Citibank's Charge Dispute Forms Have Two Different Addresses

Helen writes:

I’m challenging a charge on my Citibank card right now and have to fill out paperwork for their records. The second page of the form I’m filling in tells me to mail the form back to PO Box 6035, The Lakes, NV, 89163-6035. The self-addressed envelope they provided me with to mail the form back in? It has an address of PO Box 6013, Sioux Falls, SD, 57117-6013. A bit different, don’t you think? I’m just going to copy the form and mail it to both. I have 10 days to get this back to them, so I’m sure that having two separate addresses helps to deny claims i.e. “We never got your paperwork.”

Maybe sneaky, maybe honest mistake, either way, just another reason you definitely gotta scrutinize every line of fine print when you’re dealing with a bank.

Comments

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  1. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Make damn sure you send it Certified Mail.

  2. nutrigm says:

    Yup. Agree with Jaysyn. Certified mail is the way to go. If possible, make copies & send to both addresses!

  3. JKinNYC says:

    I work for a small bank (not for long) that is being absorbed by BoA. Let me take a wild guess and suggest this is just the beginnings of a changeover. I’d trust the letter, not the envelope. If you are extra curious, look on the back of the envelope and look for a month/year in four digits. The older it is, the less likely the envelope is to be good.

  4. Wow, good catch.

  5. dirtymoney says:

    WOW! this is creepy because for the first time ever I recently had to do a chargeback against a company that is just ripping people off daily & has been doing so for about two years now (the company goes by a bunch of different names… hometowncandy.com, jordansalmonds, barnegat candy, weddingplannersupply.com …. this company takes orders, charges your credit card & then never sends you the goods & has been doing this for over two years under multiple business names)….. anyway I ALSO noticed the two different addresses & actually called up cust. service to ask which one to send it to…. I was told the address on the return envelope was the right address. Seems they knew of this problem before I even finished my question.

    One thing I found pretty messed up was that I was told I had 10 days to send my dispute form in & the company had a month to respond! DOesnt seem that fair to ME! I called citibank cust. service & was told to wait two more weeks before checking back. I had no idea that making a dispute took over a month to rectify!

  6. dirtymoney says:

    @dirtymoney:

    correction…. I just was told (by citibank cust. service/dispute dept. ) that the company i am disputing the charges with has til the end of january 2008 to respond/refund my money. Ugh!

    It all started in the beginning of november. So that would be potentially 3 months to have a dispute resolved (not a month like I previously stated).

  7. jwcone says:

    both addresses are to citibank CS centers that handle disputes — I used to work for citibank and SD and NV are two of the centers that have dispute investigation teams — so either one you send it to doesn’t matter — this is a moot point!

  8. Sam2k says:

    I have a CitiCard and when I had a really minor dispute with a company where I was double-charged I called customer service and they offered to place it in dispute for me and gave me a credit within a few days.

  9. humphrmi says:

    @dirtymoney: I’ve had a couple of disputes handle by Citibank, and although it usually takes months for them, in every case they immediately gave me a temporary credit for the challenged amount. If you get a credit, it’s really not a huge sweat to wait – they leave the temp. credit on your account for as long as it takes. That is, unless they’ve changed something recently.

  10. Parting says:

    Both addresses are good, so sending to one is enough. It’s just human error. Normally, the address mentioned should be the closest one :)

  11. skippywasserman says:

    Citibank has multiple call centers with multiple mail facilities. The main operations is SD, but there are also regional operations centers with their own disputes management teams. I’m guessing you live in the Pacific time-zone and so they gave you the NV address as well.

    The decision to issue a temporary credit is made based on the length and nature of the relationship with the customer and the speed of a resolution on a dispute case varies on a number of factors, particularly the merchant response. The rules for disputes are not made by Citibank, however. They are made by VISA and MasterCard and change quarterly.

