I spent 1 hour and 25 minutes on a call with Goldman Sachs about their mistakes on my Apple Card statement. It’s not resolved but I think we’re finally making progress.

I’m a stickler about reconciling my monthly account statements. My dad taught me how to balance a checkbook when I was a kid and I’m diligent about that. This was the first time I’ve ever been unable to make sense of a statement. The process normally looks like this:

  1. Start with last month’s balance.
  2. Subtract any money you paid toward that balance.
  3. Add any new transactions.
  4. Add any fees and interest.
  5. Compare the result to what the bank says your new closing balance is, and if it’s not an exact match, go back to the beginning until you find the missing piece.

Last month’s Apple Card statement worked like that. So did the month before that. And the month before that, all the way back 5 years. This month they threw a twist:

  1. Start with last month’s balance, $1000.001.
  2. Subtract the $500.00 payment I made.
  3. Add $100.00 in new transactions.
  4. Add $50 in fees and interest.
  5. My arithmetic came out to a new balance of $650. Goldman Sachs computed my new balance as $425.

However I juggled the numbers, I couldn’t reproduce their result. I gave up and contacted the support chat. That was useless. The conversation went like this:

Me: There’s a problem with my statement.
Them: Your balance is $425! Is there anything else I can help you with? disconnect
Me: reconnecting There’s a problem with my statement.
Them: Oh no! It looks like that’s $425. Have a nice day! disconnect

I asked them to escalate, which resulted in someone sending me an email like:

Here’s how we resolved your case: Start with $1000.00. Now, the moon weighs more than a duck, so carry the 5 and you get $893. Add the length of the Titanic and subtract purple. That’s $425. Share and enjoy!

Today I called them and repeated “talk to a human” into the phone tree until it connected me to a person. This time I got to explain my situation to a sentient being, who went off to repeat my calculations before uttering those magic tech support words: “huh, that’s strange.” It sure is! The agent was able to reproduce my math and couldn’t figure out how to compute Goldman Sachs’s balance. I can’t exaggerate the relief I felt. I’m not alone. It’s not my imagination or inability to add a few numbers together.

Although we haven’t fixed the problem, a thinking person wrote up my problem and opened an official inquiry for me. I’m optimistic.

And don’t waste your time on Apple Card’s online chat. Nothing good comes from it.

  1. All numbers are fictional for storytelling purposes. ↩︎