Citibank's Website Glitch Tricks Man Into Overpaying $755, But They Won't Issue Refund

Citibank’s website isn’t reliable, at least according to them. Matt assumed that a website from a bank could be trustworthy, and that if there was no scheduled payment showing up, then he must have forgotten to arrange it. He scheduled a second payment, but then both payments went through one day apart. Now Citibank refuses to give him a refund: he should have called or emailed before rescheduling, they’ve told him, and not trusted what the website was telling him.

Matt writes:

I have had the most unbelievable experience with Citi Card this week. In a nutshell, an error on their website led me to schedule two full payments and they won’t give me the money back. Hopefully this story will prevent some of your readers from experiencing a similar problem.

On July 12, I received my Citi Card statement via email. The bill was $755.34 and was due on August 4. I went to the Citi website and scheduled a full payment to post on August 1. A couple weeks went by, and on August 1, I was getting ready to leave on a business trip, so I decided to check and make sure that the payment was indeed scheduled. I went to my Scheduled Payments page on Citi’s website and it told me I had no scheduled payments. I then went to the page with my account status, and it still said I owed $755.34 by August 4. I assumed I either didn’t schedule the payment, or I did and something went wrong. Either way, the website told me I had a bill due in three days and no payments scheduled, so I scheduled another payment of $755.34 for August 4.

As you can probably guess by now, on August 4, Citi made a deduction of $755.34 and then on August 5 made another deduction in the same amount. This brought my checking account within $52 of overdrafting, and my family and I were about to take a vacation to a small town where not every store takes credit cards. I called Citi and explained the situation, and they offered to return the money in 7 to 14 days, which was unacceptable. This was Wednesday. My wife and I would be paid on Friday, but we were going to be in a car without access to cash all day Thursday, so we needed the money immediately. They also blamed me completely for the debacle. When I repeatedly explained that I checked the scheduled payments page and was told nothing was scheduled, all they would tell me was that I should have called or emailed. But, why would I call or email, when I assume I can trust their website? Should I call or email every time I schedule a payment to confirm they received it? They then told me to call my bank and claim it as an unauthorized charge. I did so and was told an investigation would take place and I would have the money back in 7 to 10 days. Again, completely unhelpful. I said no thanks.

I called Citi back, argued with a supervisor for half an hour, and got absolutely nowhere. Just the same unbudging runaround. Completely infuriated, I told her to go ahead and put in the refund request, even though it didn’t really do me any good.

So now, I get my mail today and find a letter from Citi, again blaming me entirely and telling me that no refund will be issued after all. So, Citi Card has a shitty website and gets to take out a $755 interest-free loan from me without my permission, and the whole stupid thing is my fault. I’ve dealt with a lot of bad customer service, but never any as sloppy and stubbornly unhelpful as this. I will be closing my Citi Card and would urge all of your readers to do the same.

Matt, we think you should escalate this higher up the Citibank food chain. It’s unreasonable that a bank would hold their customer responsible for an error on their part, and it’s absurd to think that it takes a bank up to two weeks to electronically re-deposit funds that they removed within a fraction of a second. Check out our Consumer’s Guide to Fighting Back for suggestions on how to appeal to (hopefully) more reasonable minds at the executive level, including how to launch an Executive Email Carpet Bomb.

Comments

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  1. Anks329 says:

    Doesn’t Citi’s website have an option where an overpayment can be mailed to you as a check? I know they used to have this before the site redesign, and I had used it several times. Haven’t had to use it with the new design so not sure where it would be.

  2. NotChoinski says:

    Is it me, or have major financial institutions deliberately slowed down their computerized banking? It takes nearly a week for credit charges to appear online; at Bank of America, transactions made on a Friday and the rest of the weekend are considered ‘pending’ until Tuesday morning.

  3. MayorBee says:

    I hope this doesn’t sound too “blame to original poster-y”, but if you close the account, wouldn’t they have to send you the refund? You could threaten to close the account if they don’t send you a refund, and then actually do it if they refuse to send the check.

  4. chiieddy says:

    @Anks329: It would still take 7 – 14 days for the check to arrive. It looks like this fellow would like the ETF reversed.

  5. AnderBobo says:

    I’ve had something similar where I checked my balance at an ATM and apparantly it was off b/c I went into overdaft with a purchase less than what I thought I had and was told by the bank I should have called the bank instead and not relied on an ATM balance check…

  6. lilackate says:

    Last year I paid an electricity bill through Citibank’s website. They sent a check to my electricity company…. one month later. I got slapped with about $50 in late fees and no one would take blame. I don’t trust their online system any more.

