Thursday, May 04, 2006

Discover...The card that pays you someone else's money, then loses yours

At the end of March I noticed a $3000 payment posted to my Discover card. Imagine my surprise, since I had only paid $600 and now there was a $2,800 something credit! So I call their customer service, and my month and half long saga begins.

I must say that Discover customer service is one of the easiest to get in touch with. Much easier than Citibank or MBNA. The first time I called Discover, I was routed to their Utah center, 2nd and 3rd times to Arizona, then back to Utah for calls 5 and 6. Some other states for the last 5 calls, but I've been connected to the Utah call center reps most frequently, and they are the most polite. Mormons? Gotta wonder, or maybe prisoners. More likely, what we have is people who went for the snow, and are not qualified to be rafting/wilderness guides in the summer. Poor souls, they now have to work in the off season, performing what has to be the suckiest job ever. Do they get a commission for asking when I call about a problem if I want a balance transferred? I much prefer to think these things through and do it online at my leisure! I can also sign up for their cashback deal of the month online, thank you very much. Don't try to sell me anything, just fix the problem I called about!!!!!

During the first call, I asked Discover if they could tell me where the check was from. It had only cleared the day before according to my online statement. I frequently visit my banking and credit sites daily, so I notice when any unusual activity occurs. Customer service said that they couldn't tell, only that the payment was "mailed in." I find this humorous because its been almost 4 years since I've sent a check to the credit card companies, much preferring online banking. The woman in customer service didn't know from whom the check originated. She asked me if I had done a balance transfer, since these are commonly mailed in.

Yes I had recently done a transfer. The above mentioned $600 was from Citibank because they were offering a really great APR on transfers. I had just charged the overdue Federal Income Taxes to Discover, because you know, Discover is the card that pays you back! Until, we were paid at the end of the month, it was time for some creative money shifting.

So yes, ma'am, I have recently done a balance transfer. But no, it wasn't for $3000 and the $600 Citibank transfer hadn't shown up yet. No, I'm sure I didn't mail in $3000 and forget where it was from. Yes those online bank payments for $60 and $300 are from me!

So after some hemming and hawing, they tell me that they will have to open an investigation to track down a microfiche copy of the check. Come the F on...It's only been one day since it showed up in my account, and it's already on microfiche???!!!????

Discover tells me that once they sort it out, they will send me a letter. But because, I would like to have resolution before 3 weeks, they tell me I can call back.

Two weeks later still no word on where the check is from. At this point I figure it is something that was miskeyed and some poor schmuck (who still mails in his checks) just got a huge late fee plus lots of interest due.

Before I came to this conclusion I briefly fantasized that my father (who still mails in all his checks) had *Discovered* a really old statement and decided to do a Robinhood. Yes highly unlikely, but not completely out of the realm of possibility, since my sister had recently told me that he was worried about our finances and didn't think we would take any help******* Dear reader, our finances are fine, actually they are pretty good for two long term grad students, but I wouldn't be too proud to take a gift from family. *******Yes it was unlikely that Dad was playing anonymous donor, but because Discover had been on the case 3 weeks and still no leads, I had to wonder. So, I asked my mother and she didn't think it was Dad.

Finally, week 4, I see on my online statement -$3000 payment correction. I call them for the 7th time and they can finally tell me that it was a miskeyed account and that they have it straightened out now. Great, Yippeee!!!

The end? I think not!
Now I need to know why the Citibank $600 cleared 3 weeks ago but hasn't show up in my Discover account.

Discover apologizes yet again, and yesterday they began another investigation for me. I do not have much faith in the people who key in payments. I guess this is why I prefer to pay online and not do balances transfers.

They better find my money! Arggg.


Blogger Raoul said...

This is really, really annoying, Christina. I can say this hasn't happened to me yet, so I'm hugely relieved.

Can you believe how horrible it must have been for the person who sent in that big check, hoping to pay off a big balance, and it didn't go through on their account? I think it's just ridiculous.

I also wanted to thank you for leaving comments on my blog from time to time, and I wanted to let you know it's moved. Well, the content is still at, but I've just launched a new site, ComeAcross, at, so I won't be posting through my Blogger account anymore.

Please visit ComeAcross when you get a chance, and let me know what you think!

Thanks! :-)

8:20 PM  

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