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Research report
12 May 2020

Why interest-free deals can be expensive

Hidden fees can hike up the price of interest-free offers.

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Ann T.
06 Mar 2021
Gem Visa Rip Off

We bought a TV and sound bar from Noel Leeming who use Gem Visa as the portal for interest free payments. The items have long since been paid off but it appears there is no way of cancelling the Gem Visa card and for two years in a row I have been charged $52 just for having it and had to pay a late charge when I missed paying it last year (I didn't even open the email as I thought it was marketing spam). It's easy to get sucked in but impossible to break free!

Susan B.
28 Sep 2020
GEM Visa make lodging a query or resolving a problem impossible

In 2018 we bought a TV from Harvey Norman Moorhouse Ave on 60 months interest free. A direct debit was set up and for 2 years the agreement has proceeded without issues. Then in May 2020 a surprise late payment fee of $19.00 appeared on the account - we scratched our heads because how could there have been a late payment when it’s all paid via DD from our account? So we did what a normal person would do, we rang GEM - on a number of occasions but after an average of wait times that exceeded 30 minutes we switched to their web based site and lodged 2 separate written complaints.
Result? No response at all from GEM - well actually not ‘No’ response, they did send another bill with even more charges added!
GEM (we’re assuming they’re still GE Money) and Visa are global financial institutions that have to have effective and responsive avenues that people ‘lending’ from them can use to ensure the management and resolution of queries and disputes.
We can’t find a way to get a response from GEM Visa and that would seem to be in breach of what is required of them by legislation - has anyone else encountered this stonewall and equally, has anyone a winning strategy to get them to respond?