Citicard Thinks You Need To Pay Off $3,422 Credit Card Balance Twice

Jon tells Consumerist had things arranged very nicely with his credit card from Citi. He would use his credit card for purchases, then pay the balance off at the end of every month. He set up his account to auto-debit the credit card balance from his checking account every month. One month, he paid his balance of more than $3,000 early. The autopay from his checking account went through anyway. Jon would like his money back.

I have enabled “auto pay” on my Citi credit card, which is a feature that will automatically handle the payment of my entire statement balance at the end of every month. The account is setup to withdraw payments from my checking account at my primary bank. I have been using this feature without incident for some time.

Last month I charged approximately $3422 to the account and, soon after, I used the Citicards website to manually authorize a payment for the entire balance. My intention was to pay off the balance immediately. My statement from Citi shows that the payment was received on September 15 and the balance on my Citi card dropped back to $0, as expected.

I thought that was the end of it, but on Monday, October 4, I discovered that Citi had mistakenly withdrawn an ADDITIONAL $3422 from my checking account. Apparently the “auto pay” system got confused and thought I needed to pay my bill twice. On that same day I called Citicards customer service. I was told that the funds had been erroneously withdrawn, but that I would have to call back on the following business day because nothing could be done until the payment “posted.” I am writing this on Tuesday, October 5, after speaking with customer service a 2nd time. Citicards claims that they are going to refund the money they took from my checking account, but I am told that this process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days.

I think any rational person will agree that this is unreasonable. Through no fault of my own, Citicards withdrew $3422 from my checking account (nearly emptying the account, I might add), and I’m not going to get the money back for almost a week.

I’d like to add that my experience with their customer service call center was very frustrating. The people I spoke with showed little concern or sympathy, and I think one of them was intentionally trying to aggravate me in the way he insisted that I verify my checking account information before he would help me. I am very, very disappointed in Citicards. I think I was mistreated and I intend to cancel my account as soon as I get my money back.

This is a great plan if you like to use a credit card for everyday purchases in order to earn rewards or harness the power of the chargeback. It’s a bad plan if your bank’s system is too stupid to understand the concept of “$0 balance.” Good luck to Jon in finding a new credit card.


Edit Your Comment

  1. sqeelar says:

    Sounds like Citi got its programming staff on the cheap, maybe from the local prison.

    A local TV consumer fixer should interview the IT staff in their gated community to show the extra inch that Citi goes for internal quality.

    • Hotscot says:

      Hold on..
      This sounds like what I did last year through Wells Fargo.
      I had an automated payment setup.
      I also tried to pay some more manually, towards the principal but ended up making another whole payment of $3000.

      They refunded it a few days later with no problems.
      It was my fault since I didn’t figure out the system properly

  2. keepher says:

    Jon is the one that screwed up here. Citi, as much as I hate TBF, did not make the additional payment the automated system did. The system is a program. It isn’t a sentient, reasoning being that sees, “Oh wait, Jon already paid, I don’t have to do anything.”

    This is why I do not have autopay on anything unless its on a credit card and then I look at the credit card payment and decide with my human brain, not a program, to pay or dispute.

    • godai says:

      Citi is responsible for maintaining the system.

      Hence Citi is responsible for its action.

      I’m a software engineer by trade. If I write something that has bugs in it. I can’t simply say “Oh Well. It’s the systems fault”

    • K-Bo says:

      The system should never allow a payment to be more than the current balance. Very simple check that should be made before allowing an auto pay to go through. Citi allows up to 4 payments per billing cycle, so they need to be set up to handle the fact you may have already made 1-3 payments when autopay time hits.

    • Pax says:

      Except that when the AutoPay went to look at the account, it SHOULD have been programmed to take into account “payments made since last statement date”, and adjusted to compensate.

      • bwcbwc says:

        Yes, programming bug. The auto-pay should take the lesser of the current balance and the statement balance. Or perhaps take the statment balance and deduct any payments credited after the statement date.

        The problem is the auto-pay didn’t allow for this kind of possibility.

  3. comatose says:

    I don’t usually blame the OP here as is traditional on the website, or a la Consumerist as I like to call it, but damn – DON’T DO AUTOPAY! It’s perhaps paranoia on my part but I never fully trusted machine code and/or evil corporation X with being able to reach out and grab my bank account funds.

