Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kohl's Account Ease Premium

Do you have a Kohl's charge card?  Have you looked closely at your statement recently?  If not, you should.  There may be an "Account Ease Premium" being charged to your account each month.

I would guess that I have had my Kohl's card for about 4 or 5 years.  I only use it a few times per year when I need it to take advantage of some sale at Kohl's.  Last spring I saw an "Account Ease Premium" fee charged to my account. At first I thought it was a mistake, some sort of a late fee or interest fee that shouldn't be there.  I contacted Kohl's customer service to inquire about the fee and having it removed.  This was the response that I received:

The Kohl's Account Ease program will cancel your balance up to $10,000 in the event that the cardholder or another covered member loses his/her job, passes away, becomes disabled or is hospitalized. This is not an insurance program but rather a "debt cancellation program." The monthly fee for this program is $1.60 per $100 of the account's monthly ending statement balance. If you wish, you may cancel the program at anytime. Account Ease is an optional benefit and enrollment is not automatic; you must sign up for this feature at the time your account is opened. Should you wish to cancel the program at this time, please respond with your full name as it appears on your Kohl's Charge card, as well as your billing address. Once this information is provided, I will be able to take the necessary actions to have the Kohl's Account Ease removed from your account.

I responded that I had not signed up or opted in for such a service.  I had my card for years and after checking previous statements online I could confirm that the fee had never appeared before April 2010, but was now there for April & May.  The customer service representative removed the charges:

I have canceled the Kohl's Account Ease on your account and removed two months of charges pertaining to this program. A cancellation letter has been sent to your mailing address for your records.

At this point everything seemed OK.  The charges were removed and I did receive the cancellation letter in the mail.  It was an annoyance, but at this point it had been resolved, or had it?

I used my card next in early 2011 and my most recent statement had the ACCOUNT EASE PREMIUM on it once again.  I contacted them again and received another notice that the fee was removed and the service was canceled (yet again):

I apologize for the fee that was applied to your account. I have credited this fee and made sure that the Kohl's Account Ease on your account is removed. Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience.
So it is removed once again, a service that I never signed up for, and I have to wonder, 1) Will it appear again? 2) How many people are paying it and not realizing it?  The fee is small, about 1.6% of your total balance, just small enough to slide by if you aren't paying attention.

Be careful, and double check all of your charges (on all of your cards)... you never know what you might find.

Some additional information/clarification:

I had my card for many years before the Account Ease Premium showed up. When I emailed them to ask about it I specifically said "I’m sure you must have some documentation/history of when and how I opted in for this paid service that you can provide me with because it doesn’t appear that it was there when I opened my account." Do you know what they did? They ignored my request of proof and simply told me that the charges were removed and I was no longer in the program. They couldn't even tell me when or how I had signed up for it. Then after they removed it, I was signed up for it again (but when? how?). If they can't tell me how/when I supposedly signed up for it then there's a problem and it seems more like a scam than anything else.

59 comments:

  1. Thank you for this information! I just got a card for myself this year and I was about to pay my bill when I noticed the Premium charge and was like "What's this?" I'm going to have to call them now and get this fixed too. Hope it doesn't come back again for either of us. =/

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    1. Wow I just typed in Account Ease Premium and found this and boy am i glad i did. I was getting soooo frustrated when my payments never seemed to really touch my account and i have been working my ass off to get my credit cards and payments under control and have been living paycheck to paycheck becuase of it. I am IRATE and am waiting on the line right now to speak to some one and i pray they take those charges off because it has been over $25 a month that these "ease" charges have cost me. With this and interest, only 0$ to 8$ max have gone to my balance each month. SICKENING! THank you guys so much for posting about this so i can try to do something about it as well. I just want to cry with the money ive put into this and now realized they have been chargin these outrageous premiums that i NEVER signed up for.

