Now I would never suggest that banks or credit card companies would ever
do anything unethical or illegal just for a few bucks. We all know they are
way above deserving of opprobrium, right? Ahem, I said–Right? RIGHT?
I can’t hear you.
Well, anyway, here’s what happened to me. I’ve used the same credit card
and never, ever paid late for at least a decade. But this has happened before, with another card and I had to argue about it with that other credit card company and got so pissed off that I canceled the card–which I’d had for 15 or 20 years, with never a late or minimum payment.
So, anyway, in February I sent a payment in six days before it was due on
the 23rd. Then on the second of March I got a phone call from the credit
card company wanting to know why I hadn’t paid the bill. So I had to stop
what I was doing, find the statement, look for my checkbook, etc. to verify
that I’d sent it in plenty of time. No way could they not have received it.
But they claimed they hadn’t and, in addition to my bill they were tacking
on a $25 late charge.
So on March 6 I went to my bank and found out, yes the check had cleared.
So then today, the 7th, I went to Bank of America, which is where the
credit card is from, to check and make sure that the check that cleared had
actually been received and cashed by that institution and not by some
identity thief. The counter clerk, who was a bit of a snot, with an
Eastern European accent so thick I could barely understand her, told me the
payment had been received on March 2. The 2nd would be the day that they called and hassled me because I supposedly hadn’t paid my bill. (Sorry, I know it’s not politically correct but I do not take well to having to put up with rude foreigners when I know that plenty of Americans would love to have their job.)
Not to mention–WTF is the CC company doing calling and dunning me when the
damn payment would only have been overdue by a few days? I’ve had the
damn card for more than a decade and never had a late payment or even
made a minimum payment.
So now I wonder if credit card companies hold checks that are received
right before a due date just so they can tack on a bogus late charge. Yes, I
know, I know, no big corporation would do such a thing, right? Right?
I remember someone else telling me the same thing happened to them.
And what I’m also wondering is–do banks and credit card companies do this as an organized scam? If so, how many millions of dollars in free money would that work out to each month? I doubt most people would even contemplate their bank or CC company being so venal, greedy and stupid as to perpetrate a fraud such as this.
Has anyone else had this experience? Or am I just overly suspicious?
(Which is hardly possible in Florida because here there are no depths so deep, no
low so low that someone or some company wouldn’t stoop to it for money.)
Of course, when the same credit card company owed me about $750, they didn’t pay me for months and months. They’d ask again and again for the same documents, despite admitting that they’d already received what I’d sent. So that was an interest free loan from me to them for months. I guess I should have started hassling them seven days after they were supposed to have paid my claim, which had been billed to me on my credit card the very day that it was incurred.
What would Jesus say? “Gimme my whip, I never liked these guys in the first place.”