    • castlecraver says:

      This. this. One million times this.

      I honestly don’t know what’s going through people’s heads when they effectively tell their creditors and utility companies, “Here’s how to go get money from me. Go ahead and take it, however much you want, any time you decide you need it.” Anything about that arrangement sound like it might screw you over at some point if there’s a problem? They’re very trusting souls, that’s for sure.

      • AstroPig7 says:

        My credit union refused to give me an automotive loan without setting up an auto-pay system. I don’t even have bad credit; that’s just how they operate.

        • selianth says:

          I don’t mind it when it’s a payment that I know is going to be exactly the same amount on the same date every month, like a car payment or mortgage, but those would be the only two vendors I would allow to automatically debit my account. Otherwise I’d like to control when my money goes out the door.

    • lettucefactory says:

      Yup, I’m so there with you. I pay everything online, through my checking account, but all payments have to be initiated by me.

      I feel terrible for the OP because his situation stinks, but…call it a lesson learned. It could have been much, much worse if that second debit overdrew his account (which it certainly would have done to my account!)

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      Agreed. I have Google calendar reminders that tell me when I need to make my payments – which is automatic enough for me. They also give me a little wiggle room so that if my payments are due at weird times within a pay period, I can plan for that.

      No autopay, not ever.

    • tiatrack says:

      Agreed. My husband used autopay on his student loans, only because it gave us a quarter point interest reduction. We paid off the loan in early August, and when we went to cancel the autopay, it said there wasn’t autopay anymore since the loan was paid off….I’m sure you can see where this is going. One week later they pulled out the payment for a non-existant loan. Thankfully it was only $124, but still. It took 6 weeks to get a refund for the money. Nice that they can take it out easily, but it takes 6 weeks to give us back our money!

    • howie_in_az says:

      I autopay, but I go the reverse route: I mail in checks, which are automated, to the company. My Bank’s Bank-By-Web offers the ability to schedule payments to people, and I think all but two of our bills are automated as such.

  4. vbgirl1420 says:

    When you go to pay your bill online, they very clearly state that “Our records indicate you have enrolled in AutoPay. If you choose one of the payment options below, it will be processed in addition to your scheduled AutoPay payment.” I know it is a strange policy, but the OP should have seen this. I find it strange that Citi acknowledges that the second payment was an error.

  5. TBGBoodler says:

    Your official “balance” is the amount of your last bill. If you pay if early, the system is not going to care. The autopay pays the amount of your bill, not your current balance.

    • georgi55 says:

      Care to go back and actually read the article? If you have time to comment, you should have time to actually read and see that he made a payment before it became a bill, so the system never really issued “last bill” for the amount it withdrew after the fact.

      Some credit companies do NOT allow this, but if Jon’s card allows it as already covered above on the previous comments you probably did not bother to read, then there should be no double payments.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I used to do auto pay for my car insurance, and the date I set was about a week after the statement was supposed to post during the year. If the OP did something similar (select October 4 as being a safe distance from when the statement would be released), I wonder whether the OP paid his balance manually after the billing cycle ended (whereby the $3,422 would have already been recorded as the statement balance) but before the statement itself was released. He never mentions receiving a statement, so this is unclear to me. Even if my speculation is entirely untrue and he paid his balance before the statement was recorded and issued, he should have still received a statement (but he doesn’t mention whether he did).

        • tamaracks says:

          He doesn’t state it specifically, but I think it’s likely he made the payment after receiving the statement. He says “Last month I charged approximately $3422 to the account”, which to me implies that the balance he paid was the statement balance covering a month.

          It does seem a little weak that the system doesn’t realize a payment was made, so I am sympathetic, but I suspect that this is the way the system works and he missed some fine print somewhere. This is why I don’t set things to autopay.

      • TBGBoodler says:

        Is there an actual “article” to read or just his letter above? Sorry if I missed something. But it sure looks, from the letter above, like a statement had been issued with a total balance of $3422. Maybe he didn’t realize it when he paid the bill online, but it had been issued nonetheless.

        The auto payment wouldn’t have any idea what to debit from his checking account if there hadn’t been a statement balance of $3422. All that system “knows” is to debit the “total amount due” on a certain date. Not to check to see if it had been already paid.