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    2. I had just noticed this account ease premium on my Kohl's account. I had been paying it not noticing it because I do not use it much. I will not be using there card in the future either. I paid off the balance and cut up the card. If you want to see all the ways credit cards and other things are ripping you off, check out Dave Ramsey. You will be amazed at how much money you could save.

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  2. You're welcome and good luck with your account as well! I did not see it appear again on my most recent statement, but I will continue to look closely at my statements :)

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  3. Almost 200 people have found this post through Google since I posted it. It's clear that Kohl's is doing this to a lot of people, but the good thing is that people are noticing!

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    1. I cannot thank you enough for this information! I just called and they cancelled it on my bill and refunded me the difference they owed me since 2009. Granted my fault for not noticing it sooner but I did not sign up for this with the card. I did get the card at the register at Kohls and was never told about this but it is in the paperwork. Thanks again. I will watch closer from now on.

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    2. My situation is similar, since 2010 I have been charged this fee. I am currently fighting with them as I just google'd what this fee was & found this blog. I think they don't give a description or explanation on their website for a reason. They are actually trying to scam people. I am very disappointed.

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    3. Thanks for the sharing this. my bad, I didnt realise for a while and its been deducted. Let me call and cancel this. Really helpful post. Thanks

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  4. I am REALLY upset over the 91 cent charge I got this month!!

    Do this to twenty million customers and that is more than $$** 18 million dollars **$$. And I only had a $56 purchase!! Really cool SCAM. We NEVER...I repeat NEVER sign up for duplicate insurance like this. I know that we would have skipped checking that box (if there even is such a thing) on our original charge application. This is charged regardless of whether the balance if paid off in full whenever we get an invoice I guess.

    Melika said that people are noticing...but I think the three of us out of twenty million card customers does not make even a tiny dent!! I got the 20,000,000 cardholder figure from Kohl's quarterly SEC filing with the US Government. Form 10-Q/A filed September 12, 2011.

    Quote from that public filing:

    On April 1, 2011, Capital One, National Association ("Capital One") acquired the right, title and interest in approximately 20 million proprietary Kohl's credit card accounts and the outstanding balances associated with these accounts from Chase Bank USA, National Association ("Chase"). Transfer of these accounts marked the commencement of the seven-year private label credit card program agreement with Capital One which we entered into on August 11, 2010.

    Google kohls sec filing to find it yourself.

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  5. Hi MountainMan41, thanks for checking out my blog and leaving a comment :-)

    Just to clarify my comment on the number of people viewing this blog post, it far exceeds the number of people who comment on it. Almost none of my visitors leave comments which is slightly sad for me.

    This post is the most popular topic on my blog and I can see from the statistics that nearly 300 people made it to my blog via a search engine looking for some form of "Kohl's Account Ease Premium". There are multiple people per day reaching my blog that way. It surely is a small dent out of 20,000,000 cardholders, but I would assume that many people are calling/contacting Kohl's directly about the charge or not clicking on my blog for answers.

    If multiple people per day make it to my blog for this, they must be contacted by many more upset cardholders on a daily basis. I hope that word gets around and people start calling Kohl's out on this ridiculous scam.

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  6. Sorry, Melika, I did realize that more than three people viewed you blog. I assume you have a traffic counter such as StatCounter and know quite accurately the number of visits to a page but I would know that the number of commenters would not be the number of viewers. Still if you do the math there is very little difference between 3/20,000,000 and 300/20,000,000. However the percentage is not really important. What IS great is that your blog being viewed that many times is SUPER! You have helped at least 300 people know that they are being scammed and hopefully do something about it.

    Since I wrote my first comment, I sent an email to Kohl's customer service. I am afraid I was not very nice about it. The first response was polite and ignored the tirade part of my letter to them.

