopped working in Jan and Was charged a late fee immediately. Called back and they refused to admit I even have auto payment set up! I went to the Lowe’s card website while we were on the phone turned out the site is having technical issues, can’t even pull my info out! Out of frustration I accepted they waive the late charges and not seeking to talk to the manager. Check the site 30 minutes later sure enough my bank info is there in their system! What a fxxxed company! Will still shop at Lowe’s but the ge card now is in pieces.

  8. Jan January 31, 2014 at 12:28PM

    I am absolutely appalled at the lack of customer service I received from the 2nd level supervisor (Mandy) a few minutes ago. I was told by one of Mandy’s workers that GE Capital Retail Bank has their own computer evaluation application they use to evaluate credit worthiness. I applied for a Lowes credit card and received a letter in the mail saying that my credit score was 439. My consumer credit score is 777 however GE Capital has a computer program that pulls in information from the DMV (get your name off your kids vehicle), the people you associate with etc. I keep my cool and was not belittling when I replied… “How the heck doe GE Capital know who I associate with? I asked to speak with her supervisor or a member of the executive staff. Mandy said she would have to look up the number and asked if I would please hole. After two minutes Mandy actually hung up the phone on me. I am an outstanding member of my community! I am a CEO! I am a Chairman of an international organization!

  9. davr January 28, 2014 at 12:42PM

    I was issued a card through amazon. They issued the card withthe Visa info I gave them for my credit union card. I don’t know how they did that but they did. The made my purchases on thier Amazon store card instead of my Credit Union Visa card. They double billed me charging both my Aazon card and Credit Union Visa card. I had to make my first payment by phone ($10 $10 FEE.) THEY DIDN’T CHARGE IT TO MY ACCOUNT AND MADE ME A LATE PAYMENT FEE OF 25$. STILL DIDN’T HONOR MY PAYMENT BY PHONE. FINALLY WAS ABLE YO MAKE A PAYMENT IN FULL BY PHONE ON THE 25TH. gOt A LETTER NEXT DAY THEY HAD CaNCELLED MY ACCT. BECAUsE i DIDN’ PAY ON BY ACCT. i HAD A CREDIT SCORE OF 750 WHICH IS NOW SHOT TO HELL. AS THEIR BILL ARRIVE ONLY A FEW DAYS FROMM BILLNG DUE DATE. iSENT A CHECK FOR THE SECOND PAYMENT SIX DAYS In ADVANCE OF dUE DAT. tHEY HADN’T RECEIVED IT BY THE 10TH. i MADE ANOTHER PAYMENT BY PHONE Never do business with these crooks. Never.

  10. BEN HAD January 28, 2014 at 7:09AM

    Received Discover card at Walmart. Went into the hospital and paid my current charge card bill over the phone and got a confirmaTIon number. They said they did not receive this payment. I was sent late notices and a double bill of over $300. I also received notices immediately that my credit would be damaged that i missed a payment. I paid the double payment as I didn’t think it had cleared my account. About 6 months later I paid my bill at Walmart and got a paid receipt. I again got a letter stating I hadn’t paid my bill. Another bad credit notice going on my record. I have never been late for years with them. I talked to store manager and they said to send copy of receipt which I mailed to store. They still said I didn’t make my payment. This is the reason I was paying at the store so I could be told I didn’t make the payment or the usual scam of being late when it takes 3 weeks for them to receive and post a payment in the mail. I contacted the Attorney General’s office. So far, they have done nothing. I never was late and the interest went from 16 to 26 percent. This is horrible. I learned that I don’t have a Discover Card but a General Electric Retail Bank Card. No benefits from having a Discover card. It isn’t Discover but they pay Discover to use their name. I was not aware of this and first of all that is a SCAM……Got caught in the free interest purchase for a t.v. I got the drift and paid the t.v. off before the time period. Guess what, they didn’t apply my payment to the t.v. but new balance. I called and said I paid that t.v. off, they did correct that and take off the interest. But what about innocent people who don’t realize what happened?? And all of a sudden you have an extra $200 INTEREST FOR A $200 T.V. Why should you have to call and say you are paying on an older purchase? Look up General Electric credit…they are the company for all the stores. Penney, Lowes, Walmart, Sams, Chevron, Amazon, and dozens of others. Do not get these cards. Interest as in the bible is usary which means far above what is ethical. Tried to get a bank charge card to transfer payment and pay them off and get them off my back but the payment was refused to be transferred. Check was sent to Discover card in error, I didn’t know. at that time it wasn’t a real Discover card. You can’t get a bank charge card to pay off another bank…the bank had sent check payment to the real Discover card comany and took 9 months to straighten that out. DON’T USE GE CAPITAL, GE BANK, GE RETAIL BANK OR ANTHING WITH GENERAL ELECTRIC CREDIT. HORRIBLE SERVICE, SCAM ARTISTS, UNAVAILABLE, COLD, GREEDY COMPANY….