  6. TBGBoodler says:

    Also… you can take a cash advance (yes, I know… this will cost you some $$), but it’s better than waiting a week or paying overdraft fees on your checking account.

  7. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Another example of lousy system analysis and programming by Citi. The transaction should have been flagged.

  8. qwickone says:

    Autopay is designed to pay your last statement balance, whether you make an additional payment or not. It’s the OP’s fault for not knowing that. Read the fine print if you’re going to agree to it. I’ve used autopay with Citi for years and it’s been working that way for years. I’m sympathetic to the situation, but it’s his own fault for not knowing.

    • Pax says:

      Autopay SHOULD also look for, and take into account, any and all payments made since the last statement date, as well.

      That it doesn’t, is ionexcusably poor design on the part of those who implemented the program. And that woudl be … CitiBank.

      • Merricat says:

        The more logic you put into this, the more likely you are going to be to make a mistake. Making it a simple “we pay what your last statement indicates you owe” may not be flexible, but it is at least less prone towards ‘real’ issues (vs issues caused due to a lack of understanding on how it works).

        Additionally, via the grand history of bank mergers, I’ve been on six different ‘autopay’ systems in my life and all of them exhibit this behavior, so it’s not as if Citi is going rogue here.

  9. qbubbles says:

    Its not unreasonable… thats how long that takes.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I work in payroll, and direct deposit transfer can be denied within 24 hours of the date of electronic transfer. Citibank is being lazy and not helping.

    • Rena says:

      This is one of those cases where I feel like they should be legally required to correct their mistake immediately, eating whatever it costs them. I think a lot of people would be pretty screwed if a major charge got withdrawn from their account twice, and they should be obligated to fix it ASAP before it becomes an even bigger problem.

  10. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    My theory on what happened…

    1) When the statement cut, it showed a balance of $3,422.
    2) Jon made a manual payment of $3,422.
    3) The Auto-Pay system automatically paid the statement balance not the current balance.

    The exact same thing would have happened at my bank.

  11. mbbbus says:

    Autopay is not a recurring debit in a fixed amount; Citi is supposed to take money from his account to pay his balance as of the date of withdrawal. They screwed up.

    How can anyone blame the OP here?

    • outoftheblew says:

      No, they’re supposed to take his balance as of the last statement. If he had charged another $3,000 since his last statement, he wouldn’t want the system to deduct $6,422, would he?

      • TBGBoodler says:

        EXACTLY! We don’t complain about this “float” when it works in our favor.

        For those of us who are able to pay off our balance each month, we really never have a zero balance. We are able to borrow money from our credit card company at no interest–as long as we pay off the full “statement balance” each month on or before the due date.

        When I was finally financially able to use a credit card this way (YAY!), I was surprised at first to realize that I carried a balance but was paying no finance charges.

        I’ve often been tempted to pay some of the balance in advance to keep a large chunk coming out of my checking account at once, but realized (where the OP didn’t) that the statement balance was already set. I can pay forward on my new balance to make next month’s bill smaller, but not reduce this month’s payment if the statement has already been issued.

    • HalOfBorg says:

      That is how it would work in a sensible system. It’s auto-pay day, you owe $500. It withdraws the $500, you owe zero.

      The real world almost never makes sense. Like me going into a bookstore in September to buy the September issue of Discover Magazine. October was on the shelf, so I asked about it. The clerk told me in a bubbly way, like I was being SO silly – “Oh, we sent that back WEEKS ago!”. Weeks ago was August.

      I asked her if she knew that a sane person would think that was stupid and left.

    • Skutch says:

      The options for Citi’s autopay are the minimum amount due, the balance as of the last statement, or a fixed amount set by the user. There is no option to pay the balance as of the date of the withdrawal. The OP is the one that made the mistake, so it’s perfectly reasonable to blame him.

    • Rena says:

      It’s his fault for carrying such a large balance and/or using autopay!

      (Not really. But see how easy it is when you ignore logic?)

  12. zmnatz says:

    So why hasn’t every consumerist reader figured out that you shouldn’t do Autopay for ANYTHING!!!. Especially when you are auto-paying with your bank account. If you do this, you are authorizing a company to take your money whenever they please.

    The only thing I would ever use autopay with is a credit card (i.e. Netflix automatically charges $8.99 to my credit card attached to the account each month).

