This cancelled payment I didn't cancel
July 10, 2019 3:46 PM   Subscribe

Checking one of my credit cards, I noticed my June payment had been cancelled, resulting in a late charge.

After what seemed like hours with the lovely-voiced helper on the phone, she informed me that no one there could get in to my account and it had to be me (effectively calling me a liar). She then suggested I change my password. Good advice, except I do, regularly, and when I told her that she merely said, "Oh, that's nice."

Who canceled my payment? I suggested she give me a new account, but she didn't feel that was necessary. The whole reason everything is on auto-pay is so I don't have to go in too often to mess with anything. Still this is a bit alarming.
posted by intrepid_simpleton to Work & Money (8 answers total)
I had a similar incident recently with my credit card. The money for the payment went out of my bank account and then right back in, and I got a late payment fee.

What worked for me was calling, providing the information about the payment being made and being refunded, noting my very good, always-on-time payment history, and then asking, firmly, for the late payment fee to be revoked.

If you try this again, and the agent balks, calmly ask to speak to their supervisor.
posted by SansPoint at 3:55 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]

Perhaps your bank, for some reason such as non-sufficient funds? Did you set up your auto-payment arrangement through your bank account, or is this a pre-authorized payment through your credit card company? If it's the former and your credit card recently expired, it's possible that your auto-payment didn't go through if your credit card number changed. Credit cards are supposed to be issued with the same number when they expire, but strange things happen sometimes.

This isn't a great situation, but something about your reaction comes across as odd and adversarial (like immediately asking for a new card). If that's coming through in your dealings with your credit card company it might be a bit more difficult to get things solved, just saying.
posted by blerghamot at 4:01 PM on July 10

It may be difficult to tell my tone or intent in writing; please be assured I take great pains to speak kindly when I have to deal with Customer Service ('cause it's the right thing to do), but it was clear she was just going off her script. Not an overdraft, and my card numbers didn't change since last month (But good ideas, thank you!)
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 4:15 PM on July 10

Did you try asking your bank why it canceled?
posted by Glinn at 4:49 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]

It's probably a software fluke on one end or the other. As long as your payment history is good, call and ask a different rep to waive the fee and interest. Change your autopay date to be 3 days before the due date and keep an eye on it for a few cycles. Unless it happens again, it was probably a glitch.

(Assuming there's not a valid reason your bank cancelled the payment.)
posted by Candleman at 5:13 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]

If the representative was clearly sticking to a script, then you were not talking to the right person. As SansPoint says, you should insist (pleasantly) on speaking to a supervisor. If you make clear to the representative that you are not planning to complain about her when you speak to the supervisor, but simply realize that it'll take someone with more authority to resolve your problem appropriately, she is likely to be much more cooperative and perhaps even put in a good word for you with her supervisor when she briefs him/her about the call. Why yes, I have been called a cock-eyed optimist before.
posted by DrGail at 5:18 PM on July 10

From what little you wrote, it sounds to me as if the problem or issue is with your bank, not the credit card company. I would call them up and ask what they know about the canceled transaction. Then, either they should credit you the late fee or call the cc company and ask them (as per the suggestions above) to waive the fee.
posted by AugustWest at 9:42 PM on July 10

I worked at a couple of call centers back in the day, and the answer you get will depend severely on the person answering the call. Even two agents who have the exact same script may give you a different answer depending on whether they want to help you/mood/etc. Helping you potentially affects one of their own statistics, such as time on the phone, so they have to want to help you rather than want to get you to hang up. It's easy for a call center to set up perverse disincentives for agents to help (I could go on at length about whether this is actually accidental or deliberate on the part of the company but I'll spare you).

I agree with SansPoint and DrGail that the best thing to do is to call back, keep the pleasant tone, and if agent #2 won't help, ask to speak to a supervisor. Hopefully, one or the other will be more helpful, if nothing else to get you to stop calling.
posted by past unusual at 6:39 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]

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