07/15/17 My AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard was charged $3,449 from a hotel I had stayed at in Mexico. i had paid for my room on my am ex, and had given this Citibank Card upon check info incidentals, but had no room charges. I assumed this charge was an error, and contacted the hotel 3x to ask for an explanation, but they did not respond, so I contacted Citibank- assuming they would of course protect me. Here are my notes from the nightmare than ensued and ended with Citibank office of the president stating that “if customers give a card to a merchant for incidentals, custom is giving hotel permission to change WHATEVER HOTEL WANTS, and Citibank requires no proof of authorized charged! I was informed this is ESPECIALLY the case if the hotel is out of the country. Citibank cannot protect customers from fraud, and does NOT consider this fraud, if we willingly give a merchant a card for incidentals.
On 8/15/17 I did “chat” w/ Citibank customer service via these website & the representative disputed the charge & tagged it as both fraud and as a dispute (i have the full transcript)
9/11/17 spoke w/ fraud dept for 1 hour & emailed & mailed them requested documents.
I received a credit for a month, then it was reversed for no reason i could find. I immediately called on 11/13/17 & spoke with Timothy customer service Citibank -he said claim wasn’t handled properly, so he’s resubmitting it to the investigator. He said they had it incorrectly inputted as a “double pay”, but he fixed it. There's NOTHING needed from me. They will reissue me a credit for the $3449 of unauthorized charges & any interest.
11/30/17-spoke with Sarah who seemed confused about everything (she spoke very bad English). On the phone for over 70 minutes. She said she couldn't see Timothy's notes from 11/13 and she attempted to “kick the charge back to the fraud department”. She said an Investigator will be in tomorrow & Sarah will give investigator all info & request that they issue my credit again until this is resolved. Sarah did not have the ability to issue the credit herself, and could not explain why no one has contacted me or followed up on this.
12/17/17 spoke to Tina who’s sending this back to a disputes investigator as “paid by other means”. Per her request I emailed her the room charge on my Am Ex from the hotel.
1/14/18- I spoke with Joseph in customer service - who transferred me to Robert - a customer service supervisor- who said he can’t help with disputes & he’d transfer me again. Then I spoke with disputes supervisor Richard - he went over entire story AGAIN. Richard is opening as a “new dispute”, and doesn’t know why this one “fell through the cracks”. He requested that the documents be moved over & he may still send a letter than needs me to check boxes & sign again, but he has all info & apologized many times.
Citicards account - services, statements and communication, letter should be there. He said the system will not allow a conditional credit, because one had been issued & reversed through no fault of mine, so Ricard is requesting that a director get involved and help me. He will request a credit of the $3449 plus interest since July. He could see where Tina tried to reopen the dispute- but it didn’t get it reopened for some reason. Richard created a NEW dispute to get it back in the system. He said I Should hear back in 3-5 biz days from the director. I did not.
2/9/18 received an email requesting a written letter- I sent on 2/12.
3/13/18 Called again - Spoke w/ GraceLynn, who informed me that the dispute had been sent back to security for review & that she cannot assist further. Asked to speak to supervisor. Was forwarded to Josiah, Account Manager, who was incredibly rude & not helpful at all. Stated that since the card was given to hotel for incidentals, that the hotel is allowed to make ANY charges they want without having to provide ANY detail of the charges & Citibank customers are liable for those charges. I Filed a complaint with consumer financial protection bureau.
3/ 27/18 Arlene from Citibank exec offices called & We spoke for 28 min on a recorded line. she said if I could not provide a receipt that showed NO charges upon check out of hotel, Citibank could not protect me. She also said hotel does NOT have to provide an accounting of the charges & that when I provide a card for incidentals a hotel is allowed to charge whatever they want without proof. She said it is especially difficult for Citibank to protect customers if a hotel is out of the country. customers have to prove there were NO charges- the hotel does NOT have to prove that charges are valid. Arlene said that my card was present at the time of purchase. A few minutes later she corrected herself and said the charge could have been made remotely via email or the phone. Arlene said that because I could not prove that I did not authorize these charges, that I am liable for them. OMG! How is this legal?