    • RandomHookup says:

      I’ve used autopay for my utility bills for 20+ years without a hitch — especially useful if you travel substantially as I used to. I wouldn’t do credit cards because there’s too much variation, but it’s not as error-prone as people like to say.

      • ExtraCelestial says:

        I have to shamefully admit…. I use it on my Sallie Mae bill. For the life of me I cannot remember to pay that darn bill on time and I am usually flawless with such things. Even when I do remember (or set a reminder) their login system is retarded and I end up having to reset my password or user name every time I need access so I’ve just given up. The payment is only about $54 a month and it debits from a separate account specifically for that bill. Done and done.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          If you do it that way, with the separate account, that is actually pretty good. I don’t have autopay on anything but Netflix for this very reason (what happened to the OP). If I could maintain a separate account for bills, I would TOTALLY do that for certain things so I don’t have to mail a check and worry that it got lost, etc.

      • shepd says:

        I did that. Then I closed the account they were still getting the money from. Cost me $35 in an “bounced cheque” fee for an electronic transaction. Now they city gets their utility money on the very last day of every month manually, forever.

        I hope that $35 was worth it to have a perpetually delinquent account they can’t ding me for (no interest until the last day of the month), rather than a perpetually paid account on the first of the month. Idiots.

        • jesirose says:

          So because you closed the account and didn’t update your account info with them, it’s somehow their fault that you now chose less convenience?

          • shepd says:

            Hmm. Maybe you’re not getting it or I’m not explaining it clearly. It cost them all of $0.50 (at most) to process a failed electronic transaction. They charge a markup of 70x on that. That’s their fault. Of course, a real bounced cheque requires people to chase after it, so I’d not be upset over that.

            The transactions are processed on the first of the month and I paid the account manually on the 7th.

            I’m making sure they don’t profit from their decision to charge unreasonable prices. And it’s not hard, I simply enter the number on the bill they must now mail me (at the cost of stamps that means in 5 years alone being unflexible has cost them more than it was worth) into my bank’s website and click the date the bill gets paid. It’s very easy.

            Most companies are smarter than this and realize the benefits of not having to mail people, of not having perpetually delinquent accounts, and of not having to paperchase people over actual cheques so far outweighs the occasional lost $0.50 from a failed electronic transaction that they don’t charge for it. They just bill late fees (maximum 3% or so a month where I live, by law) and everything’s good.

            In the end, I pay nothing (paying my bills electronically is free), I get free interest for a year on an average of $100, and they lose out on sending me paper bills (they are regulated to do so) and they have to now provide me a product in advance that I pay for later. All because they are greedy up front.

            Anyways, back on topic, if you pay for everything manually, you don’t end up in a situation where you are dealing with people that don’t get that business is for profit, not for making life suck (as often).

    • TasteyCat says:

      I do autopay with my two credit cards that allow it. $20. Basically just enough to show payment activity, just in case.

      But I agree with the general point of your statement. I would never do autopay that’s going to vary. I have Tivo and other autopays because they’re the same amount every month, but no way Comcast or T-Mobile are going to get me to signup for autopay so that they can sneak in some random charges.

  13. pulsar0510 says:

    So it’s insane to think the system would verify in real-time that his balance was >$0? Or that if it couldn’t, it would be caught and corrected within, say 24 hours? They can take your money immediately, why can’t it be returned as quickly?

    • jrwn says:

      Because, one a transaction has been started from one back to another, it can not be stopped. It has to go through the Federal Banking system and you will not find anyone who can stop it. That is why it takes 3-4 business days.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I work in payroll, and direct deposit transfer can be denied within 24 hours of the date of electronic transfer. Citibank is being lazy and not helping.

      • pulsar0510 says:

        It’s within the same bank as far as I can tell: Citicard=Citibank.
        Regardless your argument sounds suspiciously like “that’s how it’s always been done”.

  14. sirwired says:

    Citi’s hands are tied here. They are speaking truthfully when they say the transaction hasn’t cleared yet. The funds simply have not arrived. Yes, it shows as withdrawn from your account instantly, but it still takes a couple of days for the Federal Reserve to shift the money around.