  7. crabbyman6 says:

    The Citicards website is just horribly confusing in general. I noticed that my payments don’t usually post for a few days, but get credited for the day I scheduled them. I’m guessing that it wasn’t on his pending payments because it had gone through, but hadn’t yet posted to his account. I’ve had this issue too, but if you check your payment history its right there that day.

  8. nacio says:

    lol i use Citibank’s website for everything, never failed me. I schedule payments to my credit cards, utilities, transfers between institutions (free).. For the OP, I think this is just more eDarwinism

  9. oneandone says:

    Same exact thing happened to me with Verizon Wireless (though for a much smaller amount). I’d been using autopay for a few months, but keeping tabs on it. Last month, I noticed that a day or two before the bill was due, there were no scheduled payments and nothing pending to withdraw from my checking account. I got nervous, since the autopay always worked about a week before the bill was due, so I authorized a payment – only to see that a few hours later, the autopayment went through as well.

    Annoying, even though it’s just $47 that I double paid, and I’m okay if it sits as a credit towards next month. But I think this is it for me and autopayments…. maybe Verizon & Citibank are using the same dumb software? Or is it something more malicious?

  10. JN2 says:

    I stopped doing business on Citibanks’ site for pretty much the same reasons the OP had. It’s like walking through a mine field and as for getting some help, forget it.

  11. shoegazer says:

    This happened to me. I amended a scheduled payment by bumping the payment date forward 1 week. The payment went through as I intended, but imagine my surprise when a second one went through the week afterwards! It took me a month to make the bank drones understand that the error was with their payment software – apparently it puts the new payment on before deleting the old payment to prevent “missing” scheduled payments, but in this case failed to delete the old one.

    While I didn’t get charged for the resulting negative balance I didn’t get the (admittedly tiny) interest on the money that went out either. I don’t feel like wasting any more time in the phone queue for what amounts to $2 in lost interest.

  12. TVGenius says:

    Capital One/Wells Fargo hosed me once like this too. I made my credit card payment via ETF as always, then five days later couldn’t remember if I had or not. I checked my accounts online at both C1 and WF, and neither showed any sign of the ETF, so I paid it (again). Lo and behold, they both went through in the next 24 hours magically. This of course being more in line with C1’s statement on their site that payments made before a certain time will post THAT DAY.

  13. ltlbbynthn says:

    This is why I closed my Citibank checking account! Their site would show deposits I made twice and falsely inflate my balance when I called on the phone. After I overdrafted and they didn’t give a shit, I cancelled that account quick.

  14. sophistiKate says:

    I’ve also noticed that my payments take an exceedingly long time to show up on Citibank’s web site. It seems ridiculous to me that they can’t have more up-to-date information on their web site.

    This is not nearly as annoying as BOA who’s site used to show me all my current transactions when I had an LL Bean card, but who inexplicably now only shows me my transactions up to the last statement date (ever since I was forced to switch to a different card with them).

  15. Tmoney02 says:

    @nacio: Someone just jinxed themselves. Enjoy your bad karma.

  16. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @nacio: Wow! What a great post! We’re all so glad you’re the perfect specimen of a human being and have never ever had any problems with your bank. Back to your cave, troll

  17. nicemarmot617 says:

    I had a similar problem a few months ago, only instead of doubling my scheduled payments, they still took them out after I had cancelled them! I had switched my checking account from WAMU to Chase and before I did so I went online and cancelled every automatic payment I had set up from my WAMU account. A few weeks later, I completed the transfer to Chase, emptying my WAMU account. Much to my surprise, a week later I checked my WAMU account and saw that it had been overdrawn – not surprising since it was empty! And that I had multiple overdraw fees. The culprit? Verizon Wireless. Apparently, cancelling a scheduled payment 3 weeks before it has been made has no effect. They will still pull the money from your account even if you tell them not to. Of course, it wasn’t WAMU’s fault that this happened, so I had to pay all the fees to get it straightened out. If only there was a company with better cell reception in NYC – I would cancel Verizon in a heartbeat just for the mess they made of my accounts.

  18. @nacio: Enjoy your check from Citibank for that fantastic plug!

  19. TreyWaters says:

    That’s odd…at least with my Citibank card, the website won’t let me pay more than the current balance. And there is a disclaimer stating that if the balance of the account is less than the scheduled payment amount at the time the payment is drafted, the payment will be adjusted to prevent a negative balance.

    The thing that irks me about this is that I can’t schedule a payment to cover charges I know will clear before the payment gets processed.

  20. DHT says:

    DO NOT CANCEL THE CARD! (Unless you’re paying an annual fee.)

