Thomas C. Short, President of the IATSE has issued a warning to members that current mailings which lead people to believe the union supports a Texas-based credit services company are fraudulent. At least five million people have received solicitations that give the impression of offering a credit card from the Union Workers Credit Services, which has no official ties to the IA, any union, or the AFL-CIO and does not offer a credit card.
Unions have received many calls from members about the company’s offer. The Fort Worth Better Business Bureau (FWBBB) has logged 166 complaints and thousands of inquiries.
“The initial advertising builds an expectation that goes unmet,” says John Riggins, FWBBB president, who thinks the firm is targeting people with a history of credit problems. “People think they’re getting a credit card from a company affiliated with unions, but there is no affiliation and they don’t get credit cards.”
Instead, for a $37 annual fee, consumers get a catalogue of various products and a paper card that can only be used to make purchases from the catalogue. The company also offers what it says are restaurant and travel discounts.
The finance charges incurred for paying off any balance “with conveniently low monthly payments” are not disclosed in the initial letters.
Consumers should use caution when considering any credit card offer that requires you to pay a fee before you can learn all the details of the offer.