Over the years I have had many a rant about the big financial institutions – banks, credit cards, utilities and so forth. Today I found myself dealing with yet another anomaly with the way credit card companies organise themselves. It all went back to the telephone purchase of an item and its payment via credit card. The first item wasn’t delivered, so the retailer’s advice was to cancel Item #1 and Order an alternative. I was assured that a credit would be issued direct to the card for #1 whilst a debit would be raised for #2
All well and good – the goods were delivered and all seemed well. Until . . . . . . . the monthly credit card statement was received. 2 items billed. No credit given. So off I went to the retailer (on the phone at least) and they duly apologised and said a refund would be issued straight away. They suggested I phone the credit card issuer with a note of the Refund Admin No. This is where the trouble started.
It seemed that the credit card people would not receive the credit until the next month. So they suggested that I just pay the whole bill, including the two items, and then there would be a refund due when next I bought something. But supposing I cannot or don’t want to pay for this item twice, said I? Too bad was the very nicely given advice. The operative noted that I paid my bills off each month, so eventually she said that they would arrange to give me back any interest charged – as a one off.
By this time I was thoroughly confused. Only later did it dawn on me that credit cards are not rolling bills like banks. They are similar to a retailer with a fixed cut-off date. No doubt it is written up in their rules that they are entitled to payment and interest at a certain date. Imagine – your retailer makes an error and charges you several times for the same item. If it happens to be at the end of the billing period, you either have to pay for all the items or pay monthly interest and then fight for restitution.
Either way, big business gets bigger and I get crosser and crosser. It seems that the customer is no longer always right.