    What I found really hilarious was that in their first response to me they "corrected" my naming that fee an "insurance." A direct quote on their email response: "This is not an insurance program, but rather, a 'debt cancellation program." To which I responded, "What else do you call a fee that you pay now so that in case something happens to you later the person to whom you have paid that fee then pays you some amount." I continued that "I have a debt cancellation program that pays off my mortgage if I become incapacitated or dead; I call it mortgage insurance." I also named a bunch of other insurance programs that people use and all are ultimately called "insurance." I also admitted that I really did not have mortgage insurance or any other kind except auto, home, and life.

    I was also asked for my home address so she could verify who I was and after sending that I got a second letter saying that my $4.44 had been credited to my account and that the "Account Ease" had been cancelled for my account. I hope it does not show up again. But now I know to be on the lookout for it.

    After I found that 91 cent charge and then found your blog I looked back and the only other invoice I found available on line was for our January statement and it had a similar charge on a larger purchase so the premium on that invoice was $3.53. It angers me not only that they sign people up for this without their knowledge, but also that they make the charge even though the invoice was paid off in full the month it was received so there never was a rollover of charge from month to month.

    I for one am very glad to have found your blog. It confirmed to me that I needed to confront Kohl's. And ultimately they reversed the two charges and one of them went back 9 months to January of this year.

    The problem is that they can cheerfully give back the money to those who complain and STILL make multi-millions every month on those that don't notice the charge or fail to do something about it to get it back and have the silly fee stopped for the future.

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  7. Thank you for posting this! I just noticed this today, and was able to call and cancel it.

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  8. I just opened my account summary from my Black Friday extravaganza at Kohl's, and noticed this "account ease premium". Not significant amount, but $2.85 that I'd rather not give away.

    I called my mother & sister, and neither one had noticed it on their invoices at first glance. Sure enough though, it's there. And none of us had enrolled!! On hold now at the 800- number to get this removed. Thanks for posting the info.

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    1. They are very sneaky with the enrollment. I was really angry when they made it sound like I intentionally opted in at some point - I know I didn't and it doesn't sound like anyone else did. Glad this was able to help out you and your family.

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  9. I just looked and they have been charging me 49.00 a month for this! I am on the phone right now with them. thanks so much!

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  10. First I have noticed this charge as well. This is nothing that I ever opted into, but upon activation of my new MPC card that I received it was supposedly turned on without me opting out. I'll pay the $9.54 this month (none to happy about that), but am glad that I caught it before this went months without me noticing it.

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  11. I just got my statement from Kohls and saw the charge for "Account Ease Premium" I tried to look it up on their FAQ section but nothing there on it. I found your blog from doing a search on yahoo.
    I can't believe they get away with this. Its almost a $40.00 charge on my statement!!! I wonder how long I've been paying it. My balance really got up there from using it at Christmas so this charge was a lot and brought it to my attention...
    I will be contacting them and have them reimburse me ANY and all charges for this ridiculous thing. Thanks again for posting on this subject!!

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  12. Thanks for the comments everyone - sorry I have been slacking on my blog lately and didn't see the comments earlier. It's great when I see people getting useful information from this post - and knowing that other people are catching on to this scam!

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  13. Thank you for this! I checked my bill and also saw the Account Ease Premium charge for my most current statement. A call to customer service (with a piece of my mind) corrected this. But, I will be watching closely at future statements.

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  14. I as well saw this recently on my statement and called and had it removed but who knows how long ive been paying this.Could be hundreds of $ that ive paid,gonna call tommorrow to see if i can be reimbursed for this crap...........

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    1. It's amazing how many people are getting scammed by this. I've had about 1,500 visitors to this post from search engines at this point, so I think more & more people are noticing it on their statements and investigating what it is.

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  15. It is unbelievable that anyone could have this much trouble with Kohl's credit card. I signed up 12/10 for this at the register, somehow I got account ease on my account. When I called about it several months later they said we will take it off. "I asked for the back premiums to be credited to my account. They sent a letter saying we will give you two months premium and that is it sending my a copy of prof of my initials next to account ease.I explained that the cashier said the initials were to authorize Kohl's terms, not at anytime did they say or give information on account ease,because it is in the terms that all of us never read. So the final offer was to go back eight months and credit my account. I find this to be fair enough as I'm to blame for not catching it in the beginning.

