Who is Synchrony Bank?
Synchrony Bank offers consumer credit through a variety of retailers and banks. Synchrony Financial’s in-house collections and billing departments have received a number of consumer complaints alleging financial crimes. If you have been contacted by Synchrony Financial or Synchrony Bank, make sure you know your rights before responding.
According to Buzzfile, Synchrony Financial was founded in 2013 in Stamford, CT and generates an annual revenue estimated at $13.6 billion. According to its website, Synchrony’s “roots in consumer finance trace back to 1932.” The Better Business Bureau (BBB) confirms 1932 as the founding date of Synchrony Bank in Kettering, OH. Alternate business names for Synchrony Bank include Care Credit, PayPal Smart Connect, PayPal Extras MasterCard, and Retail Finance International Holdings, Inc.
Synchrony Financial provides “a range of credit products through programs…with a diverse group of national and regional retailers, local merchants, manufacturers, buying groups, industry associations and healthcare service providers to help generate growth for [their] partners and offer financial flexibility to…customers.”
Synchrony offers consumer credit services in three areas. Their consumer credit department offers credit cards specifically tailored to meet the needs and preferences of shoppers and consumers. Site visitors can apply for retail credit directly on the Synchrony Financial site by selecting a shopping category and applying to one of Synchrony’s credit programs to complete the purchase. Their CareCredit program allows consumers to use credit to pay for cosmetic surgery, dentistry, hearing, vision, and even veterinary services. Finally, they offer a variety of investment and savings accounts ranging from high yield savings to IRA money market investment accounts.
For businesses, Synchrony offers credit card programs tailored to meet the marketing needs of specific retailers, including installment loan programs; Synchrony Connect, a proprietary financial consulting and investing service; loyalty programs that offer subsidized marketing and advertising services; and financial servicing options for healthcare providers who chose to enroll in CareCredit.
Complaints against Synchrony Bank
Since March 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has logged over 3,100 complaints against Synchrony Financial, ranging from billing disputes to marketing and advertising complaints to problems with communication tactics. The BBB’s profile page for Synchrony Bank lists 4,819 complaints closed in the past three years, with 1,397 closed in the past 12 months. Most of these complaints were about billing and collection issues, but also included complaints about advertising and customer service. Of the 865 customer reviews, 815 are negative. Justia lists at least 35 cases of civil litigation that name Synchrony Financial as a defendant.
Sample Case against Synchrony Bank
In 2016, in United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, a plaintiff filed a complaint against Synchrony Bank alleging that Synchrony’s financial activities in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) constituted defamation of character. The plaintiff underwent a surgical operation and claimed that a line of credit was “improperly opened in his name” to pay for the operation. Synchrony Bank subsequently reported negative information about account repayment to the credit reporting agencies, which the plaintiff argues was sufficiently negative and inaccurate to rise to the level of defamation. Synchrony cited a provision of the FCRA that states, “no consumer may bring any action or proceeding in the nature of defamation…against…any person who furnishes information to a consumer reporting agency.”
Despite a second similar FCRA provision, the judge noted conflicts among interpretations of applicable state and federal laws. He also noted the plaintiff’s insistence that Synchrony’s “false reports and furnishings of information to the effect that Plaintiff owed money was done with malicious intent, that intent specifically being to coerce Plaintiff to pay money he did not owe.” Although Synchrony objected that the plaintiff had not offered evidence of malicious intent, their objection was raised too late for the judge to have considered it in his reply. As a result, Synchrony’s motion to dismiss the charges based on the FCRA provisions was dismissed.
Press Releases of Lawsuits Brought On By Lemberg Law Against Synchrony Bank
June 16, 2017. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, Western District of New York. The case, against Synchrony Bank (formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank), charges the bank with violating federal law. It asks for $500 to $1,500 per call in Telephone Consumer Protection Act statutory damages and other relief.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act was written and its rules were promulgated to ensure that consumers aren’t harassed by unwanted phone calls. Yet our client says that Synchrony Bank called her cell phone using an automatic telephone dialing system and/or using a prerecorded message. She says that Synchrony Bank left prerecorded messages instructing her to visit their website. She emailed the customer service department at Synchrony Bank and asked them to stop calling her cell phone, yet they continued to robocall her.
The lawsuit charges that Synchrony Bank violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by using an ATDS and by using a prerecorded voice to call our client’s cell phone without her consent.
May 31, 2017. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut. The case, against Synchrony Bank (formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank), charges the bank with violating federal law. It asks for $500 to $1,500 per call in statutory damages and other relief.
Robocalls are annoying, irritating, maddening, and every other synonym you can think of. Our phones are our personal possessions, and we should get to choose who calls us. That is one of the reasons the Telephone Consumer Protection Act was signed into law – to protect consumers from unwanted calls.
Our client says that Synchrony Bank robocalled her cell phone without her consent. She knew it was a robocall because, when she answered, she heard ringing until she was transferred to a live agent. That is one of the hallmarks of a predictive dialer, which is an automatic telephone dialing system under the TCPA. Our client asked Synchrony Bank to stop calling her cell phone, but they kept robocalling nonetheless.
The lawsuit charges that Synchrony Bank violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by using a predictive dialer to call our client’s cell phone without her consent.
May 3, 2017. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida. The case, against Synchrony Bank (formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank), charges the bank with violating federal law. It asks for $500 to $1,500 per call in TCPA statutory damages plus other relief.
Robocalls are bothersome. Cell phone robocalls can be expensive, annoying, and even illegal. Our client alleges that Synchrony Bank called his cell phone using an automatic telephone dialing system and/or using an artificial or prerecorded voice. These are the hallmarks of robocalls. When our client answered the calls from Synchrony Bank, he said that he heard a prerecorded message regarding his account. A few weeks after receiving the first call, our client says that he told Synchrony Bank that he was making partial payments, and that he requested that all calls to his cell phone stop. Nevertheless, Synchrony Bank continued to robocall our client’s cell phone.
The lawsuit charges that robocalls violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by using an ATDS and by using a prerecorded voice to call our client’s cell phone without his consent.
Synchrony Bank Contact Information
777 Long Ridge Rd
Stamford, CT 06902
Understanding Your Debt Collection Rights
Federal consumer protection laws are designed to protect consumers from unethical business practices. For example, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulate the way in which collection agencies can conduct business. The FDCPA’s provisions prohibit the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt. The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The complaint above illustrates how consumers can assert their rights when financial services companies overstep their bounds.
These laws also provide individuals with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For instance, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs. If you believe your rights have been violated, seeking legal assistance can help you find the relief you may be entitled to.
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