New Costco credit cards that went into use on Monday are leading to complaints nationwide as customers said they have had trouble activating the cards and endured long waiting times to reach CitiBank card representatives on the phone, Bloomberg
The Costco Anywhere Visa from Citigroup Inc. went into effect as the company ended its 16-year relationship with American Express, said Bloomberg, but the rollout has resulted in Citigroup receiving 1.5 million customer calls by late Wednesday.
Citigroup is the operating umbrella for CitiBank in New York City.
"Due to high levels of interest in the Costco Anywhere Card and high volumes of calls from cardholders, callers to Citi should expect longer than desired hold times," Costco said in a statement on its Facebook page
Tuesday. "Citi is reviewing processes and pulling in additional resources to alleviate hold times. Thank you for your patience."
The Chicago Tribune
said some Costco customers complained that replacement cards never arrived but their Costco American Express cards were canceled anyway. Others reported that their new cards had improper balances on them.
American Express spokeswoman Marina Norville told Bloomberg that they have received calls from Costco customers and have been directing them to Citigroup representatives.
Costco, which for years accepted only American Express at its retail stores, couldn't agree on renewal terms with the card company last year, reported The New York Times
. Costco, which has 81 million members, stopped accepting new card applications in November and began working on a co-branded card with Citigroup.
Matt Schulz, an analyst with CreditCards.com, told the Times that that he expects Costco problems to smooth out over days, but said the complaint volume was not normal.
"There's always going to be friction in these sorts of things, but the hubbub surrounding Costco is the biggest outcry that I can remember," Schulz said.
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