Wednesday, January 18, 2006

An unusual Credit Card Error

Banks, VISA, credit cards, customer service

Today I had a most unusual experience, and in recounting it I want to give a public commendation to the customer service representative from TD VISA, named Abby.

I'm usually quite meticulous in reviewing my charges on my credit cards, and have, infrequently, found incorrect charges which, to their credit, TD VISA has always been exemplary in dealing with. I have only the highest complements for the service I've received from TD VISA in all the years I've been a customer.

Today I did something I never did before: I totaled up the charges for the month and compared my total with the total purchases on the statement.

I found a difference of $2.00

At first I couldn't believe it. I checked my addition several times and then called customer service and spoke with Abby. She ran her own total and agreed that there was a difference of two dollars and immediately told me that she'd issue a credit for the difference AND bring this to the attention of her supervisor. She also agreed to review all the statements I've received in the prior year.

I don't know if the root of this was some kind of internal theft, an error, or what, but my point in posting this is to suggest that it might be worthwhile, at least occasionally to thoroughly review your statements and ask for a clarification if there is anything you don't like or even anything you don't completely understand.

You may discover that everything is all right, but there's also a chance you might find something unusual, just as I did.

I believe that much fraud and identity theft which is so common these days would be nipped in the bud if more people would exercise greater vigilance in their accounts.

If you find any unusual things, or have had special experiences with customer service people in these fields, please comment: I'd be pleased to hear from you.


Tenno Miyake said...

U're so lucky the banks in your country were very good in service.

In my country, they don't care of such things. It it's extra then they'll say we do not know.

Anonymous said...

I myself am an employee of TD Canada Trust, and am delighted to hear of your satisfaction with our service. JF is quite right in calling for due diligence regarding the monitoring of one's account. Pay special attention also to what you sign (i.e. transaction records); your signature denotes authorization. And remember, banking can be this comfortable!
- TDCT Rep.

Anonymous said...

Normally I would agree that TD Visa has good customer service, but it really seems to depend on who you get on the phone. For example on Monday I made a payment to Visa by transferring funds from my checking account to VISA - when I checked my online statement, to my suprise, my available credit was $0 even though there was available credit just the night before. I called TD Visa to enquire regarding the sudden lack of credit and they explained to me that they were in the process of upgrading their systems in preparation for the "new" PIN in CHIP technology (which by the ways is already widely used in Europe and Australia) and EasyWeb was plauged with reporting errors - the representive offered me a temporary credit line increase for TRIPLE the amount of the original payment for 2-3 business days to ensure I would not encounter any problems. I give kudos that that guy! As promised for the next few days, I had no problem with my card.

Now it's a few days later, Thursday morning to be exact. The night before I had 2,900 left on my card (as reported by EasyWeb) - when I checked at 6am prior to leaving on a trip, my available credit dropped overnight by $1500 leaving me with $1400 A.C even though the card was not used from the night before to the time that I checked my online statment.

I called TD Visa again and explained that my A.C dropped again suddenly (taking into account the temporary increase falling off the system and the $4000 permenant increase to my base limit as a result of my requesting one) - I had the agent read back all items that have NOT yet posted to my account. In those items three transactions totalling $1600 that had already posted to my account were also being counted as "pre-authorizations" thus dropping my available credit by an additonal $1600 on top of the $1600 already posted to my current statement balance. The agent was unable to explain why those three items which had already posted were also being counted as pre-autorizations. I added up all of the other transactions which had not yet shown up on my statement along with my payments made earlier that day and came up with an available credit that was higher than was being reported on Easyline and Easyweb (BTW both were reporting substantially different numbers to the tune of $700) - I asked the agent to explain why EasyWeb and Easyline were reporting different numbers in terms of available credit and why after going through the exercise of taking my current statement balance, adding the total dollar amount of outstanding purchaces which had not yet posted to my account, minus the payment (which by the way shows up instantly) we came up with another number which was again much higher than either system was reporting.

The agent tried to imply that I was confused and that when an item is posted to my account the avialable credit drops. I explained to the agent that the reported avaiable credit actually drops when the purchase is made not when it's posted to the account since each merchant is obligated to obtain an authorization number and the total purchase price is withheld from my avaiable credit. I provided the example of having $1000 available credit with a $1000 current statement balance (total credit line of $2000) - If I go to a restaurant and spend $50 on a meal, VISA will automatically withhold $50 plus 20% (to cover potential tips etc) from my available credit so now after paying for dinner my A.C should drop to somewhere between $940 and $950 - a few days later when that transaction posts to my account, say a total of $55 (10% tip) my A.C should be $945 - and my statement balance should be $1055.