    For starters, it will just hurt your credit score, because you’re reducing your total available credit. And since a big part of your credit score is your used/available ratio, you end up hurting yourself by canceling the card.

    Secondly, keeping a card around that you don’t use just costs Citi more money to keep you on their files. Unless you’re an environmentalist, be sure to sign up for paper statements, too. It only adds a few cents a month to their bill, but it gives you so much more satisfaction to know that at least you’re costing them money.

  21. codpilot says:

    Wow, My credit Union is exactly the opposite (Navy Federal)

    Their web bill pay shows you exactly what payments you have set up, what was paid for a specific account and when (even pops up when you select the payer showing the last 3 months!)

    When you cancel, make or change a payment you can see it immediately!

    Credit Unions FTW.

    Heck my other credit union has check deposit via my scanner 8) no more mailing checks! Weeee

    As for the Verizon thing nicemarmot617 had, that’s why I never schedule payments from the provider (I’m assuming that was the problem) – always through the bank. Most providers (Verizon, gas companies, utilities) systems are archaic at best and almost criminal at worst. If you told Verizon not to pull the scheduled payment, then you need to go back to Verizon and make them pay the fees.

  22. sleze69 says:

    I had a very similar thing happen to me with my US Airways Mastercard. They double-billed a $4000 charge because of the unclear aspects of their website…1 week before Christmas.

    I finally got it fixed by EECBing the execs of Barclays bank AND the execs of US Airways. After the EECB, it was 2 days before I got ALL the money back (both payments) and essentially was given an interest-free loan for 1 month (so $16 extra interest that month).

    As annoyed as I was at the problem, they eventually made good.

  23. sleze69 says:

    @codpilot: Where is the option to pay off the outstanding balance every month?

    Where is the button to pay your bill on the actual credit card statement screen?

    NFCU has some good things going for it, but its website is NOT one of them.

  24. balthisar says:

    Knock on wood, I’ve had no problems with their site. Except once when it was locked for security and then they had to send me a new card. On the other hand, I just don’t schedule payments; I just use the “pay now” option whenever I feel like it. It’s always credit at close of business, just like they say.

  25. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @nacio: You’re just a meanie. You have no evidence that the OP is a victim of his supposed own stupdity, your claim of darwanisim is unfounded.

  26. Lewis says:

    @Duffin: @TomCruisesTesticles: @Tmoney02: Nah, you’re just reading it wrong. That post makes much more sense like this:

    ll s Ctbnk’s wbst fr vrythng, nvr fld m. schdl pymnts t my crdt crds, tlts, trnsfrs btwn nstttns (fr).. Fr th P, thnk ths s jst mr Drwnsm

    Full disclosure: I have experienced a similar frustration with the Citicards site. I used to pay directly from within my CitiBANK account online, as a transfer. The payment would show up immediately on the Citicards site, but then the next day, and for 1-2 days, would disappear as if I never paid it! What’s worse, CitiCARDS had no record of the payment however CitiBANK did. It would always fix itself, but I’d wind up sweating it out for 1-2 days.

    So now I just pay it directly from the CitiCARDS website.

  27. camas22 says:

    the same thing happened to me only it was $2,700 with amex corporate. That’s why I still get the paper bill mailed because at least its decipherable how much I owe now.

  28. GearheadGeek says:

    As has been suggested here many times, NEVER EVER give 3rd-party billers access to your checking account. For example @nicemarmot617: got screwed by Verizon even though the Verizon auto draft was supposedly canceled, and as I read it, the OP was having Citibank autodraft the payment from his bank account rather than sending a bill-pay transaction FROM his bank account.

    Since every company seems to feel a need to re-invent the wheel, and they all have different policies and quirks, it’s easiest for me to always use my bank’s bill-pay system. There’s one set of policies to remember, and I have a feel for when a transaction will occur based on when I schedule it, etc. I still have to pay attention, because of course credit card issuers change the due date from time to time trying to trip marks ..er.. customers with the odd late fee, but overall it works well for me. In nicemarmot’s case, for example, it would be easier to resolve the situation because if WAMU can’t cancel WAMU’s own payments, it’s WAMU’s problem. Instead, Verizon will point the finger at nicemarmot, WAMU will point the finger at both, and the mark ..er.. customer ends up footing the bill.

  29. Carso says:

    I use Chase for my online banking, and I have a credit card through them as well. The same problem crops up when you schedule to make a payment on a Chase credit card – it doesn’t “show up” in your checking account balance or on the site for a couple of days, leaving you to wonder whether or not you successfully scheduled the payment.

    What’s weird is that if you ever schedule a payment to anyone -besides- Chase, the balance of that payment is deducted from your checking account immediately. Who knows?

