The arduous saga of applying for a Google Store credit account

By | April 23, 2021

I have been trying for three months to open a @AskSynchrony account for the @Google store. It has been an unmitigated disaster every step of the way. It boggles the mind that Google has chosen such a terrible partner for providing this service.

For background, I have never been a victim of identity theft, I have a high income, I’ve lived at the same address for >23 years, and I have a great credit score (currently nearly 800, and below 800 only because I’m carrying a balance on one card for a 0%-interest deal).

I also keep my credit reports locked/frozen except when applying for credit. That shouldn’t have mattered in this case, because I unlocked them before applying to Synchrony, but more on that below.

The first time I applied online, it told me it couldn’t approve my application immediately but did not give a reason. It said I would receive an explanation in the mail in 7-10 business days. It took nearly a month.

Part of the application process involves them sending a text with a link you have to click on to verify your cell phone number. If you click that link on the computer where you’re applying instead of your phone (which I did) it breaks the application process. This is stupid.

The letter from Synchrony said they couldn’t approve my application was because my SageStream credit report was locked. This was news to me; I’d never even heard of SageStream, let alone locked my SageStream report. Thread about this:

SageStream itself is a customer service and #infosec disaster, so frankly Synchrony shouldn’t be using them and Google shouldn’t be partnering with a company that uses them. But after a month of effort, I finally managed to get my SageStream report unlocked and applied again.

Again I wasn’t approved immediately; nearly a month later, I got two letters from Synchrony the same day. One said I had to go to the bank and get an identity affidavit signed by a notary, and another said I had to call and provide additional information for my application.

Calling was obviously easier, especially during a pandemic, so I tried that first. They sent me to an identity verification website which captured a selfie video and photos of my driver’s license and gave me a passcode and number to call to continue the process.

I called that number and gave them the passcode, and then, only then, was my application finally approved.
They claim I’ll receive my card in the mail “in 7-10 business days,” but I’m betting it’s going to take another month.

I have applied for credit many times over the years, and this was by far the most absurdly comical and obstructive process I’ve ever experienced.

For a company (Google) which is synonymous with the internet to put people through this much grief just to get a store credit account is ridiculous. And let me stress once again: there is *nothing in my credit profile* to justify this.

Originally tweeted by (((Jonathan Kamens))) (@jikamens) on April 23, 2021.

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