    That said, if you suffer any overdraft penalties or bounced check fees in the meantime, Citi should be responsible for those.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I work in payroll, and direct deposit transfer can be denied within 24 hours of the date of electronic transfer. Citibank is being lazy and not helping.

  15. outoftheblew says:

    The system is designed to deduct your statement balance by the due date. The statement balance was still $3,422. It is frustrating the first time one learns how this works, though. Back when I had a Home Equity Line of Credit, I would have the monthly interest charge auto-deducted. If I happened to forget about that and also write a check for the interest, it would still auto-deduct (which just meant one of those payments would go to principal.

    I can understand OP’s frustration because it probably wasn’t made clear that that is how it works. And it seems silly that a credit card will take 3-5 days to post his money back.

    Lesson learned: if you’ve set up your account to automatically deduct the statement balance, don’t prepay.

  16. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    The lesson to be learned here is probably: never use auto pay.

  17. Bodger says:

    I”ve been there, at least to the extent of paying off my Capital One balance but doing so one day early. This resulted in an automatic message from the bank shortly thereafter saying that I had not paid my minimum (a transaction when through after my payment resulting in a tiny balance). It was easy enough to call the customer service people and ask for a correction which they took care of immediately. I’d never consider having automatic payments on any debt which might vary widely — just too dangerous on several levels. I just check my balance online on the morning when the statement is released and take care of it immediately. Which reminds me, my morning to check is this morning so I had better go and pay my pound of flesh…

  18. Darkneuro says:

    I work for an insurance co that has (what sounds like) the same autopay system. Once an item is requested (warehouse item), which is usually when the statement is printed for the month advising you of the automatic withdrawal, it is automatically pended for the amount at the time the statement is printed. The system tells the OPs bank “On X day, we’re going to withdrawal Y amount of money from various accounts to come through to various accounts”. That’s what an ACH payment is. If it’s not stopped, it will remain there.
    If he paid the balance 2 weeks before the automatic pended payment, he should have called Citibank or gone online (however Citi has it set up) to stop the warehouse item. It does take 2-3 days before the pended transaction to stop it, and it can take 3-5 business days for a reversal to go through. That’s just part of the ACH process.
    Bank error? No. It’s the common ACH software used throughout the industry. If you have an automatic payment set up and do anything to change that automatic payment (like manually pay off the balance), it makes sense to back yourself up and make sure the automatic payment is stopped as well.

  19. JollyJumjuck says:

    I have heard too many bad stories about “auto-pay” acting more like “auto-theft.” Unless you are extremely forgetful, don’t use it.

  20. winnabago says:

    I would make a stink if you don’t have the money back in a week. Revolving credit issuers have very specific procedures to deal with “credit balances” to avoid money laundering, Nigerian scams, etc. This just seems to be how long it takes to sort out – days not weeks.

  21. wrbwrx says:

    My Chase Car Loan acted the same way. I received my title, had a statement of a $0 balance, yet they decided to keep autobilling me.

    I was surprised that they said that it was my responsibility to stop the autopay even though i had a $0 balance with them.

  22. Skutch says:

    Citi’s online payment system actually warns you about just this sort of occurrence when you have autopay setup and then attempt to make an additional payment manually.

  23. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    I’m not seeing the error here. It’s an automated system. My question to the OP would be, “Why would you manually pay it when you have relied on Auto-Pay up until now?”

    Any number of answers there… big balance, immediate funds for use to pay it, etc. etc.

    But a better question would be, “Did you think that maybe you should have arranged for your Auto-Pay service to skip a month or to perhaps pause and then restart since you manually paid.”

    It sucks that he got dinged for over $6000 but they are going to refund him.

  24. anime_runs_my_life says:

    Actually, it was through your fault that this happened. Auto pay is exactly like it sounds. It’s not going to stop taking the payment just because you made a payment early. Just keep your big boy britches on and wait like an normal, rational person would.

    And if you still want to cancel your account to prove a point, just remember that only those who are spiteful cut their noses off.

  25. fmatthew5876 says:

    Never ever setup automatic payments for anything.

  26. amcfarla says:

    As Dave Ramsey says…if you play with snakes they will eventually bite you. I closed my accounts at Citibank because their customer service agents are completely worthless.

