Okay, what started as a mild screw-up on my part resulted in the discovery that American Express seems to have serious issues with the 21st century.
While undergoing the triple move (myself, Michele, and Roni's) I managed to forgot to pay the bill as of May 20. No, they didn't cut me off or anything drastic like that... in fact, they let me dump two grand on the bill this month during our Ikea binge. However, whilst working through some paper during our whole hearted attempts to get organized, I discovered the bill. I thwapped my forehead, said the magic word ("D'oh!") and decided to check out the current situation online.
Now, AmEx's web site has always been my bane. It seems to change every time I use it, is buggy as hell, and non-intuitive to the max. I have yet to successfully log into the site two times in a row. This was no exception.
After re-generating my account, I find that I do, indeed, owe the nice people at Amex money. However, I had to run out the door, so I left myself a reminder (the bill tucked into the laptop... crude, quick, yet effective) resolving to take care of it last night, Monday.
Well, I tried to log in last night (yes, I had to re-generate the account AGAIN), and tried to pay the bill... only it states that I owe 1052.00, but will only accept a payment of 187. Color me confused. Oh, and the only payment they'll accept is a check routing number. I understand WHY they do that... even though my Visa is linked to the same damn account, it still looks like I'm paying credit with credit, rather than debit. That's probably a holdover of antiquated credit laws in the good ol' US of Archaic.
This left me concerned that, somehow, I wasn't paying almost 800 bucks. Yet, it won't take MORE than 187... and when I do pay 187, it won't accept another payment until it's processed, which will take 24 hours.
Today, I decided to log in again and see what was going on. After re-generating the account AGAIN (it wouldn't accept the password I entered, yet when I re-used the same password upon re-creating the account, it said that I couldn't use that password because it was the SAME AS THE ONE I ALREADY HAD!!!) I find the same odd situation.
I resort to calling the customer service to pay the remainder of the balance by phone... only even THAT is apparently impossible, as the direct payment from checking is still to be processed. That was AFTER one of the most bizarre "security" questions I've ever been asked, i.e. "Please enter your mother's birth date". I remember the month and day well enough, but can never remember the year... I THINK it's '47. However, it didn't accept that answer, and asked me something a lot more sensible.
I finally talk to a human being who explained what happened. Apparently, when Ikea couldn't send us the couch, they credited the account. Instead of applying the credit to THIS month, it was applied to the previous months balance. Of course, there was no sign of this credit online, and the end result is THIS months balance is bigger... and there's no way to pay that bill in advance.
Unless I go back to mailing them a check... trust me, they'll cash it right away if I mail it to them today.
Thank you for listening... I just felt the need to rant. I can't believe I've been sending them money since '90 just for the extra assurance of being able to handle almost any emergency... though, thanks to my current debt free status, I'm seriously considering sticking the damn thing in a block of ice and avoiding using the card for anything at all from now on.