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  16. Thank you Kohls I love finding strange charges on my accounts and having to investigate who is having me this time.

    Well time to make another phone call...

    Thank you for making it easier since I know know what to ask them about. :-)

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  17. Hi Melika.

    I am representing a customer who was similarly scammed by Kohl's and we may be filing a class action lawsuit against the Company. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you and others about your experience as part of the case and our investigation. We hope to put an end to this scam! There is strength in numbers!
    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Angela Edwards, Esq.
    Law Office of Angela Edwards
    East Longmeadow, MA 01028
    (413) 525-3820
    angelaedwards@charter.net


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  18. This is INSANE! I also just noticed this. Same story - They claim I opted in whe in fact I did not. I have had my Kohl's Charge for many years and they say they started charging me 10 months ago for this. I asked the rep at what point did I opt in for this and she said she did not know. She reversed the charge only for the past 2 months and put in a request to have the rest "reviewed" internally. If there is a class action suit - I am in!!! I am irrate over this. I've been a good customer of theirs for years and never would have thought they would pull something like this. Thanks for the post. Angela, I'm sending you a note about this!

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  19. Thanks for this, I look closely at my credit card statements and nioticed this fee. When I was at kohls the manager had no idea what the fee meant, she said I had to call customer service. So as I write this I have been on the phone for over 30 minutes to cancel this charge. Not ok, thanks for your info on what charge meant. I may cancel card after waiting so long on the darn phone.
    Nicole

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  20. If anyone would like to become involved in the potential class action case, please contact me direct. Thank you!

    Angela Edwards, Esq.
    Law Office of Angela Edwards
    East Longmeadow, MA 01028
    (413) 525-3820
    angelaedwards@charter.net


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  21. Kohls has been overcharging me on things that I shouldn't have been paying. Right now, I suddenly owed them when I paid them in full. I'm going to cancel them and will never visit their store.

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  22. I also had my account for several years before this account ease premium showed up. I didn't cancel it and I became disabled so I called to use this benefit that I had been paying for. They gave me the runaround and came up with all kinds of reasons why I couldn't use this so called benefit. So beware if you ever try to use it they make sure that will not happen. In contrast I have a Sears card and I really did sign up for their Account Care program and they actually have paid my bill from the time that I became disabled they have been extremely helpful and courteous. Not so with the Kohl's Account Ease. So the "Kohl's Account Ease" is just a way that they get extra money from customers without their knowledge and when you make a claim, they will not pay any benefits that you are entitled to. I have tried twice and have been given two different excuses why they say I don't qualify for the benefit I have paid for !!

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    1. Hi Sherry.

      I am investigating into filing a class action lawsuit against Kohl's regarding their "account ease" plan and failure to pay out on disability claims, as also for charging cardholders who did not sign up for the plan.

      I welcome the opportunity to speak with you and all others about the particulars of your cases.

      Melika, please call me as well!

      I can be reached at (413) 525-3820 angelaedwards@charter.net and look forward to hearing from you.

      Best,

      Angela Edwards
      Law Office of Angela Edwards
      East Longmeadow, MA 01028
      (413) 525-3820
      angelaedwards@charter.net


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      Delete
    2. Sherry, thanks for your comment. That is definitely a bad experience and it isn't acceptable for them to deny you the benefits of the service that you have been paying for.

      Delete
  23. This is ridiculous!!! I have been charged over $100 in fees and never signed up for any of this. What's even funnier is why did I have to come to google to find out about the fee and could not find out about what a account ease fee was anywhere on the Kohls site? This is for sure a scam and I can not wait till the morning because I will definantly call and want all my money returned. They are stealing from people. I do read things I sign and not one time did I see anything about this fee when I signed up for this card and like I said if they weren't trying to hide anything than why shouldn't you be able to find out about the fee on their site. I'm furious and thank you for posting this because I would have never known what this fee was otherwise.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you found the information to be useful.