  30. mtobey says:

    OP here. Thanks a lot for the advice and support, everyone. I definitely will NOT be canceling the card now. I will call again tonight and calmly try to escalate. If I still get nowhere, I will probably follow what DHT said. Just pay my final bill and stop using it.

    If that happens, can anyone recommend a good dividend Visa or MC to replace it? I have a Discover, but not all places accept it.

    Thanks again.

  31. sleze69 says:

    @mtobey: Navy Federal Credit Union has several different options with cash dividends AND outstanding customer service. The only problem that you might have is that their website blows.

  32. ohiomensch says:

    American Express just did this to me. I have been fighting a losing battle with them for 4 months. It has resulted in my bank account having 988 deducted twice, even tho I only owed them 613. They are always nice at CSR, but the answer is the same. Cant lower the interest rate they boosted because of their mistake, nor the ding to by credit by lowering my limit to less than the balance I am carrying. Sweet guys, cc co’s.

  33. biturbomunkie says:

    credit card companies are required by the Fair Credit Billing Act to refund overpayment within seven biz days, provided that the amount is greater than $1. some issue the refund in the form of a snailmail check, others reverse the EFT. not that i don’t believe the OP, but overpaying a credit card is what most AOR folks do when they play the 0% BT game. and i’ve never heard of any credit card companies refuse to issue a refund, especially the big ones like citi (and no i don’t work for citi).

    [www.ftc.gov]

  34. meg9 says:

    Won’t they give you a credit on your account?

  35. bizzz says:

    hmmm, same exact thing happened with my Fidelity mastercard this past month.

    I wonder if they use the same online processing, but the site fidelity uses was particularly screwed up this past month.

  36. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Anks329: Yes, they do. There is an option to request a refund check but that would probably take a while to process.

    I’ve been using the citibank website without any trouble whatsoever for years. I don’t find it confusing or hard to use at all.

  37. campredeye says:

    @ The OP:

    Pre-scheduled payments do not post until 5pm on the scheduled day. According to your dates, you scheduled for an August 1st, Friday, payment. Depending on your timezone, this may have bumped you until August 4th, Monday, for your payment to show in their system because of the weekend. I had similar problems, but it is plainly written on their site.

    As for getting a refund, that is completely justified, as your account should be at $0.00 if paid in full and why should they hold that money for you to basically use as a debit card?

  38. Snakeophelia says:

    I’m impressed that they offered him restitution at all. Wayyyy back in the 1990’s, I once wrote a check for $400 as a payment for a Visa. Although the “Four Hundred Dollars and 00/00 cents” was clearly written out on the check, Visa thought my number “4” looked like a “9” and ran it through for $900. Not only did they refuse to give any of the money back (even though $400 was more than the minimum amount due), but they argued that (a) what you write on the second line has no meaning, only what number you put in the little box, and (b) if my bank was willing to put it through, I had no recourse.

    Grrrr…

  39. savvy999 says:

    @mtobey: Citi should send you an email *immediately* when a payment is scheduled and again when it posts, with all the details.

    I know what are saying– the Citi website calendar/schedule thingy blows– I rarely look at it– but having the original email they sent regarding my scheduled payment is proof enough for me that it’s gonna happen.

    Perhaps you aren’t signed up for all of the alerts and whatnots, under your personal preferences? Sounds like you use the no-paper billing, but maybe there’s an extra step you’re missing out on.

    Good luck.

  40. bonzombiekitty says:

    @meg9: They will, but it doesn’t help when you want cash, not credit.

    I’m still confused how the second charge was allowed to take place. Citi won’t let me set up payments that will exceed the amount I currently owe. Although thinking about it, if the OP had an aditional $700+ that would be billed the next cycle, Citi would allow the payment.

  41. Keter says:

    @nicemarmot617: If Verizon was at fault for not canceling the scheduled drafts when you told them to, you should pursue them for the overdraft fees you incurred. Their customer service is slow in my experience but does eventually work if you keep a positive attitude. If you have the date (or can closely approximate the date) you did the cancellation, it will help. I hope you get your money back.

  42. mtobey says:

    @bonzombiekitty: Yeah, my balance for the next billing cycle exceeded $755, so they’ve applied it toward that. But, obviously, I’d rather not let Citi have that money a month early.

  43. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    Although I generally love to sing the praises of Citi, I have to admit that their site needs a major overhaul, it can be confusing and redundant at times.

  44. Keter says:

    @Snakeophelia: What you write out long hand IS in fact the legal payment amount according to everything I’ve ever heard. You probably want to take that matter up with bank regulators.

