After getting off to a slightly rocky start, Costco’s partnership with Citi for its signature credit card has hit another minor bump in the road.
A troubled start for the Costco Anywhere Visa Card
The launch of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi hasn’t gone as smoothly as many would have hoped.
First we had the customer service snafus some people experienced in late June when they tried to activate their card.
Then about a month later, Clark took a call on the air from a man who saw his credit score plummet by 80 points when Costco took its credit card business away from American Express and handed it to Citi.
The reason for the latter problem? We later learned the caller fell between the gaps of credit reporting.
Citi had up to 90 days to report timely credit card payments to the credit bureaus after they took over the Costco account on June 20. At the same time, American Express had stopped reporting on the portfolio. Because our caller had very few available lines of credit, this temporarily put the hurt on his credit score.
Now comes word of the latest snafu…
Citi’s most recent misstep was quickly resolved
Over the weekend, Citi sent emails to an indeterminate number of people saying that their Costco Visa was canceled because their membership had expired — even though it had not.
Apparently, Citi had been trying to communicate with some customers who did in fact let their Costco memberships lapse, which would be grounds for canceling the card. But there was a database mix-up and the signals got crossed between the two groups of customers.
‘We communicated to a small portion of Costco cardmembers whose memberships had lapsed that their accounts had been closed, however some [other] members received the communication in error,’ Citi spokeswoman Jennifer Bombardier told Team Clark. ‘We quickly apprised them that their accounts are active and we apologize for any inconvenience.’
Citi steadfastly maintains that the accounts were in no way compromised, even though the Twitter reports above indicate that they were seeing the account info of strangers.
The whole issue has since been resolved fully.
If you received one of these emails and have a valid membership, check to make sure your Visa is still active and that you can use it as intended.
‘The comments people are posting [about this]!’ Clark jokes. ‘People take their relationship with Costco so seriously, it’s like a wedding vow! They take great umbrage to being told their membership has expired.’