I am a disabled person with no income except SSI.
I have a Care Credit card which I use to pay veterinary bills. With this card there is a promotional period. If a charge is paid in full by the end of the promotional period (usually six months), there is no interest charged. If the charge is not paid by the end of the promotional period, there is a high interest rate of 26.99%.
On March 18 my cat became deathly ill. I took him to the vet, who advised me to take him immediately to an emergency hospital. We spent most of the day at the hospital where my cat had blood tests, radiographs, and an ultrasound, and was seen by both an emergency doctor and a cardiologist. Hours later, after my cat was stable enough to go home, I tried to pay the bill and discovered that my Care Credit account was maxed out.
The hospital staff graciously allowed me to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay the bill within five days. If not paid in that time, the agreement stated that they would turn over my account to a collection agency.
After going home and caring for my cat, I went to my bank's online site that same night, March 18, and transferred money from my savings account into my checking account, then used the online banking to order a payment sent to my Care Credit account. I sent the money to Care Credit instead of writing a check to the hospital, because I had promotional purchases from six months ago that were about to expire within the next month. I reasoned that it would be best to use the money from savings to pay off those promotional purchases before the high interest rate kicked in. Then with the payment credited to my account, I could use the card to pay the new emergency hospital bill, and have a new promotional period to pay off the new balance.
The bank site said the pay date (when my payment would be received) would be March 20, two days after I ordered it sent. That was fine, as I had five days to pay the hospital for the new charges.
On March 20 I logged into my bank site and confirmed that the payment to GE Capital Retail Bank had cleared. Then I logged into my Care Credit account. There I saw that the payment did indeed show up as having been received on March 20, and my current balance was well below my credit limit. However, it still showed that I had no available credit.
I checked again on March 21, the day after the payment was shown as being received. It still said I had no available credit. I called the number on my credit card and asked why, if they had received my payment the day before, I still could not use the card to pay my new vet bill. The agent acknowledged that they had received my payment but said even though they had received the money, it could take another 24-48 hours for it to be posted. I pointed out that it was already posted as having been received. If they received it, they should apply it to my account immediately. The agent said there was no way they could do that and I simply should wait another 24-48 hours.
I called the veterinary hospital and updated them on the situation. I gave them my card number over the phone and asked them to try to run it the next day, and if it didn't work to try again the day after that, and if it still didn't work, to call me.
On March 23, five days after I had used online banking to send the payment and three full days after GE Capital Retail Bank indicated they had received it, the hospital called me to say that they still were not able to charge my card for my cat's bill.
I went back to the GECRB/Care Credit site and checked my account. It still shows my payment as having been received March 20, my current balance well below my credit limit, and no available credit. I tried to contact customer service by phone and they were closed.
The five day period I agreed to in the promissory note is now up. The hospital can turn over the account to a collection agency at any time.
Meanwhile my cat is still sick. Since the emergency visit on March 20 I have called the hospital several times because he had another episode on the 22nd, and when I called the hospital about that episode the doctor phoned a new prescription to a pharmacy, and when I filled the prescription and gave him the medicine he had a bad reaction to it. I am very worried that if my cat has to go back to the hospital and I have not been able to pay the bill from his last visit, we will be turned away. This could easily cost my cat's life!