  45. Jevia says:

    @ohiomensch: Considering that a “ding” on a credit report is what I’d consider “damage” and “a loss”, I’d tell AE that you’re going to file a claim or lawsuit against them.

    For the OP, not to criticize, but is it really that important to pay off a $750 bill when it leaves you only $800 in your bank account right before going away on a trip? Yeah, we all hate interest charges, but the few dollars it would cost to carry a balance for one month in order to have a little bit more cushion in your account before a trip might have been worth it.

    If I had seen that the $755 scheduled payment didn’t go through ‘as scheduled’ I would have just arranged to make the minimum payment (what, like $50?) and worry about the balance the following month when I didn’t have a trip looming. In that case, you would have only ended up overpaying by $50 and still had over $700 in your account for the start of the trip.

  46. savvy999 says:

    @Keter: exactly. That is only thing they are *supposed* to read, although modern optical character reader machines probably only read what’s in the box.

    Try making a check out to yourself, with the long-hand line blank. No bank should cash it.

  47. NotAppealing says:

    This has happened to us with Chase twice, and the federal governments student loan repayment website twice.

    I blame ourselves, but it was hard when we had only budgeted to pay for certain bills once/month, instead of twice. Lucky for us all of our over-payments are applied to the principal.

  48. mtobey says:

    @Jevia: I don’t think you know what “not to criticize” means.

  49. campredeye says:

    @mtobey: Read my post!

  50. mtobey says:

    @campredeye: I did. Now what?

  51. tellervision says:

    @Jevia:

    OP stated that he and his wife would be paid that Friday, two days after leaving for the trip.

  52. jharrell says:

    Similar thing happened to me.

    We were sitting in the driveway – literally – warming the car up for a trip out of state. I opened my laptop to verify the mortgage payment schedule. It needed to post the next day and we would be on the road for 14 hours, it really needed to be scheduled. I had thought I scheduled it before but wanted to verify it.

    Web site was not very clear as to what was scheduled. It looked like my payment was not yet setup when it really was. It looked like I needed to schedule a payment. So I did. Then the total looked wrong so I called and complained. They assured me it was correct. We left town. The next day my bank was nearly zeroed out. It turn out Citibank took two payments of $1519 – dang. Our trip went onto credit cards because as I would latter find out Citibank is REALLY REALLY slow about returning extra payments. So slow they could not guarantee that the money would be received by the next due date. WOW. I had them apply it forward instead of waiting for the check and then sending my next month late.

    I found all this out when a fuel purchase was denied. What a wonderful way to start a trip.

  53. Difdi says:

    It’s irrational to automatically assume that every business website is lying to you (or just plain mistaken) without some sort of evidence that it might be. If you do happen to make such an assumption, how can you know that the guy on the phone, the guy answering a snail mail letter, or the guy you talk to in person at the business isn’t mistaken or lying to you as well? If one means of disseminating information is faulty, would another be any better?

    If the website is wrong, the burden is on the site owner to fix it, not the customer to somehow develop psychic powers and simply know it’s faulty without any evidence at all. If the customer takes actions based on that faulty information, it’s not the customer who is at fault, but the site owner. Penalizing the customer (refusing refunds, charging fees, closing accounts, collections agency, whatever) is unjustifiable and unconscionable. If the business refuses to correct the error, then the proper approach is through whatever government agency regulates the business; If that fails, there is always the court system.

  54. campredeye says:

    Tell them that their website is very vague as to scheduling payments, not does it offer a service or guide on how to effectively schedule, update, or confirm payments.

  55. nicemarmot617 says:

    As for my overdraft fees and getting money back from Verizon:

    It took 4 months to get the extra money they owed me back. Which is to say, they never actually gave it back, I finally just convinced them to apply it towards the latest bill. I suggested that they owed me about $100 in overdraft fees, and they stopped responding to my emails and calls. When I call them now, I get hung up on. Still. Seriously, if there was a better option I would cancel those assholes in a second. Unfortunately my BF and I both rely on our phones for work and Verizon is the only one we’ve had any luck with in NYC, reliability-wise. (AT&T: drops every other call. T-Mobile: only works at the top of tall buildings. Sprint: I would rather be slowly tortured to death than give them a cent.)

    I did learn my lesson – I no longer give out my checking account information to anyone whose bills I pay online. I either do it with my cashback Amex or I do it from my checking account directly. Lesson learned and maybe someone here will take a second look at how they pay their bills online and learn from my mistakes.

