When most of us cancel a credit card, it’s a simple process: We call (or send a secure message), the call center rep either tries to tempt us into keeping the card in exchange for extra miles or gladly fulfills our request (sometimes to our disappointment), and the credit card eventually disappears from our online profile. We may even get a letter in the mail, confirming that the account is closed. Sometimes, things don’t quite pan out that way.
For the past week, my dad has been receiving calls from Citi, asking him to call a certain number and provide a specific code in order to hear a message related to his Citi AAdvantage account. He assumed it was a fraud alert and since I’ve been using the card to meet the $3,000 spending requirement, he asked me to take care of it. After all, I would be much more familiar with the purchases made on the card than he would. Strangely, he had not received any texts or secure messages about his account so I called the number and was instructed to make a payment on his Citi AAdvantage Gold credit card, which was apparently $50 past due – only, he hasn’t had a Citi AAdvantage Gold card in over a year.
I called the number on the back of the card and spoke to an agent who did some digging and found out that my dad did in fact have a Citi AAdvantage Gold credit card account open but, “it’s managed by a different department, so I’ll have to transfer you there.” The second agent informed me that the $50 charge was for the card’s annual fee and that the account had been open since 2011. I’m pretty sure it hasn’t, since I cancelled it last year when I couldn’t get them to waive the annual fee. Plus, I’m pretty sure before I unlinked the card from his online profile, it was labeled inactive.
In addition to the fact that Citi failed to cancel the card when I asked them to, the $50 annual fee was charged back in January. So not only had this past due charge been reported to the credit bureaus, but Citi had made no attempts to contact him until two months later. The agent submitted a request to have the negative mark removed from his credit report and told me I still had to pay $41 of the $50 annal fee since I was canceling 30 days after the renewal date. I had to point out that the only reason I missed the cut-off date was because they didn’t cancel the account a year ago when I’d asked them to and that I didn’t receive sufficient notice about the annual fee being due. The agent was reasonable and submitted another request to have the entire $50 fee removed.
I will still have to follow up and make sure that my dad’s credit report is cleaned up, the credit card is in fact cancelled and the $50 annual fee completely refunded. I’m just baffled by how this happened and that we didn’t hear about it for so long. This just goes to show that you should always follow up and don’t assume a credit card is cancelled just because the agent on the phone says so. Make a follow-up call and when pulling your free annual credit report, check for any inaccuracies, delinquent accounts and if there are any, dispute them and follow up to make sure they’re corrected.
Have you ever run into a problem like this after canceling a credit card?
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