      I found information about the charge on their "paper" application:

      http://www.kohlscorporation.com/chargecard/Apps/POSAPP091406.pdf

      I don't believe any of this showed up when I signed up for my card via the credit card terminal at the register. I know since the Account Ease Premium didn't appear on my card from the beginning that I didn't accidentally sign up for it while opening the account - they added it to my account twice and could never tell me how/when I signed up for it so I am convinced that it was added to my account (and others) at random times and they hoped we wouldn't notice.

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  24. Ugh i wondered why my bill was suddenly so high I was charged $35.00 this month alone, I will be calling them in the morning. I'm trying to pay this card off because the interest is so high and now I get this charge and who knows how long I have been being extorted as I went paperless and I forgot my password so they won't let me on my acct. Thanks for writing this blog, I'm going back to paper statements!

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  25. Wow! Thank you for bringing it up. I am writing a blog piece about their Kohl's Cash. Kohl's is becoming a horrible company! They use our trust and totally betray it!

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  26. Thanks to all of you for posting and replying about this. I just now saw this charge on my bill and got PISSED! It took me a second to know for sure this had nothing to do with money going to my balance. The charge is equal to my monthly interest! I bought my boyfriend $700 dollars of new clothes and he's been going to kohls every month to pay at least the minimum 25$. Now I see our bill is going up somehow. Monthly payments of $25 minus monthly charges of $25.95 equals my balance being raised a dollar every month even while making payments! Absolutely f'n rediculous. It is 2 am here or I would be on the phone right now. I have no idea how long this has been going on and I can't wait to tell all my friends and family who I'm sure have NO idea what they are paying.
    You are right Debbie they do gain our trust and we love them with their early bird specials and kohls cash my bf can't believe how much clothes he can buy for the price so $700 later we realize that is a fake price so they can double their money later. I am going to get these fees reversed and I'm transferring the balance so they will receive not one more cent from me!
    I am disappointed and disgusted with you Kohls! :(

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  27. I just called to find out what this outrageous fee on my statement was. And, of course got the same runaround "I apologize and will credit you two months". I asked how long was I being charged this fee and he said as far back he can go is January 2012, and I was being charged then. I have been a loyal customer of Kohls since 2007! This is ridiculous! I am calling the corporate office on Monday and demanding past statements. If they have been charging me this, they will be paying!

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  28. Hi Natalie. We may be filing a class action lawsuit on this and I welcome the opportunity to speak with you. There is no financial obligation. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best,

    Angela Edwards
    Law Office of Angela Edwards
    East Longmeadow, MA 01028
    (413) 525-3820
    angelaedwards@charter.net


    ADVERTISEMENT

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  29. I was just verifying my statements and try to understand what "ACCOUNT EASE PREMIUM" program is. When i googled it i found this blog. I called the 800 number and removed the "ACCOUNT EASE PREMIUM" from my account.I hope this will not show up in my future statements.Thanks a lot information!!!

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  30. Thank you for this information. I just sent this email to Kohl's:

    What is this account ease premium? I do not believe I signed up for that service. If I did please send me the documentation showing me when and where I signed up for it. If there is no such proof then I am requesting that these charges be credited back to my account to the date that I opened the account immediately.

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  31. Can anyone find the language in the online cardholder agreement for "ACCOUNT EASE PREMIUM" ?? I cannot.

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  32. thanks for the info, its crazy that the company doesn't even mention "account ease" on their website. I'm tired of CC companies pulling weird S&+% on accounts. Discover Card was doing some creative accounting like this with me in the past, so I cancelled that. Kohls is my only (soon to be paid off and cancelled) card now.
    My advice to anyone with high debt for this or any card: Get a low interest personal loan with your local credit union bank. They may tell you to cancel your card as a condition of the loan, but five years later I'm credit card free (besides Kohls). You don't start to realize how rich you AIN'T until everything you buy is from your paycheck and not credit. Its a totally new lifestyle but a less stressful one!