  12. dirtymoney says:

    @humphrmi:

    No, you are correct. I DID get an immediate temporary credit. I am just worried that this scumbag company I am having a dispute with will continue to make other charges. Even though i cancelled the credit card & had a new one issued to me…. i understand that if you authorized the comapany to make a charge… they can keep making them because the old credit card account is still connected to the new one. I see now the comapnay I have a dispute with (who gladly took my money, but never delivered the goods) has a $25 fee cancellation policy! What a scam! Take payment, never deliver the goods, & when a person wants their money back, they charge a cancellation fee!

    And i am not the only one who has been screwed by this company. See the host of complaints that are all the same (payment taken, nondelivery of goods)….[www.typetive.com]

    One of the business owners is even under investigation by the US attorney’s office!

    What I want to know is how this company is still allowed to continue to operate & keep ripping people off?!!?!?

  13. dirtymoney says:

    @dirtymoney:

    oops!, forgot the link to the US attorney’s investigation of these scumbags….[www.usdoj.gov]

  14. jwcone says:

    and this said company that has all these complaints and you still bought from them — umm who looks dumb now

  15. dirtymoney says:

    @jwcone:

    well, Had I known about the complaints…..

    Yeah, perhaps I should have checked them out before I bought from them, but who really does that? You make a reasonable assumption that a website business is legit…. not a company who routinely rips off every customer that they have.

    YUP! Blame the consumer for being ripped off! *rollseyes*

  16. MeMikeYouNot says:

    I’m sitting here at Citi in the Lakes NV(a fancy name for Las Vegas) and since my job has been outsourced to India(we call it being “Bangalored”) as of Dec.14, I guess I can safely write this :)
    Citi does indeed have 2 dispute centers, one in SD and on in NV. Most of the work done in NV now centers on Sears cards, which Citi bought in 2004. The dispute teams are required to issue a conditional credit on most disputes and it generally stays there until the dispute is resolved. If your dispute is resolved by a merchant credit, then the conditional credit is rebilled. It is VERY important that you contact your bank(Citi, Chase, whomever) as soon as you see a disputed item, but you also have a responsibility to attempt to contact the merchant in question. Reg Z (etc) required that the banks follow certain guidelines in disputes but don’t wait weeks or months to question charges on your statements. Time matters!

  17. typetive says:

    Dirtymoney – I’ve been trying to get Consumerist to cover the whole HometownCandy, jordanalmonds, ebulkcandy, barnegatcandy thing for over a year. It’s not a glamorous story about a large company, though.

    The guy who runs it, Eric Keller, is currently under indictment by the Feds for setting up fake accounts with UPS and defrauding them of $150,000.

    This is the same Eric Keller who was accused of cybersquatting on both Brach’s (lost that one) and NY Governor Elliot Spitzer. (Among others.)

    However, some order pages on their sites are not secure, therefore any credit card fraud after using them could be because someone else has intercepted your account information.

  18. Rando says:

    Both are legit addresses. Citi uses MANY processing warehouses for incoming and outgoing mail. The Lakes is probably the bigger one seen as DSNB goes through there also. It doesn’t matter where you send it, they’ll get it.

  19. dirtymoney says:

    @typetive:

    Well… I was charged by a Ronald Keller under wedding planner supply LLC. So it seems it is still within the keller family. Father, brother? Who knows. But I dont believe that some other random person intercepted the info & used it.

  20. tsj513 says:

    I worked for a large financial services company and dealt with the occasional correspondence issue. Something similar to this came up and in speaking with our mail center, there was an honest explanation. The form may be barcoded so that the imaging system at the envelope address on the can read it immediately and route it properly. The address on the form is the “all purpose” address. Any form, letter, death threat etc. coming in the door can be handled at that address. Regardless of where you send it, the form is almost certainly going to be imaged and someone who is at neither of those addresses will be working on it.

  21. brandonv says:

    I work for Citi in the credit card division. The reason for this oversight is simple…it’s an oversight. tens of thousands of envelopes were printed with a mismatched address. Unfortunately, the politics of changing forms and documents is a severely lengthy one. That’s all.