  11. Janice January 24, 2014 at 5:16PM

    All I can say is “Don’t try to make your payment early”! They will count it as just an extra payment and then try to charge you a late fee. A late fee for paying early! I can’t even explain to you the anger I had when the account manager told me he would forgive my payment for this month and take off the late fees but “Don’t do it again”! I can’t wait to pay off my furniture and get rid of these a$$holes and will never ever use them again!

  12. Phil January 17, 2014 at 9:15AM

    The furniture is fine, but do not use their GE capital Ashly Furniture credit card to pay off your purchase, unless you want your credit destroyed. It’s because of their incompetent credit service that I will never buy anything from them again. I made 2 payments, the first of which they recognized, but they won’t recognize that I’ve made my second payment. I only had one more payment to go until all was paid off. They billed me the following month and added a fine to my bill. I faxed them proof of my payment with several bank statements showing the transfer from my account. *** since this posting Ashly contacted me once I started making noise. I had my bank fax GE and once of their reps said the matter has been resolved. (This was the 3rd time I faxed them, they insisted they contacted my bank and they were not giving GE capital the information they needed) I made sure that my online payment that I faxed to GE had a confirmation code next to it. I called to check my updated balance recognizing my payment… it’s the same nothing has changed. They never said they found my payment or realized where the money went, just that they got my proof of payment. And that my account would be updated to reflect that payment. It never was . This nightmare has been going on since the start of December. GE captial retail is the worst Credit service I’ve ever experienced. They are flat out denying that I ever paid them even when they have been shown clear proof of my payment 3 times on multiple bank documents.. I should have built my own furniture. It would have been less aggravating.

  13. Dana January 6, 2014 at 3:20PM

    They are absolutely the worst. I have been on the phone for the past 57 minutes and am STILL on hold waiting to speak with someone…

  14. R. Marino December 30, 2013 at 6:42PM

    Retired from a bank as a credit officer for 45 years. Credit score of 750. Good six figure retirement income. No debt (mortgage, car payt, etc). Applied for ToysRUs card while Christmas shopping. Was denied for “Number of Credit” – not number of cards, or anything else. Tried to call to find out what they meant. Nightmare and a half. Had some accounts with companies who deal with them. Closed them out. Last one is Lowe’s. Love Lowe’s, disgusted with GE. That’s next. Have sent two letters. Will file complaint with Feds. Will follow up with complaint letter to corporate and aggravate the hell out of them. People who pay off their card each month typically won’t get approved because GE doesn’t make money from them. They are not a “customer service company” only a “money gouging company”. Nothing wrong with making money or a good profit through effective management, but there is something wrong with “gouging”.

  15. Vanessa December 29, 2013 at 2:54AM

    I had an open account for them for six years and endured very little problems. Honestly, paying it off (especially in full every month) consistently did help my credit over time and customer service (although most of them are overseas) is polite when you are polite to them – as I was. I was actually glad when a representative informed me once about the Card Security program which can “protect my credit” in terms of emergency and even potentially settle my debt in terms of a legit emergency.

    When I lost my job this year, I called up GE Capital Retail and took advantage of the program. I was able to pay off my debt with a low minimum balance that was worked out every month. What disappointed me, however, was I learned that the program does expire (and I’m not sure if someone didn’t tell me about this before or I just wasn’t listening to the fine print, possible) without notice and I had to make a habit of calling Ge Capital Retail Bank every month (and listening to the same phone message you state) if not paying online.I also learned that my store card was closed since I took advantage of the program which is understandable though it would have been nice if I knew this and I’m currently trying to learn information if this will just affect my future credit line at Ge Capital Retail Bank (no big deal if it does seeing as I have no intentions of opening another one for awhile or ever with them) or my future in general but after speaking with three people (including one supervisor and some kind of “specialist”), I have to wait 2-3 days for an answer. I also learned that there’s very little chance that they actually do settle your debt in terms of a legit emergency so you are pretty much responsible for the payout – thank goodness it was a small debt. When I couldn’t pay, I would get hounded with harassing phone calls at all hours of the day and I’m not even talking collections. The interest rate is atrocious. The trouble is, GE Capital Retail partners with A LOT of retail stores nowadays so I would look into who their credit card is under before you say “yes” when a sales associate asks you to sign up for one.

    Again, thankfully my debt is small.

    • Vanessa December 29, 2013 at 2:56AM

      I will also mention that they lost my payment twice while being enrolled in the program from November 2013-December 2013 and of course blamed me for it and threatened late fees. And they will still cannot answer any questions even if your account is in good standing!

      • Phil January 17, 2014 at 9:17AM

        OMG Same thing happened to me, I filed a complaint with the better business bureau. They are either a scam or completely incompetent.