  56. howie_in_az says:

    Wait, I’m confused. The OP had a balance on his CC of more than $755.xx, or $755.xx exactly? If it’s $755.xx exactly, Citi should be issuing a refund. If it’s more than $755.xx and this was a minimum payment or something, why were Citi’s actions wrong? I routinely over pay on my car (and subsequently have to phone Wachovia and demand they apply the overpayment to the principle, not prepay on next month’s interest, but that’s another story). Why wouldn’t Citi just view this as an overpayment as well?

    Can’t the OP dispute this with his bank (hopefully the bank isn’t Citi as well)? Banks can issue a temporary refund of the money while they do their investigation — I know Wells Fargo has done this twice for me.

    Also, why is it that businesses can slap us with late payment fees, but when they owe us money it always takes half a month for it to show up?

  57. ibanix says:

    Holy shit! This exact same thing happened to me!

  58. buckinggrimace says:

    I had a similar experience with my utility provider. They emailed me indicating that my ETF did not process and I needed to make a payment. So of course, I did – electronically.

    I must note at that time I had just split from my husband and suddenly (and stupidly) I was in charge of my finances whereas I had not been involved in the actual bill-paying for 10 years.

    The amount was deducted twice, which although not huge, put me in jeopardy of bouncing my rent check. I contacted the utility company and arranged to pick up a check asap (but it was still a couple of days before they could issue it). I arrive at the utililty company and was given the run-around. Turns out they mailed the check that day and basically I was screwed.

    After a few tense days – the check arrived in the mail – and it was made out to my estranged husband.

    Needless to say, I now deal only by check. It’s totally worth the 42 cent stamp.

  59. econobiker says:

    If you call to make a payment does Citi also charge you $15 for that conveince of processing an electronic check like many of the other credit cards do?

  60. bbb111 says:

    @Snakeophelia:
    “…they argued that (a) what you write on the second line has no meaning, only what number you put in the little box, and (b) if my bank was willing to put it through, I had no recourse.”

    Many years ago I had a similar thing happen (I had inverted the cents amount in the little box but had it correct in the written out line. This resulted in my underpaying by about 20 cents and interest kicked in for the next statement.)

    I called the government agency (I forget which one for that bank) that oversaw that bank and was told that the written out one is the correct one. I went into the credit card office of the bank and showed them the canceled check and the statement and they removed the finance charges. No problems! The next month showed finance charges but one phone call fixed it.

    My current bank recently made a error of debiting the wrong account. The phone droids told me that it they would have to investigate the error [8 to 10 days]. My local branch manager had it fixed in an hour.

    I pick my banks by talking to the account reps and managers about cash flow and why I insist on having an ATM card, not a CC branded debit card. If they respond with marketing canned speeches I politely end the meeting.
    [If they are pushy I ask them to indemnify me for all damages if they make a mistake or allow a fraudulent transaction to go through. Usually, they claim that I have that protection and I ask them to show me in the terms of the account that they will pay all third party fees, penalties and increased interest charges due to their error. They never have a prepared answer for that question.]

  61. codpilot says:

    @sleze69

    Hmm, I don’t expect NFCU to have full access to my credit cards (non-NFCU cards all of them). If I want to pay the balance I umm read the online bill and pay it. If I want to make the minimum payment, I let it ebill directly into NFCU (like my electric and phone bill) and authorize the bill process to pay up to a certain amount.

    If you were talking about the NFCU credit card screen, I don’t have one so I can’t say much about that.

    I don’t expect any bank to tie everything together. Especially since the web bill pay is outsourced to another company, the credit cards are outsourced to another company, and having been in the business of getting systems to talk, most credit card companies systems suck really big time. Besides, if those features are important to you, let NFCU know – every time I send a email to them I get a response, and most of the time what I mention other folks want so it shows up eventually!

    The one feature I’m waiting for is the ability to do what USAA does, deposit checks from home – now that’s cool.

  62. discord says:

    This is exactly why I never utilize automatic payments or separate bill payment systems online. Having worked in computer security and in the financial industry, I know how badly things can go wrong. Over time, you can count on computers to foul things up, to err in the businesses’ favor, and get little or no assistance from a big company. It is against their best interest to correct mistakes in their favor.

    Regardless, you will always be considered at fault, and forced to deal with front-line drones who don’t understand the occasional hiccups of computers and payment systems. Some businesses prioritize customer service, but you have to research them and seek them out. They are few and far between.

    I would strongly recommend using a local credit union. They are member oriented, seeing as how the members actually own the business. You might actually be able to meet the finance staff or manager if the issue is severe enough, and furthermore they may be agile enough to handle concerns on the spot. That could never happen at a large bank. I would also recommend using one central payment service for everything – never let your utility company or anyone automatically debit your account.

