Another win for Citi



  • I recently bought a new computer in components from newegg, and a bunch of the parts had mail-in rebates.  Some of the rebates were mailed to me in the  form of Visa gift cards backed by Citi.  Sounds great so far, right?

    I was running low on one particular one, and at the register, I asked if I could put $8.75 on the card and pay the rest in cash.  The clerk said "I'll try" and swiped the card for the full amount.  The transaction was approved.  I thought it was odd, and that Citi is basically giving away money, but it's not my problem.  This morning, I checked the balance on the card, and sure enough, it says that the card is overdrafted by 93 cents.  

    I didn't read the cardholder agreement, so maybe I'm bound to pay that back.  I wouldn't mind if I did, but I'm certainly not going to call them up and alert them to it.  Maybe not since the amount was low enough that I didn't have to sign.  It's been a few days (the purchase was last Friday) and I haven't gotten an initial overdraft or daily overdraft charge.

    What kind of fucked up system lets you overdraft a rebate debit card?  



  •  It's all fun and games until Citi launches a massive manhunt with swarms of merecenaries hunting you down over 93 cents.  The mercenaries get 50% of the amount owed whether they bring you in dead or alive, but they get 75% if they kill you in an especially painful way.  That's pretty much standard language for these types of cards; check your agreement.  It's usually under the Vengeance Clause.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    What kind of fucked up system lets you overdraft a rebate debit card?  

     

    The kind of system that would be permissive enough to let you overdraft up to $0.99 or $1 and ignore this.

    Or the kind of system that would pay $1000 to get back its $0.96.

    Or the kind of system that would spend $1000 to get back its $0.96 which you were allowed to use under certain conditions plus the $1000 you owe them for the fact that they had to hunt you down and drag you through court.

    <font size="1">I'm back.</font>



  • I had an old student checking account that I haven't used since college, but there was like $50 sitting in there.  Somehow my credit card company's online payments system screwed up and charged against that account instead of the real one (for like $800).  Obviously the bank declined the transaction, and charged me a $55 fee for doing so.  So I had $-5 in the account.  I ignored it for a while until they sent me a threatening letter.  I went to the bank the next day with $5 to pay up and close the account.  The teller told me the account balance was $0.  So in the interest of being thorough, I made this guy waste like half an hour of his time calling other people in the bank finding out what was up with my $-5.  Eventually they say they just go ahead and "forgive" small amounts like that.

    So, lessons learned:
    1) Wachovia will give you at least $5 for free.  Maybe that's why they went under and got bought out?
    2) A threatening letter sometimes means you're getting an award.
    3) The kolache shop across the street from that bank was a way better way to spend my $5.

    So you've probably got nothing to worry about.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    Wachovia will give you at least $5 for free.
    So what you're saying is that I should continue to use the cards until they get declines.  Got it.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    I had an old student checking account that I haven't used since college, but there was like $50 sitting in there.  Somehow my credit card company's online payments system screwed up and charged against that account instead of the real one (for like $800).  Obviously the bank declined the transaction, and charged me a $55 fee for doing so.  So I had $-5 in the account.  I ignored it for a while until they sent me a threatening letter.  I went to the bank the next day with $5 to pay up and close the account.  The teller told me the account balance was $0.  So in the interest of being thorough, I made this guy waste like half an hour of his time calling other people in the bank finding out what was up with my $-5.  Eventually they say they just go ahead and "forgive" small amounts like that.

    So, lessons learned:
    1) Wachovia will give you at least $5 for free.  Maybe that's why they went under and got bought out?
    2) A threatening letter sometimes means you're getting an award.
    3) The kolache shop across the street from that bank was a way better way to spend my $5.

    So you've probably got nothing to worry about.

     

    Similar thing happened to me. I had a BarclayCard Visa and ran up a ~£300 bill and set up a monthly direct debit to pay it off. Some months later, BarclayCard decided to cancel my direct debit and soon afterwards started to bill "late payment charges", eventually bringing the debt up to £100 and I started to recieve letters from a collection agency. I then recieved a tax rebate and decided to get the debt payed off. Attempted to do so over the phone, but was told the account was closed. Went to the bank to see WTF was going on and was eventually (after the very helpful customer rep. spent the better part of an hour on the phone to various departments), told that there had been some "refunds" on the account that reduced the balance to about £30, at which point BarclayCard decided it wasn't worth chasing up and closed the account.

    My theory is that the "refunds" were the cancelling of the late payment charges after they realised that it's probably not ethical to charge the customer for not paying after they cancelled my direct debit payments without notice. Still, got ~£30 for free...



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    Wachovia will give you at least $5 for free.

    Worse yet, get this: My sister and her soon-to-be-ex-husband have a shared account with Wachovia through into which he is supposed to deposit child-support payments until the courts come up with a better way of doing things. For some reason, he decided to pay his utility bills through this account, overdrawing it by about $250. The bank took notice that the man's wife happens to also have an account there (but without his name on it) and decides to extend overdraft-protection and happily took $250 out of her account.



  • @AltSysrq said:

    @vt_mruhlin said:

    Wachovia will give you at least $5 for free.

    Worse yet, get this: My sister and her soon-to-be-ex-husband have a shared account with Wachovia through into which he is supposed to deposit child-support payments until the courts come up with a better way of doing things. For some reason, he decided to pay his utility bills through this account, overdrawing it by about $250. The bank took notice that the man's wife happens to also have an account there (but without his name on it) and decides to extend overdraft-protection and happily took $250 out of her account.

    I'm not sure if that's better or worse than allowing the overdraft, and sticking her with the exorbitant fees.


  • @merreborn said:

    I'm not sure if that's better or worse than allowing the overdraft, and sticking her with the exorbitant fees.

    It's a lot worse, because, if her husband had noticed what happened, he would have made out a check for $10,000 and made off with everything.

    He would have then proceeded to attempt to get to the nearest airport, but get lost on the way and end up in the middle of nowhere several states over (this -- minus the fraud -- has actually happened before).



  • Seeing as Citi is now owned by the US government, you should just consider this a perk in exchange for the hundreds of dollars of worthless Citi stock your elected representatives bought for you with your tax money.


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