      • Phil January 17, 2014 at 9:21AM

        I refuse to pay them another dime until they recognize my payment.. don’t give them another cent.

  16. debbie December 6, 2013 at 10:14AM

    I have been trying to contact GE Capital bank for 2 weeks now. The phone message says they are not available. I have been making monthly payments but it does not show on my account statement. Checks were cashed but not credited to my account. Who can I call?

    • Phil January 17, 2014 at 9:20AM

      Same thing is happening to be I have been living a nightmare. They Won’t recognize that I made a payment. I think they should be reported to the FBI better business bureau or I may call a news channel and expose them.

  17. evans November 17, 2013 at 6:36PM

    First of all if you are thinking of doing business with this company…..LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE! you will need it to speak with individuals in regards to your acct.
    second of all…be sure that you have a tough skin, you will be hung up on by individuals who do not speak fluent English, even after you have spent 20 minutes attempting to get a live operator.
    Would I open another account with GE? Hell no! and 1 CANT WAIT to pay this one off!
    Incredibly Rude service …..they truly suck!!!!

  18. Larry Cahoon October 7, 2013 at 6:55PM

    I found a bogus charge on my Dick’s Sporting Goods GECRB account and called to dispute the charge. GECRB “investigated” and claimed that I was responsible for the charge, even though the item was delivered to an address where I don’t live using a card billing address that wasn’t mine, and an email address that wasn’t mine. These dimwits could not figure out from their own investigation that this was fraud. I blistered them in two letters, filed a police report, and am awaiting the results of GECRB’s Fraud unit’s investigation. What a pack of idiots. Next action will be to file with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These sh*theads need to be shut down – they’re too stupid to handle credit accounts.

  19. No Customer Support September 30, 2013 at 6:45PM

    I used this card to pay for an ordinary purchase over the phone, (not the “issuing store”. There was a problem and the vendor agreed to give me credit, but it never came. I called to dispute the charge. After there poor customer service line experience, I explained the issue and opened a dispute.

    THEY DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING except send me a letter that I had to submit proof or they would close the case in 20 days.

    The transaction was over the phone. They had no card, no signature, no proof – but they put the burden of proof on me rather than investigate or call the vendor.

    Total BS. I don’t need to do business with a company like this.

  20. Michael O. Massey September 20, 2013 at 9:06AM

    After reading all these complaints, I thought I would give another. I applied for a GE card in SAM’S one day to purchase an HD TV. SAM’S doesn’t take AMEX (love AMEX) and so I applied for the SAM’S Discover card backed by the GE thieves and saw I had been “offered” a 26% interest rate when the card was approved. I figured with my credit I would call on Monday and get GE’s lowest rate – not a good idea. Talked with Rick on Monday and he informed me that my rate is locked in concrete, I asked him why when my credit score is excellent. He told me that the best rates were reserved for only those with outstanding credit which he said I did not have. I asked him what is GE’s version of an outstanding credit score – his response was a score of 830-850. I told him a credit score like that is impossible – my father doesn’t even have one as high as that – he hasn’t been late on a payment on anything for 50 years. Rick stated many people have a score like that – I told him to “name one” – your brother, next door neighbor, friend, significant other etc. He COULD NOT. I told him I was paying off the card and since I never activated it, would cancel it in October when the card was paid off. Rick and GE are outright thieves. GE’s business processes are designed to: frustrate consumers, make it very difficult to get any type of satisfaction, make it extremely difficult to get money returned and/or even talk to someone who will/can actually help you….and frequently their call center (I believe they have three), only one of which is in the US (South Dakota) has reps that do not speak English very well. Their entire business plan is built on the fact that they have money/clout/influence and you do not. What LOWLIFES!!!!!! DO NOT USE THESE OXYGEN THIEVES!!!!!

  21. rick bierman July 8, 2013 at 1:26PM

    These a$$clowns gave me a 3200 “credit limit” with an “available credit” amount of $130. called and tried to up the amount of “availiable credit to $600 on there stupid automated phone system and the phone just goes silent… figure that one out.

  22. Misty April 17, 2013 at 7:35AM

    This is without a doubt, the worst bank to do business with. I will neverrrrr do anything that involves GE Capital. The worst ever phone system. It has taken me as long as 25-30 minutes of total aggravation to the point of hanging up and going through customer service. They are well aware of the telephone banking system and its problems. “They are working on it”. BS FIX IT NOW!!!!

  23. JB March 5, 2013 at 11:52AM

    GECRB has the worst phone system EVER. It doesn’t understand anything you say and just transfers you around in circles. It took 38 minutes to get to a person. I actually used to work in the telephone banking area for a bank and if my product worked that badly I would have been fired.

  24. Matt Turner February 5, 2013 at 9:15AM


  25. willie shivers December 25, 2012 at 12:34PM


Leave a Comment