    If you use credit cards, too, you gain additional protections over debit transactions. A credit charge over $50 can be easily disputed. A debit charge, not so much – since it requires a PIN and account access, it’s harder to prove you didn’t authorize it. Plus, with a credit card transaction, you’re not giving direct access to your bank account.

    As Mark Twain said – put all of your eggs in one basket, and guard that basket!

  63. mtobey says:

    @howie_in_az: $755.34 was my statement balance in full.

  64. Coelacanth says:

    Citibank tried to screw me over… I have one of their branded cards ad regularly submit large payments.

    In order to minimise interest due, I wait(ed) for their website to say I was in a billing cycle, and then pay the bill that day. Sometimes I slip up and wait an extra day or two, but the point is it’s paid nearly a month ahead of time.

    One day, I received a call from their collections department. They claimed I missed a payment. I pulled up their website and it said I definitely made a payment during the last billing cycle. (It ended up on 12th of the month, the payment posted on the 13th, clear as day.)

    They tried to claim I submitted the payment on the 11th. Nowhere on their website could I find this information, and my bank statement clearly said the 13th, which would have been an on-time payment.

    I finally resolved the issue, but Citibank didn’t make it easy. All I can say is that their collections department has more authority than their normal CSRs.

    …and it was odd that I received a phone call for being honestly 1 day ‘past due.’

  65. PricklyPete says:

    The same thing has happened to me with my Citibank card. I need to be more careful, I’ve made double payments at least twice.

    I also had something similar happen to me with my National City HELOC automatic payment. I increased my automatic payment amount. I was then debited for the both the old automatic payment amount and the new payment amount in the same month.

    I called and they said, “Yeah it’s a glitch with the system. We can send you a check but it will take 6 weeks.”

    I told them to forget it.

  66. ajmennuti says:

    This exact same thing actually happened to me a few months ago. They actually overdrew my account, but thankfully I noticed it the day it happened and managed to transfer more money in without getting slapped with a fee.

    It took 7 days for them to return my money to me by check. I continued to use the card until I reached the next rewards level, cashed it in, and put the card in a drawer never to be used again.

    I said to them, “So you’re telling me you can transfer money OUT of my account electronically but you can’t put it back IN?”

    The lady said yes. I told her I would never deal with Citibank again.

  67. bwcbwc says:

    @TVGenius: And for all you other folks that forget if you made an ETF. I use a spreadsheet as my check register, and when I do an ETF, I log (cut/paste) the confirmation number for the transaction into the comment field of the spreadsheet. Now I only have to worry about remembering to save my changes to the spreadsheet… :)

    If Citi isn’t giving you a confirmation number, that smells like they’re actually trying to generate confusion of this type.

  68. thebaglady says:

    I don’t trust Citi’s online billpay anymore after a bad experience. Basically, one month they just didn’t take money from my account even though I haven’t changed any banking information. I had the same bank account for 9 years and they said that the draft was returned with a code of “account doesn’t exist”. Then I called my bank and they said that they never received such a charge and that Citi is probably trying to get a late fee out of me. Indeed, there was a late fee and I also got Citi’s collection department calling me at work. They were really rude about it. I called Citi several times and proved that my bank account never changed because previous payments went through to the same account and I had enough funds in my account. Finally after a whole week they refunded the late fees. However, they sent me a very rude letter that said I was late on my payment. Now I do billpay through my bank because my bank has a guarantee that if the bill is late due to billpay they’ll pay for any late fees. I haven’t had a problem since then. Citi’s online payment program just sucks or they sprinkle in bugs randomly to screw with customers.

  69. parrotuya says:

    He should be able to get a “credit balance refund” for the overpayment. But Citi will make him “jump through some hoops” in order to get it. And they will not compensate him for his overdraft fees. The only way he will see any compensation is to hire a lawyer and become a ‘pain in Citibank’s ass.’ And it still might not work. This story shows that Citibank is truly evil.

  70. bonzombiekitty says:

    I still don’t get what’s so confusing about Citi’s payment system. It seems straight forward to me, and I get e-mails when I schedule a payment. I used to get one when the amount was posted as well, but I don’t think I’ve gotten one since they updated the site, or I’m just not paying attention to it anymore since I check my account all the time to make sure there’s nothing wrong (I’m a bit paranoid when it comes to loans and credit cards).

    Under the account summary you just click “Make a payment” then fill in the amount you want to pay, what day you want it posted on, and what bank account the payment is coming from. Don’t see what’s confusing about that.

    To see your payments, you select payments from the top bar and do select “view online payments” or “view online payment history” those two views will show you all your payments.

