Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Fun With Bill

Holiday’s over. Time to pay the bills. Now the real fun starts.

Our problem began a couple weeks before Christmas when among our Christmas cards we also received in the mail a letter from the postal service. Inside the letter were the chewed up contents of one of our mailings and a sorry-but-crap-happens apology. All that apparently was left was the mangled corner of one check wife Wendy had written.

Yikes! Though we received precious little back to investigate, we determined that it was the check that paid for our Citibank credit card bill. Double yikes!! Wendy called the credit card company. Other than confirming that they had not received our payment, they were more interested in selling us "credit guard" than helping to resolve the problem.

Never mind. Our payment was due in two days. Still time. I rushed to the post office and stood in the long holiday line. Our local post office would rescue us, for sure. They said they could ship our payment overnight and it would arrive the day before it was due. All right! The cost? About $15.

"Could we get a discount since it was the postal service’s mistake?" I asked.

Heck, no. Afterall, this is "if it’s your fault, it’s your problem; if it’s our fault, it’s your problem" America. I paid the $15.

But the story doesn’t end there. Heck, no. When government or big businesses screw up, they screw up big.

Our latest credit card statement showed that Citibank received and cashed BOTH checks--the check that we thought the post office had eaten (but apparently had only taken a bite of) AND the replacement check we had written and rushed through.

But the story doesn’t end there either. Though Citibank says it cashed both checks, our bank statement that records our checks doesn’t agree. It still shows the original check outstanding. So . . . will our local bank eventually credit Citibank for the mutilated check? Or will they return it unpaid? Will Citibank charge us a fine for the returned check? And maybe our local bank too?

Stay tuned for another chapter of "if it’s your fault, it’s your problem; if it’s our fault, it’s your problem" America.


Anonymous Rhea said...

God, don't you hate stuff like this? I had my credit card number stolen a few months ago so the company closed my account. I am glad they did, but you can imagine what happened when all my online bills tried to bill me. No card!!! But the credit card co. did refund me a late fee because of all the chaos.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Ohh, that makes me see red. Don't get me started on the USPS. (My uncle works for them). Half the time I don't get my mail.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to 2007 my friend, as you have already found out, it ain't gonna get any better.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Golly! What a way to start the New Year! Reminds me of a time when I was a young wife and mother with precious little money and Uncle Sam notified us that we owed Income Tax from the year before on some prizes we had won through the company. We had a big refund coming back, so we asked them to take it out of there. They refused and insisted on a check immediately. The check took all we had to our names, but we had to send it or fight the Income Tax people. God forbid! So a couple of days later our refund check arrived minus the errant amount we had sent on the check. I called the bank and stopped payment to the U.S. Government and the bank almost had a heart attack. "You can't do that!" I told them that since it was my account, I wanted to stop payment and I did. We never heard from them about it. Official agencies are a bunch of chicken crap! Keep copies of everything you have and ring their bell daily until you have satisfaction. Your story is nuts, but not unusual. I'm sorry you have to start out the year on a discordant note.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous vicki said...

Think positively. Maybe Citibank will never cash the first check but they'll still give you the extra credit. Nope. Not gonna happen.

In Chicago we never get those lame crap happens apologies from the USPS. In fact, we never get our mail. I think our mailman is psycho and has 4 years worth of the whole neighborhood's mail in a rented storage locker. Wait. That doesn't sound pc. But I do think he's postal.

Good luck with this, Dave.

6:32 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Happy New Year Big Dave! ~ jb///

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

Geeze, talk about a nightmare. What a mess. But least you is YOUR fault! Welcome to customer service America.
Sure hope this all works out for you, Dave. TO your benefit, that is.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave you should have been able to pay your bill right over the phone or, at least, on line. Several places don't charge you for this, but if they do it is NOT more than $15.00. If you pay it before a certain time, it gets credited that day.....

Since the bank hasn't credited your account, I would keep the amount deducted in your check register for a few months and see what happens. The last thing you need is a bounced check....

I'm sitting here laughing because I have seen it all too often...Good luck! PS. How's the diet going?

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here I thought things could only look up for you after the Trojan debacle.

How about those Boise State Broncos?! You gotta love that land-grant university spirit!! My boys (five sons and dear husband) have reenacted the overtime in our driveway time and time again.

Will you be cheering for the Gators or the Buckeyes, Dave? Or, perhaps you just can't bear to watch the
championship game this year. See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous john said...

Online is definitely the way to go these days. I got set up about five years ago, and I've never looked back. Chase or Discover are good ones to go with; I prefer Chase. It's nice to make a purchase and see it appear immediately on your account on the web.

I still haven't swallowed the "automatic bill payment" Kool-aid yet. That still freaks me out a little bit.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous kristy said...

Pay by computer. Don't be scared.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grrrrrr...doesn't it really give you the 'what's-its'...and you've not even taken any laxatives???

I hope everything works out in the end ( no pun intended) your favour, Dave!

3:32 AM  
Anonymous squirrel said...

I'm on the edge of my seat Dave! I hope this all works out and you don't get charged for a returned check! At least your not showing a missed payment on your credit report, then you'd be in big trouble!

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Unbelievable! Hope it all works out for you!

3:13 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Who still *mails* bill payments in this day and age? ;-)

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch. I don't miss mailing payments. I like our way. ;) - and here I thought we had terrible errors. You win, Dave.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

Dontcha just love it? Doesen't matter whose fault it is - as long as they get you to pay.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous schnoodlepooh said...

What a stinkin' fiasco! The good news is that you're not late with your Citibank payment. The bad news is .... where is your money and how much do you really have??? and guess what, it's always gonna be your fault!!! sorry, that's just the way it is.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here in the big island, we have Citibanks on every corner. No problem if your payment is due in two days--you can just walk into the bank and pay your Citicard bill even on the day it's due with no penalties!

Take good care,

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:51 PM  

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