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      Thursday, March 03, 2011

10:29 AM - 03/03/2011
The current weather is cloudy and lukewarm...not warm, but more like lukecool
I'm "are you serious?"

The topic: Credit cards


For those of you who've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember my high frustration level with the Citibank Corp credit card we have. And how I declared that we wouldn't be using it.

Well, we haven’t.  Not since 2008.  Yay us!  Back in 2009 they sent us a letter stating that there was a problem with some accounts having been compromised and that we’d be getting new cards and a new account number.  I wasn’t concerned because we weren’t using them.

Fast forward to last month.  In my email was something I’d not seen in over a year.  A message from Citibank that my statement was ready. What statement?  I go to check it out. Great, I can’t access it, the number changed. I signed up with the new card (circa 2009) card. See a balance of $150.81. WTF?  A charge on 1/10/2011 “REVERSE ATTM” with some numbers after it. I do some googling and it looks like this came from ATT. But I know damned well I didn’t make it.  This card had NEVER been used, I’d never even activated it. I never used it online for anything.

So, I call.  Explain that I hadn’t used the card, what is this charge? Well, it looked like something AT&T did. Okay.  They’d check into it.  I print the page (good thing, you’ll see why). The following week, I still hadn’t heard back so I called again. Was told “I’ll put in a dispute for the charge, close this account and set up a new one”.  The next day, when we were walking, when we got home, Citibank had called and left a message.  It was the first person I’d spoken to, she said that it was something they’d done and she didn’t know why, but that it should be resolved on their end. Basically, don’t worry about it.

So, I didn’t.  Two weeks later, the new cards have arrived, the charge is now on the new account. Why?  So, I call this morning. First call I’m speaking so someone in disputes and he does some deeper research for me. The charge came from AT&T.  It originally went onto the card I had before the card I had before the card I got last month.  Okay, to make it simple.  I quit using card #1 back in 2008. Account hacked (which they notified me about, I didn’t notify them), they send me card #2 in early 2009.  A new charge shows up on card #2 that I didn’t make, I call, they research, nothing changes, I call again, they close that account and send me card #3. So, this charge originally went onto card #1. It happened back in 2009, but he can’t tell me a date since his system doesn’t go back that far.  The charge was made from AT&T Mobile, the Citibank system caught it as fraud and didn’t pay it.  And now, somehow, it was reversed (paid to AT&T, in other words) and put back onto card #2. He said “you’ll have to call AT&T to get more information”. 

I say thanks and hang up. Stare at the phone.  I pull out all of the AT&T invoices.  They’re paid via automatic withdrawal. I don’t use the credit cards to pay utility bills. I would have used a credit card when we upgraded our phones, but I wouldn’t have used the Citibank, since I didn’t want to be charged that huge interest amount. I’ve got files all over my desk.  On top of it all, I have the copy of the Citibank statement.  I call AT&T.  I didn’t enter my phone number so I didn’t have to listen to the menu, I was put right through to an agent.  She went back through all of the payments we made in 2009 (I already had the stack of statements on my desk). There was nothing for $150.81. She went back to 2008.  Found where we upgraded a phone, the charge was $149.99.  She said “with tax..” and I replied “where would sales tax be less than a dollar?”  Then she asked “could you tell me exactly what it says on the statement?”  This is where I was glad I’d taken the copy, since the new online account doesn’t show what was on the old statement (card #2), they zeroed out the old statement and transferred the balance due to the new account (card #3).  I tell her “REVERSE ATTM” then she asked if there was an account number.  I read off the numbers following the ATTM.  She plugs that into her computer.  Guess what?  She asked if I knew Milan M.  For privacy issues, she can’t give me a last name.  I said “no, never heard of that person”.  She said what’s strange is the charge just now showing up on my account. But now I KNOW 100% for sure that I didn’t make this charge. Not that I doubted it, but now I’ve got ammo for Citibank.

I get her name, thank her for her time and call Citibank. Second time this morning. This time it’s a heavily accented woman. NOOOOO!!!! shuteye 

My frustration level is getting high at this point, please don’t make me speak with someone who will have a hard time with me getting motormouthed (which happens when I get excited, I start talking really, really fast).  I tell her I want to speak to the dispute department.  She said she had to ask me some questions, since the card number I gave her wasn’t a good one.  How could that be? It’s a new card!  I realized at that point that I’d put the wrong card through the shredder.  But the first person helped me, what was this woman’s problem?  So, we’re doing the back and forth and my phone went wiggy. I could hear someone else talking, my phone was cutting out and then I just heard a loud beeeeep.  I picked up the corded extension, same thing.  Phone company must be working on the lines (they do that a lot).  After finding my printed page (after having gotten to the root of the problem with AT&T, I had started putting all of the paperwork back where it belonged: two years of AT&T invoices and credit card statements from 2008 and 2009), I called Citibank again. This time, when the phone was answered, there was no accent and I explained the situation and was put right through to the dispute division.

And I think it’s done. She said that having this charge put back on the account after all this time made no sense to her, either and that she was going to have to turn it over to the security division so they could more deeply research it. But it’s settled that it’s not something that I owe.  This took over two hours of my time this morning.  What a PITA.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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