All a true story and I have the paperwork to backup.
I opened a Washington Mutual Credit Card on March 27, 2007. I received a bill in the beginning of May and wondering why there was a late charge on it since I barely had my credit card for 30 days and there was a $900 credit on the bill on April 29.
The explaination I received from the CS department and the Executive Offices was that that was my second billing cycle. I asked when my first was and they told me it was from March 11, 2007 to April 11, 2007 and my payment was due by May 11, 2007. How could that possibly be since I did not have a card nor account on March 11th. I was informed that it was my fault that I did not open my card in the first half of the month, but that was my billing cycle I was put in and I had no choice. It was because of the type of account I was put into.
Also there was a credit of $900 to my card on April 29th (well within the billing cycle). I asked why that was not my payment and the excuse was that it was not sent directly from me. That even though you return an item you still owe the minimum payment. At that time, I did not know what the payment was because of the large return and they don't want more money than is on your card or it is a hassle.
I asked for them to read me the terms and conditions and no where did they state the different in payments and that it had to directly come from me. It states credits are applied to the account and it comes off the total. It also states that my billing cycles are roughly 30 days. I don't know how they got 30 days out of the first billing cycle.
This is a deceptive practice and must be stopped.