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  33. I just found this on my current statement and according to customer service it was added to my account randomly in April 2012. I've also been a card holder since 2007 and was never asked about this program. Since last year I have been charged over $250 in monthly fees for the "Account Ease Premium". The customer service rep that handled me is "making a note" to request all of the fees be refunded, but we will see what happens. I was instructed to continue to check my account online and if no refunds have been made to call them back again in a couple of weeks.

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  34. I came across this blog about 3 months ago and I began emailing Kohl's about it. Of course the response was you had to agree to it or we wouldn't have enrolled you in the program. Well, I persisted and continued to stand my ground that if I had agreed to it, then prove it or refund it. After 3 months today I got a letter in the mail from Kohl's and after investigating this matter we have decided to credit your account $952.60!!! Talk about being a squeaky wheel!!! Thank you all!

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    1. Wow, almost $1,000! Glad to hear you got the credit. Persistence pays off. :-)

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    2. Hello Carolyn - I would also like to try the email route - the phone call route didn't get me past gettting refunded the past two months...however, I can't find an email link? do you happen to have it still?

      Delete
  35. March 6, 2013. I googled account ease premium b/c I have this charge too and found this blog post. What a scam and obviously from the date you wrote this and today...one that is never ending!!!!
    Laurie

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  36. Thank you so much for this information! They started charging me two months ago and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was. We'll see if they actually take the charges off and reimburse me for previous charges. Thanks again!

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  37. Thank you for this post.
    I feel like a fool because I missed it all last year.
    Online bill paying is not as great as it sounds sometimes.

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  38. It's been over 30 days since I first called Kohls to have the 'account ease" cancelled, and to have every penny refunded. Keep getting the run around. Pretty discouraging. First it was 3-5 days, then 7-10 days, then, "oh the whole process takes about 30 days". I've been a nice guy to this point but after this weekend all of that is over. I will update this board if any thing specific seems to work.

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  39. I noticed this a few weeks back, it has been a month since I contacted them and every time they send a letter saying this is being investigated. I have asked them to refund everything that they have charged me so far, and since they are claiming I signed up for this (I am absolutely sure I never did), I have asked them to show me the proof that I did sign up. Will update the thread once I get a resolution.

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  40. I cancelled this back in 2010. They did the same to me and started charging me again, who knows when. Never thought to check up on them as I haven't used my card since 2011. Finally got irritated that my balance kept increasing and found this on my pdf statement.

    When I called today, the CS rep didn't sound surprised at all. I will be closing this account once the refund appears.

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  41. I went through this over the summer and it took almost 2 full months to get to resolved, but I got my refund of about $1,200. My advice: Don't give up, do all interactions by email, and demand proof that you signed up. Finally, check your bill every month carefully as this scam might happen to you again. Good luck!

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  42. Thanks for this, surely this is a great help.

    Check this out too:
    Medisoft Software

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  43. I spoke to a rep on yesterday after opening my current monthly statement and seeing this charge. I went through all my statements, back to January of this year (as far as it would allow me to go), and saw that I was being charged every month. I called Kohl's and spoke to one rep, he put in a dispute of the charges for me. After hanging up with him, I wanted to double check and I called again. This time I got a rep that got up and went over her supervisor and manager and spoke to the "head" of her department. She told me that I will be credited back all of those charges from the very beginning of my account. She said that they HAVE to do reimburse me for those charges. I asked her to make sure to notate my account (I asked for a written letter by mail, but she said she was unable to) and I wrote down her name just in case something doesn't work out. Please call Kohl's and get your money back! I will update in about a month or so. She said I should receive a letter indicating the credit.

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  44. I threatened them with legal action.....and they have credited my account with almost $2000.......they had been taking this payment since 2005......it is worth being persistent.

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