Providian asked for data related to billing problem (...set aside $20 million to cover refunds after it blamed a computer glitch...) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Providian asked for data related to billing probe 10:04 a.m. Nov 08, 1999 Eastern

SAN FRANCISCO, (Reuters) - Providian Financial Corp. said Monday the Connecticut attorney general has asked for information related to a civil investigation into the credit card company's card-issuing and billing practices.

Providian, a leading credit card issuer which is already in talks with the San Francisco district attorney's office to settle allegations it overcharged thousands of clients for late fees, said it received the request from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal late Friday and was prepared to defend itself.

``We have confidence in the integrity of our business practices and are prepared to defend them,'' Providian Chief Public Policy Officer Konrad Alt said. ``We are optimistic that Attorney General Blumenthal will recognize the impressive strides Providian has already made toward achieving that objective. Naturally, we hope to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.''

In May, Providian's stock fell about 30 percent after the San Francisco district attorney's office announced it was investigating the company for unfair and deceptive business practices, after hundreds of customer complaints.

Lawyers for Providian customers have filed over a dozen lawsuits against the company, many of which criticized its alleged policy of charging $29 late fees on payments that they said had arrived on time.

Providian moved to addess some of the complaints against it in July when it said it would set aside $20 million to cover refunds after it blamed a computer glitch for millions of dollars in improper late-payments charges against hundrdeds of thousands of customers.

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-- Homer Beanfang (, November 08, 1999

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