• Report:  #1211

Complaint Review: First USA - Nationwide

Reported By:

First USA
Nationwide, U.S.A.
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I've been a cardmember with First USA for many, many years......going back to college. I recently attempted (and you'll soon see why I say attempted) to pay off my entire balance. It all started on January 14, 2000, when I called the customer service line at First USA to A) obtain my current balance & B) make a payment via the phone for the entire amount.

After being informed of what my entire balance was, including all up to date last minute transactions, I indicated to the customer service rep. that I wished to pay off the account. In the course of the past 16-18 months, I have made at least 10 payments to First USA via telephone without any problem whatsoever. Accordingly, I proceeded to provide the rep I was speaking with all the requsite information, verifying the checking account number as well as routing number. I was told the check would post within 24-48 hours and that I would not be charged a late fee. Note, the due date on the account was either the 15th or 16th.

After receiving a confirmation number from teh rep, I hung up the phone, thinking all was well. Imagine my complete and utter shock & surprise when I received a bill from First USA on 1/31/2000 for the entire previously paid off balance (or so I thought) plus an overlimit fee and finance charges! I promptly called First USA to ascertain what was happening with my account. The first rep I spoke to indicated to me that the payment I had made via phone some 2+ weeks earlier had not gone thru due to the money not being available in my account. I was further instructed to check with my OWN bank as their computer contained no INFO as to what exactly had happened.

I called my bank & was informed by them that

A) the money was in fact available

B) First USA NEVER attempted to collect on said check. I then called First USA again & speaking to a different rep this time was told that the first rep was wrong & that they were sorry, but that they had the incorrect bank account/routing numbers & could I please verify them.

After some reluctance on my part to do so, I did nonetheless only to discover that the numbers they had were in fact CORRECT! At this point I was told that the payment just didn't go through and that my overlimit fee would be credited. No explanation was given for this. I then asked if the payoff amount was the same as before in light of the fact that the overlimit fee & any other fees would be credited as this was due to THEIR error.

I was informed yes & proceeded to make another payment for the full balance via telephone. Thinking this saga was over and done, imagine by reaction to discover I had a balance of $2.00+ when I phoned the next day, 2/1/2000 to see if in fact the account was paid off! Utter disgust and shock are putting it mildly. I proceeded to speak with 2 more customer reps, the first of which informed me that the rep I had spoken to the day before who had credited the overlimit fee had made a mathematical error re: the full balance amount & yet I was expected tp pay for it, i.e the $2.00. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, I was told I would need to submit a letter to the correspondence unit.

I then inquired as to the corporate headquarters' phone number & address and was informed it was unknown. When I proceeded to ask the rep what the address was that was listed on her paycheck, she replied none as she gets direct deposit! I then told her in no uncertain terms that I wanted to speak to a supervisor NOW! After being on a hold for several minutes, I was finally connected to a supervisor. After relating this entire saga to her and asking that the $2.00+ be credited as it was not due to my error, but rather theirs, as was this entire situation, I was initially given the runaround. I was informed that the software now being used by them to accept electronic payments had changed, so that could be a reason for this entire situaion. I was furthermore informed that there is no guarantee that the electronic payment will go through this time and that I would need to check in a few days.

When I replied that I had been paying my account via telephone for the last 16-18 months without any problem and that I was making the minimum payment, but that now when I attempted to pay off the account there suddenly developed problems, I was met with utter silence on the other end of the telephone.

Additionally, the supervisor I spoke with last found it somewhat strange that I was so upset that it took me 5 phone calls over a 2+ week period to pay off my account, entirely due to problems at and of First USA! She further failed to see anything remiss with First USA not notifying me of the fact that the electronic payment of 1/15/2000 did not go through, although it is allegedly company policy to do so. Yet, this is the same company who last month telephoned me at least 3 times and sent me 3 notices in the span of 2 days when my payment was late! All in all, I can honestly say I will NEVER, EVER use my First USA card again. This has been a completely hellacious experience. Sorry this is so long.

If anyone has similar problems with First USA that they wish to share with me, please feel free to email me at LENACH1@ aol.com.

Thank you.


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