  27. George says:

    Using Credit cards and paying off at the end of the month is a foolish thing to do…. all for reward points that are usually worthless. Credit cards are like snakes… they will eventually bite you if you keep playing with them. I have been credit card free for almost three years now. (I make less then a part time McDonald’s worker too)

    If you wish to buy something, pay for it with a debit card or cash. If you don’t have the cash or funds to pay for something. don’t buy it.

    • amcfarla says:

      Someone must listen to Dave Ramsey.

    • George4478 says:

      Who let the trolls out…grrrr, grrrr, grrr…..

      OK, I’ll stop singing now.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      But I do have the cash, it’s just collecting interest while I wait for my credit card statement to post. Rewards, plus the interest I earn for having a higher amount of money in the bank? Awesome.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      I’m sorry, but some of us have the discipline. Anyways, as long as the snake isn’t venomous, who cares about a small bite! In one year I collected over $600 in rewards, and I did mess up ONCE, and it cost me about $40 in fees after everything settled.

    • TasteyCat says:

      Good luck renting a hotel room. Or buying a car. Or getting insurance for that car even if you could buy it. Or getting a job with some employers.

  28. AntiNorm says:

    The people I spoke with showed little concern or sympathy, and I think one of them was intentionally trying to aggravate me in the way he insisted that I verify my checking account information before he would help me.

    So you’d rather have them let anyone have access to your account without verifying who they are first?

  29. buenor says:

    It doesn’t sound like it would too difficult for a program to do something like:
    if (balance
    //pay only the balance not the statement_balance
    Sounds like trying to hide behind the “it’s the computer not me” excuse. Don’t forget that programs do what they are told and companies should be responsible for handling systems with some sort of logic at least not just blaming the “machines”.

  30. peebozi says:

    Free market…i don’t see a problem here.

  31. Branden says:

    sounds to me like your autopay system simply and blindly pays off the total from the last statement and not the balance at that instance, the extra $3000 you paid early won’t show up until the NEXT statement.

    you’re next statement will have a $3000 credit.

  32. The Lone Gunman says:

    Two words, people: Spider picture.

  33. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I work in payroll, and direct deposit transfer can be denied within 24 hours of the date of electronic transfer. Citibank is being lazy and not helping.

  34. failurate says:

    Without a complete breakdown of all the dates, this story is who cares.
    He notes the dates he discovered the mix up, but not the date the auto payment was set to be released, or the date he made his payment, or the statement/cycle dates.

    A tip though, if you are going to set up auto-payment, be sure to turn it off if you change your mind and decide to go manual.

  35. Macgyver says:

    From Citibank site:
    “If I make an online payment does that stop my AutoPay payment?
    No. Your online payments and AutoPay payments are processed separately. Therefore, both payment options may be used on your account, and one does not affect the other.”

    He should’ve known this.

    “I’d like to add that my experience with their customer service call center was very frustrating. The people I spoke with showed little concern or sympathy, and I think one of them was intentionally trying to aggravate me in the way he insisted that I verify my checking account information before he would help me.”
    They do that for security purposes.

    Taking 3-5 day is not an unreasonable amount of time.
    Being that he had on autopay, then why would he pay it manually?

  36. tchann says:

    I once overpaid my credit card with a different bank. I paid it one day, checked back in two days and didn’t see any change or record of payment, and in a state of panic paid again. Both payments went through, of course, and I called four times and spoke to six different people before I got an assurance that I would get the overpayment back…within 9-14 days. It was returned within 8.

    So, um…I don’t have much sympathy for 3-5, honestly.

  37. milkcake says:

    That happened to me. I emailed them and they said the card will just have a positive balance (or negative if you think the other way). It was relatively small amount of about $1000, which I make purchases every month. I left it at that, but I canceled auto-debit. It’s a stupid system.

  38. El_Fez says:

    I totally blame Jon, who is obviously in the wrong here. Clearly you should have have more money. If 3,400 dollars empties your account, then you shouldn’t have been spending money!

    This post subtitled for the snark impaired

  39. Mcshonky says:

    op’s fault.

    seacrest out!

  40. Chili con sumerist says:

    This happens to me occasionally when I get nervous about approaching my limit and pay manually before my scheduled auto-pay. I don’t think it’s Citibank’s fault–I expect it to happen, and I know how to avoid it if need be–but I do think they could serve their customers better by giving an option to make auto-pay pay the current balance, rather than the statement balance.

