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Ge Money (Abt Store Credit Card) / Poor customer service and unauthorized debits

1 IL, United States

I have been getting the runaround from GE Money on my ABT store credit card since May 21st.

After paying my first minimum payment in May, I waited until after the due date passed and then signed up for their auto-payments on May 19 to take effect on my next due date on June 15th. Due to some "error, " the $150 payment (5x the minimum so I can pay it off in 12 months) came out immediately. When I saw this in my online banking I called and spoke to a rep who said that it would not count towards my June payment since it posted one day before my statement cycle, and the payment would come out again on June 15th. I asked for it to be reversed and was told that it could only be sent back via check. Since I was set to take a big trip in mid-June and wanted it for spending $$ I agreed to have them send me a check.

So now it's June 1oth or so...no check. I call back and am sent to an "escalation specialist" named Carol. Who was very nice and helpful, saying that there was a note on my account from accounting asking for a copy of my bank statement to verify that the payment had indeed been made. Very odd, since it was showing up in my GE Money account as a payment on May 19th. She agreed this made no sense and would have a check sent ASAP and apologized. On June 12th my online ABT account showed "06/12/09 NET TERMK $150.00" -- fantastic, the check is on it's way.

So the end of June rolls around and there's still no check, and I make another phone call. After waiting 35 minutes to transfer to another "escalation specialist" I talk to Carol (perhaps the same one) who puts me on hold and talks to accounting since the first rep I spoke to said it would be sent electronically, not as a check. She verified that it WAS a check, and they would research it and put a stop payment on it if it wasn't cashed. And then a new check would be sent. So I wait a few days as instructed and called back to see what they've found out.

The rep that answered my call on July 7th listened to my confusing situation and again said that it would be electronic, not a check, since it was originally debited electronically. How can every other person I speak to give me different info??? So again I wait on hold for 30 minutes for Escalation Specialist Christina. After the very long explanation she says that they paid me on June 12th and it should be in my bank account. I tell her it's not and what Carol told me about the check needing to be canceled and resent. She then proceeded to tell me that I never spoke to Carol at the end of June -- only on June 9th, since there were no notes in my account indicating otherwise. I asked why in the world I would make up a story about stopping payment on a check, and that I cannot control what is noted in my account. She again insisted quite rudely that I never spoke to Carol that day and that I needed to send in a copy of my bank statement to show that I did not get a credit electronically on June 12th. I (not so politely) asked to speak to her supervisor since there was all this confusion of check versus ACH debit, to which she said "No, you cannot speak to a supervisor. They will just tell you the same thing." I then asked to speak to Carol, since she was familiar with my situation, and she again refused, saying that she could not transfer me directly. She still would not let me speak to a supervisor after I told her that they basically stole $150 from me and I needed answers she was not able to provide.

Let's just say I was LIVID--I have never had to jump through so many hoops or been treated so rudely about a situation that was in no way my fault. I was wishing I had just left the payment on my account to begin with. But that was no longer an option since there was now a $150 charge against my account that I never received. So I do what I'm told and fax in copies of my bank statement showing that they did not send me $150 electronically on June 12th. I hear nothing for several days and decide to call back...I speak to what I think is a big-time supervisor and I am told that it takes a few days for faxes to even show up (huh???) but she sees it all noted on my account and it will be taken care of when it arrives. She also says that I should check with my bank, since their records show the $150 was sent to my bank and not bounced back to them.

So I call Bank of America (as I should have done in the first place) and they say the best thing to do is file a claim against an unauthorized debit. I question this since I already have all this other nonsense going on over at GE Money, but they go ahead with it anyway. So lo and behold, two days later I have $150 in my account as a reversal of the May 19th debit. BUT the $150 charge on June 12th is still on my account, in addition to a July 14 reversal from B of A. I now have my $150 back in my checking, but I still have a $150 charge counting against my balance in my GE Online account that I never received. I call again and am told it can take up to 60 days for accounting to "investigate." Really??? Oh, and if the investigation shows that they did actually send it to B of A they will need to investigate where it ended up before anything can be done. So if they can't find it, does that mean I never get it back?

Again, I wait a week and decide to check my GE Money account online...nope, the June 12 charge is still there. Plus the reversal of the May 19th payment, and my July 14 autopayment initiated by GE Money...which just so happened to post the same day as the May reversal triggering a $39 late payment fee. You have got to be kidding me...back to the phone. I am able to get a one-time "courtesy" reversal, even tho there was no actual late payment. I am told that I only get one a year, so be thankful. So we launch into the explanation again since I'm already on the phone and figure I should check again on this accounting research. I am sent to escalation specialist Lillian, who tries to tell me that my July 14 autopayment was actually reversed -- even tho it clearly states it is ACH RETURN 05/21/09 CLAIM #2853609JUL09 on my B of A statement. And then tries to tell me that they did send me the money back on June 12th. Here we go again.

So as of today, July 21st, I was told that an email would be sent to Christina to follow up on the information I faxed on July 7th. The best thing about GE Money is that they have no email or snail mail contact info -- so none of this is ever documented. I finally have my $150 back in my checking thanks to B of A, but my GE Money account balance still shows the phantom $150 charge that I am being charged interest on and will be responsible to pay if this is not resolved. So in the end, what I said earlier holds true, GE Money stole $150 from me.

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