I noticed two unusual refunds on my Citibank credit card bills last month — both from “Schwartz Settlement Refund” in the amounts of $1.97 and $6.85. Of course, so did hundreds of other bloggers around the web, most with refunds in the range of $0.03 to $0.73. I paused a while on the hunt for information as I found it kind of funny to read a dozen other blogs all rambling about the same mysterious topic. I became even more curious as to why I got so much higher of a refund compared to everyone else.
Of course, none of the information I found on the other blog websites was useful or even remotely accurate (I saw everything cited from foreign currency exchange overcharges to some form of forgery), so I had to rely on the traditional media for answers. *gasp*
According to the Miami Herald, the Schwartz case, which originated in California on behalf of Elliott Schwartz, concerned Citibank’s practice of not crediting payments on credit cards if received after 10 a.m. Although a 24-hour grace period prevented late fees from being assessed in most cases, the extra day’s interest was charged anyway.
Citibank agreed to a settlement of $18 million in cash for the plaintiffs, but since there were more than 20 million of them, the majority of people won’t even get a buck.
If the average person gets such a minuscule settlement, that sure makes it sound like I’ve been assessed way more in interest charges than most. In a way, I had been repeatedly and unjustly charged late fees and had already complained to Citibank but those charges were all related to their self-imposed fluctuation of due dates and my steady electronic payments. I got a full refund of all those assessed late fees, too!
I’ll take the $8.82. Wouldn’t mind a piece of the $7.2 million that the lawyers representing us plaintiffs got, though!