  41. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I had the same problem with Chase a few years back (Although I went a step further and turned off auto pay, or so I thought). They reversed the debit, and then my credit union reversed their overdraft fee that was directly related.

    The time frames were similar, that is how ACH transactions work. I was satisfied with the outcome.

  42. ravana says:

    I have written to Citi multiple times about this & never gotten a reply.

  43. NeverLetMeDown says:

    Out of curiosity, if you had autopay set up, why did you pay off the balance in advance?

  44. hammond egger says:

    This was John’s fault not Citibanks. The way he has the autopay feature set, it pays his statement balance off in full every month. So regardless whether he paid early it still pays off the amount of the balance shown the day his statement cycled. Why did he pay early anyway? That defeats the purpose of autopay. He said he pays the balance in full every month so why pay early, he doesn’t have to worry about interest charges so it makes no sense. It could of been avoided had he understood how autopay works.

  45. katromic says:

    I have a Citi card. The terms and conditions for the autopayment program spell out pretty clearly that this will happen. When your monthly statement is issued, the system automatically schedules your automatic payment based on the parameters you specify (minimum payment, balance due or specified amount). The terms explain that this auto payment is NOT automatically adjusted as a result of any manual payments. So it was the OP’s responsibility to suspend the automatic payment that was triggered by the issuance of his statement.

  46. Blow a fuse? I can fix that... says:

    This is why I will not use any payment system that does not explicitly require me to authorize each and every payment, no matter how superficially convenient they may be.

    Not having to fight my bank, or some random company, to get money back that they withdrew from my account without my knowledge or permission, that’s convenience!

  47. dush says:

    Autopay…why do it?

  48. nl86 says:

    i use autopay for all of my credit card bills and have never had any issue with each.

    when signing up for the Citi autopay,the user selects “Statement Balance In-Full as shown on your statement “

    all of my cards enrolled in AutoPay clearly state on the statement when the autopay will take place, and the amount of the autopay.

    Citi statement reads “Your next Autopay automated payment of $293.00 will be deducted from your designated bank account on 09/28/2010.”

  49. TasteyCat says:

    The kneejerk reaction of closing the account based on something a credit card company did to you (whether it was your fault or not, which in this case it was, or whether their resolution is reasonable, which in this case it is) isn’t doing any favors. Don’t want to give Citi your business any more? Toss it in a sock drawer and use it for a monthly recurring charge or every few months for a convenience store purchase. This improves your credit score by continuing to age your account (although closed accounts continue to age, that will stop at some point) and decreasing your utilization.

  50. EcPercy says:

    Don’t let anyone auto withdraw from your bank account. We have probably all learned this one the hard way at some point.

    With most banks offering web bill pay. You can setup all of your payee’s. A lot of the payee’s are already in the system allowing automatic electronic billing and payment through your web bill pay system. This is how I handle things.

    With my bank. I get an e-mail with the current billed amount from each payee and then I login to my bank and setup the payment for the due date. I don’t ever have to worry about being overcharged. You can also setup the payment to be recurring if its something like the mortgage.

  51. bumblefoot2004 says:

    I never autopay anything, for this very reason.

  52. 401k says:

    OP needs to learn how online banking works.

    Its just a computer, it does what you told it to do. If you have a scheduled payment on autopay, it doesn’t know you made a single click to pay and don’t want the autopay anymore. You should have cancelled the auto pay for that month if you didn’t want it to come out. The computer did what you told it to, don’t blame Citi.

  53. Extractor says:

    All but citibank can be paid ahead of the due date if you have autopay set up. I found that even if I paid early, that amount would still be autopayed on that day. A couple times I wound up with a couple hundred credit on the card. So I just do nothing with payments for citibank and watch the autopay from within quicken. All my other credit cards will accept early payments and skip the autopay. Live and learn.

  54. Extractor says:

    I was paying ahead of schedule and on one account I paid 1 day before the statement date. For some unknown reason I was charged a late fee. I called the bank and they couldnt figure out how that happened but immediately admitted that it was an obvious mistake and reversed the charge. Wierd

  55. howtobuildcredit says:

    The Auto-Pay system automatically paid the statement balance not the current balance…Citi is supposed to take money from his account to pay his balance as of the date of withdrawal…