  22. TechnoDestructo says:

    “Maybe sneaky, maybe honest mistake, either way, just another reason you definitely gotta scrutinize every line of fine print when you’re dealing with a bank.”

    I think it’s the disgusting the degree to which we have to be on the lookout for being screwed these days.

    I crave regulation.

  23. Justinh6 says:

    I work for Citi..

    Not at either location that you mentioned, but there are Citicard processing centers at those two locations.

    Either one you mail it to, it will get taken care of.

  24. doormat says:

    I just think its funny that there is once parcel of land known as “The Lakes, NV” otherwise, everywhere around it is known as “Las Vegas”. The issue is that people don’t feel comfortable sending their credit card payments to Las Vegas.

  25. @typetive: Is this up on the forum? [consumerist.proboards88.com]

  26. typetive says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I know one of my readers posted about it … I think in April.

    The thing is, I can’t do much to push this issue forward (the fraud perpetrated by the website) as I haven’t been personally defrauded by the company. I’m not a consumer advocate, I’m just a candy reviewer. Filing appropriate complaints has to be done by those who have lost money via one of the sites.

    I think most people go the credit card route and contest the charge, the credit card company does and then it’s over for the consumer. In fact, I’ve corresponded with one of the credit card processing companies that used to handle the transactions for Barnegat and they informed me that they shut down his account because of all the chargebacks.

    But there are more companies that handle transactions, and Keller, et al, keep changing their name in order to open new accounts. (Just take a look at the domain registrations the guy has as an indicator and that some of his sites are run offshore now.)

    If enough people file complaints via the FTC they will take it seriously.

    But a thorough investigation of the company by Consumerist, perhaps as a case study would go a long way to not only helping people who have been defrauded by this company in particular, but also to educate consumers about how to evaluate from whom they should buy on the internet.

  27. opsomath says:

    I had completely fraudulent charges appear out of nowhere on my Citibank credit card, which I promptly disputed. It took four copies of the affidavit and disputed charges (one via mail, three via fax) before the company took care of it; the thing that did the trick was getting a customer service manager on the phone personally and faxing it to him directly.

    Mind you, they still haven’t removed the charges, but they have now (four months later) confirmed that they have received the dispute form.

    Use certified mail, like people are saying.

  28. AlphaTeam says:

    You should probably use a return receipt as well.

  29. mcorothers says:

    There were fraudalent charges on my credit card and when I found out
    I immediately called the company to have my credit card cancelled and they
    said they were going to take care of the charges, so they mailed me an affidavit,
    I completed the affidavit and mailed it back.

    I called two weeks later and they said they were not done investigating that the
    investigator would call me and indeed he did only to inform me that I would be partly liable
    for the charges so of course I said NO WAY and that I wanted to speak to a supervisor
    and de bluntly said NO, that it was his discretion and he felt I had no reason to speak to one.
    So I hung up the phone and called customer service and demanded to speak to a supervisor and
    then the games begun…they said one would call me back within 24 to 48 hours and of course
    no one did and after a couple of days a representative calls me from delinquent accounts and said
    I was delinquent on my account and I said NO because my account is under investigation for Fraud
    and he said I should call the security team to get this taken care of.

    At this time, I’m fearing a negative credit report cause each time I talk to someone it seems to
    be in different states and for some reason they don’t seem to synchronize their records. I’ve called
    so many times and they all say the same thing either “they will personally take care of everything before
    I get a negative credit rating and assure me everything will be done within 24 to 48 hrs and I didn’t need
    to worry or “a supervisor will call you within 24 to 48 hrs”

    This company is the worse…you cant speak to a supervisor when you call, I think they probably laugh
    after we hang up the phone cause they all say the exact same thing, like they are reading a script.
    To make matters worse, they reduce my credit from 10,000 to 870. for a late payment…how funny is that and of
    course they sent a negative credit rating to my credit bureau.

    All I can say is “what a company” so how do we fight companies like this one?

    Monica