I explained that the system posted $1600 to my statement balance and was still with-holding the original $1600 in pre-auths...

She became fustrated and bluntly explained that she read off the items from my account and has no idea why my avaiable credit is lower than I say it's supposed to be. I explained that I was travelling and that I need every availabe cent and cannot afford for their system to withhold funds for items that have already posted to my account. At that time she said something about the pre-auth falling off in 3-5 business days. I explained that this is unacceptable and asked what I was supposed to to do if my A.C suddenly runs out due to the ways the above transactions were handled (post and hold) = she said I can't guarantee a temporary limit increase but call back if you run out - a huge help?

Essentially she was not interested in hearing out my concerns regarding my rapidly diminishing avialable credit despite my mentioning that my situation depended on ensuring that all of my A.C was avilable.

So it's Saturday and I still don't know how much I REALLY have left on my card. Guess whos' getting another call in the morning? TD Visa of course, this time I'm getting a Team Leader on the phone and we are once again going to go through each item that has not posted, added it to the statement balance, minus the payments and we will see if the numbers match.

They have not been matching all week and quite frankly I'm nervous everytime I use my TD Visa card cuz I don;t have reliable information.

I know this is a RANT, but this situation is one of many fustrating moments dealing with TD Visa which include a) Gold card that took 40+ days to arrive - b) three agents lied to me saying my Gold card was issued when it was not for some unexplainable reason - it took at least 10 phone calls to get my Gold card (which I had switched to from the emerald) c)I've been declined for purchaces even though I still had adequate avaiable credit - agent was unable to explain why - was declined for a $33 taxi charge even though there was $12,000 available on my card back in July. d)was promised 2% cash back last year as a result of the long delay in getting my card - come earlier this year I only received 1% and had to make numerous phone calls and escalated this issue to the top obudsman before receiving the other 1% - e)their fraud screening software TWICE flagged a coffee purchase of $2.25 and promptly blocked my card until I called Visa to verify the transaction. What embarrassment. f)I wrote a TD Visa check for $860 on September 7th, one agent on the 13th confirmed that it cleared yet it has yet to post to my account - the agent I spoke to today could not find any record of that check being cleared or declined? where did it go? g)oh this one is the is the best - when calling EasyLine I was told that I was pre-approved for a credit line increase of $20,000 - I went to my branch a fe days later to check on this credit limit increase - they could not find any record in the e-coms - I had to call an investigator for TD and they were able to locate the original tapes confirming that I was not on crack and was really offered that credit line increase - during that call I asked the agent several times that this offer was not a mistake and was legitimate - I even asked questions regarding procedure and what I need to do - the agent stated many times this was for real. Anyways the investigator appologized and credited my account for $150 and promised to coach the agent even though I insisted that TD was legally obligated to honor their original offer which I accepted.

There have also been agents who have been excellent, how have handled my requests promtly and correctly and who have been proactive in addressing my needs as a high volume customer but unfortunately when things go wrong at TD Visa they go wrong in a big way thus negatively traiting my view of them as a company that states "Banking can be this comfortable"

So if a TDCT rep is reading this, and you are really interested in making things right have someone call or write me. Reply to this post and I will provide contact details.

jf said...

In my opinion, anonymous comments are not given much importance and I almost deleted this one, however since the writer obviously took considerable time just to explain his experience I decided that there migh be some substance to it.

For commenting on and ranting about specific customer service, you might be interested in knowing about (, which is devoted to collecting and publishing customer service type experiences.

In the meantime, I would like all readers to know that many anonomus comments to THIS blog do NOT get published ... so if you have something worthwhile to say, please identify yourself or you risk just wasting your time entering your message.

ephebvs said...

Hi JF,

Thank you for publishing my comment. As you can see I've had some pretty fustrating experiences with TD Canada Trust. Thankfully the main situation causing this fustration was corrected Saturday morning.

Also I appreciate you providing the link to - I did not know such a site exisited.

I even got a blogging account :)

Thanks again and have a great day :)