    I once had a similar issue as the OP with AES (student loan). I had scheduled a payment at the beginning of the month to take place a couple weeks later. On the day that I had happened to be the post date, I was going through all my accounts to be sure I had paid everything that needed to be paid. I checked AES and there was no record of my payment and the payment was due the next day. I freaked out, checked around the site a bunch – still no record of the payment. To be safe, I scheduled another payment and then went sifting through my e-mail. I found a confirmation e-mail of the payment that was not listed anywhere on the site. I called up and verified that yes, the original payment was indeed made and was in the “processing” state and would be posted by 5PM. Apparently the website only shows the payments that are “scheduled” and “posted” so if you check your payments when they’re being processed there’s absolutely no visible record on the site of this. The payment just seems to disappear. Fortunately I was able to cancel the new payment without a problem.

  71. pudds says:

    “But, why would I call or email, when I assume I can trust their website?”

    Because you *KNEW* you’d already scheduled a payment. Don’t take chances with your money; the first thing to do in this case was to call them and ensure they didn’t have a payment scheduled on their side. At the very least, you’d have had proof that it wasn’t your own mistake.

  72. ARPRINCE says:

    Don’t use the card to reflect the over payment. You can ask for a refund there after but it would take some time to get it back.

    I also have CITICARDS for CCs and CITIBANK for saving/checking. Never had any issues with payment and I prefer them from any other banks. But that’s just me. ;)

  73. sleze69 says:

    @codpilot: My various credit card companies have had these simple capabilities to auto-pay or, at the very least, allow one click from the summary page to pay the outstanding/statement balance.

    I have sent them messages. Repeatedly. And I always get a very nice response thanking me for my suggestion. So that’s nice.

  74. Caveat says:

    For all the whiners, it is impossible to overpay your credit card bill with Citicard if you have your balance paid off. Heaven knows I tried many times for unique reasons. This guy most likely owes a lot on his credit card, and obviously Citibank will take whatever they can get whenever they can get it to apply to his outstanding balance.

  75. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I made a similar mistake with Chase, that actually overdrafted the checking account.

    They were very courteous and reversed the ACH transaction. This was enough to get my credit union to reverse the overdraft charge.

  76. RChris173 says:

    This same exact thing happened to me with CapitalOne. I had made a scheduled payment and even called the customer service to verify I had made it when the due date was approaching. Neither the web site nor the CSR showed a payment pending. Thinking that it had never been submitted correctly, I made another attempt at scheduling a payment where I later found that both payments went through. I eventually had to put a stop-payment with the credit union and have CapitalOne corporate give me a $50 refund for the mistake. The stop-payment fee was $10. The regular customer service, however, was beligerent as ever and kept passing the buck to the bank.

  77. Jevia says:

    @: Yes, but he was worried about not having money on that Thursday, the day after the payment and before he got paid.

    Regardless, I bet that even if Citi had issued a refund/credit that very day, his bank would have put a ‘hold’ on the funds for a day and he still would have been out that $755 on Thursday. Just another reason to play it safe and make a minimum payment for one month to avoid any possibility of a double full payment that leaves your funds so limited.

  78. chicotc says:

    I have had citibank for over year now. I have to say their bill pay feature is much more superior than WaMu’s. I only use this account for UMA Saving/Ez Checking,Thank You Points. I never had problem with bill pay and i have my at&t universal card linked to this account as well. I use this account to pay my bills. I have Bank of America as my personal account which is great their online platform is bit confusing to use. at but not atleast always have a small comm. bank they offer the best perks of unlimited atm surcharge frees worldwide.

    Citi for Online Banking – ITT Transfers + Awesome ATM network. Limited Branches but fast service and no deposit slips or w/d to fill out in and out. and the atleast technology but not as advance as boa atm machines. but does have paypass ft.

    BOA – Alot of ATMs/Branches throughout the us. ok online platform. they charge for transfers to non boa account 3.00 each. no rewards program always have lines and confusing deposit slips to fillout and big lines. Atm are a huge plus can deposit instanely cash but check wise the 1st 100 are avaliable. they have a hold policy for checks up to 7 days. ummm they charge for using at presto network but its surcharge free but boa charges 2.00 non boa atm. myexpression banking is awesome perk. and am still not sure about there maintaince fee free for opening an account online.* and they dont charge for calling and speaking to associates via the phone. and biggest down fall is their phone customer service is not 24 hours.

    Great Florida Bank- Unlimited ATM surcharge fee world wide the only thing they charge is for bill pay and its a free checking a pretty advance bank when it comes to technology but to wd at a branch it take forever because of the annoy system they have to disperse the money. and make deposit take a while. but they have friendly and one 2 one relationship with their customers. is the amazing part of banking with GFB they may be small but they have awesome perks and great banking ambassadors that care.