Today I received a Citi credit card bill with the second late fee in two months. The first late fee was definitely my fault, but I sent the second payment in 4 days before the due date. So I called customer service to complain.
The first guy I talked to said there was nothing he could do, because my account “didn’t qualify” for a refund of a late fee. I asked what account DID qualify, and all he could say was that he didn’t know — he could only do what the computer system said he could do. Then he hurriedly signed off.
Five minutes later — after applying for an REI Visa card — I called back and got a different person. I started by saying that I was calling to cancel my credit card. When the guy asked why, I said, “Because I’m pissed that I was charged a late fee when I made an effort to send my payment on time.”
The call was transferred to another person. The new guy said that he would put in a request for my late fee to be credited to my account. He couldn’t guarantee anything, but he also asked my permission to sign my account up for a special offer of 1500 Member Reward points if I charged at least $300 to my card in the next month. In a skeptical tone, I asked, “And you’re asking because…?” He reassured me that there were no fees involved, but he still had to ask my permission. “OK,” I said, thinking, “I don’t care about your fucking reward points, anyway. If you think this is softening me up, think again.” He achieved his objective, though (at least in the short run): I didn’t close the account after all.
After that call, I decided to look into the option of paying online (something the very first person mentioned) by creating an account on Citicards.com. The first step was creating a user ID. I chose “jdawley”. It was taken. OK. I tried “janicedawley”. It was also taken. Say what? There just aren’t that many Janice Dawleys in the world — did I create an account and forget? I tried to log in with one of my usual passwords. It worked, except the card that came up was a closed account with AT&T Universal.
Well… I have had a series of AT&T Universal cards, and I knew that they were acquired by Citi, so this sort of made sense. I tried to add my Citi card to the login account. A message popped up saying, “Sorry, but you must register this card at Citicards.com.” Except of course, when I went there and logged in, it just brought me back to the AT&T Universal account page… The inescapable conclusion was that, even though Citi bought AT&T’s account database and now prevent any user IDs from duplicating, they don’t provide any actual FUNCTIONALITY for that inconvenience. In order to maintain my Citi card online, I would have to create an entirely separate login account.
So I tried to create an account. I got to page 4 of 5 and the layout broke. There was no “Next” button anywhere, even when I refreshed the page. So I called tech support for online accounts. I complained about the AT&T Universal account problem, then said that I’d gotten beyond it and was trying to set up a new account, only to run into a new problem. The guy asked, “Are you using Firefox?” I said I was. He said, “The site doesn’t always work with Firefox, but if you got to page 4, the account has been set up. You should be able to log in now and sign up for the other options. Is there anything else I can help you with?” “No…”
And after all that, the online bill pay I was interested in requires that you give up your full bank account information. No fucking way!
I hate credit card companies!