As readers of my site know, I’m proud that I’m totally debt free (including home and car debt)!
So when a Big American Corporation bank charged me a late fee on a credit card bill that I never received, I thought it wouldn’t be too big of a deal to have the fee waived. After all, the amount the fee was based on was barely over $100… Surely they would realize that I was a valuable customer and not worth upsetting over a piddly $110 balance…
So I called the customer support number! I knew things were going to go bad when the customer service representative that answered had a cocky kind of way of answering. Even before I said a word, this guy was going to be a jerk.
But I gave this guy the benefit of the doubt, and explained my problem. He said that I recently had the credit card fee waived within the last 12 months and there was nothing he could do about it.
I was still relatively calm at this point, and thought after I explained my circumstances that he would let common sense prevail… Boy was I wrong!
Here is the information that I provided for to him:
- Since before 2003 and to recently, when Citibank had my card, the bill was always received by us and corresponding then paid on time by us. He could have confirmed this but didn’t.
- My wife is an accountant, and handles the bills in our family so naturally, you’d assume she knew what she was doing.
- I explained that we’re totally debt free, no mortgage, or car loans outstanding.
- My credit card score is (at least the last time I checked) over 800 points. I’m trying to convey that I’m reputable (which I am).
So when the credit card representative told me that he checked the computer and could see that the bill was sent on time, I couldn’t believe my ears. I told him that possible the mailing from them was mishandled or didn’t print out to the printer (heck this happens, even the company I work for occasionally has printer issues).
To my total bewildering amazement, he tells me that he could put me on a payment plan for the ($110 dollars) amount that I owe.
Totally shocked at how stupid this representative must be, I instantly ask for a supervisor. After 10 minutes, a supervisor get on the phone, and I can hear the combative tone in his voice too. The previous representative must have talked to him swaying the supervisor’s opinion in some way.
Ready to push me around, this representative goes on to treat me horribly (and that’s being nice). I go into my spiel again about the reasons why this was ludicrous, but he has cowboy syndrome, even cuts me off a few times while I try talk.
I try to reason with him again, but he’s just as rude as ever. At this point I ask for his name, tell him that he is being incredible rude and doing a horrible job, but in a respectful way. What changed this cocky supervisor tone was when I asked for his name telling him that I’m writing a letter complaining about my experience (which I WILL still do!).
At this point, he realized that I’m the customer and not somebody trying to skip out on a payment. He then tells me in a more acceptable manner that this is just policy, and then the pleasant lying begins.
I tell him to tell me everything I need to write a complaint letter about my experience, including the name of the initial representative. Which he lies to me and tells the system doesn’t provide that information. I call him on this and state that I know that system has a transaction logs and that he does know that name of the previous rep, but that it’s against company policy.
He states that’s true, and I tell him that he could have told me that and I would have been fine. He tries to save face by removing the $1.50 interest charge that I shouldn’t have had, but he doesn’t take off the late fee per say… I get all the information at I need from him, and then tell him I want to pay the bill online, now, with him. He does so, quietly… My one mistake was that I forgot to get the exact balance that I paid.
So 10 minutes later (after I started writing my complaint letter), I realize I need that balance number (additional interest had incurred since we got the next month’s invoice. So I call customer support for a second time.
This time I get a pleasant-sounding representative that wasn’t in a cocky mood. I ask for the balance, and then ask him what was his full name. He said that against company policy to tell his last name (I was testing them). I then explain to him why I wanted his name and that he was going a fine job.
You know what? This new representative tells me it sounds like I had a bad experience (which I agree that I did), and he said he’s going to get that fee removed. He put me on hold for a minute and a half, then connect back to me again, explaining that he got permission from his manager to remove the late fee!
So the moral of the story is, if you get ahold of a representative of a credit card company, and the guy sounds like a jerk, do the following:
- Ask for his supervisor! Although it didn’t work for me this particular time, often time they are smart enough to realize they don’t want to lose a good customer.
- If the supervisor sounds like a jerk, end the call gracefully, then call back! Hopefully you’ll get a different representative and that person will be more reasonable.
- If you get a 2nd bad representative, try again the next day…
- If all of those fail, then go the suggested route of the original cocky supervisor(make them tell you over the phone, then google it to make sure it’s correct)! Then mail the complaint to the customer complaint mail address.
So do I hate the Big American Corporation bank that I encountered problems with?
No, some people are decent intelligent human being, while other are jerks (and that’s being polite) that are bitter people who lack common sense.
Will I use the Big American Company bank credit card again?
No! Not because I”m bitter with the company per se. Why I won’t use them again is because their customer service failed to provide a valid reason why my credit card bills only sporadically made it to my house address. Ever worse, they made no effort to look into if there are problems with customer receiving their credit card bills.
The other 2 credit cards that we use have always come to us via the postal system with no problems, so this leads me to conclude that it’s something on their BAC’s end.
What do you think of my little ordeal?
Readers, it would be greatly appreciated if you were to take the time to write such letters to the company about incompetence you may experience by bad customer service representatives! Believe it or not, you are doing both the company and the credit card holding population in general a service by doing so.