Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Don Quixote is my Hero

I spent yesterday on the phone... tilting at windmills.

That sounds more poetic than I wasted 10 minutes talking to a credit card rep who very wearily confirmed what I have always suspected: credit card companies are evil. Maybe a necessary evil at times, but they don't need to get such joy out of winning.

I received a confusing bill. One portion showed a credit of my last payment, made a week prior to deadline. Beneath this was a note,"We did not receive your payment. If you fail to make a payment twice in one year, we will raise your APR."

You already raised my blood pressure.

So I called, remaining calm at first. I played nice during the round of "Press the Correct Button". If you win this round, you proceed to "Real Live, probably pissed off Representative." He wasn't really lively but I played along as the gentleman put me through the mental gymnastics portion of our game: who are you, spell your name, what's the last 4 digits of hubby's Social Security number and mother's maiden name. I asked whose mother, hubby's or mine?

I was met with stunned silence. I took this to mean I'd won the Bonus round.

Before Rep. Man could recover, I gave him hubby's Mom, followed by mine. One of the two met the legal requirement for him to actually speak to and in person. I politely posed my question about the contradicting statements: we credited your payment...hey you didn't make a payment. I pointed out I'd paid a week prior to deadline, which I'd confirmed with my bank, who had posted my check.

Let the games begin.

Long story short (no need to raise your blood pressure too), when paying bills, I had two side by side. I paid the minimum balance... on the wrong one. This left me a mere $14 short, which seemed like a no brainer to me.

Silly me to bring a brain to play with Credit Card Rep. Man.

He advised me, presumably with a straight face, that had I paid the remaining $14 prior to the March 10th deadline, I would not have been stuck with an additional "Bad Customer!" charge of $39. When I pointed out that I hadn't received the company's correspondence until March 21st, he merely sighed.

"You mean to tell me that I could've fixed this problem by the 10th if I had in fact known about it prior to March 21st?" I asked through gritted teeth.


Well, there you go. There are no "Do Overs" in Credit Card land, even it you've been a good customer making timely payments for years. Simple human error is not allowed. Computers can make errors which will be overlooked or explained away, but honest humans are not afforded the same courtesy. No pun intended.

Now I know why Wall Street and the American economy are in such bad shape. They have the same banker as my credit card company.


Winifred said...

You feel like you're banging your head against a brick wall at times.

I spent what seemed like hours this morning talking to automated machines of a credit card company pressing option buttons listening to recorded messages about ******all and then when I was finally offered the option to actually speak to someone I got the engaged tone. Arghhhh!!!!!!

Peggy said...

I also was on the phone this mroning with dell...oh god! After going through the same drill as your name,address, phone, last four digi
ts...I got a representative from India. I spent the next 56 talking with this women that I couldn't understand. I honestly had to have her repeat every other sentence. It was awful. I want to tell you that the women was nice...but she wasn't. She had me run through all these different things that could be wrong with my software...that's right, my fault that the disk drive didn't work. I bought a faulty disk. Then I put in another
disk in my desktop...same problem, then I put the faulty disk in my laptop drive...funny thing it worked She got very quiet and asked me for my address again, when was the best time for a service man to call etc...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! RUDE was the word I'm looking for.
Sorry I'm still ticked I guess from this morning!

Susan said...

Oh God I'm going through the same things... are we all?

My internet company promised me broadband and delivered only they're charging me for "roaming" when I haven't left my house. Is my house travelling through France while I'm reading blogs? Oh really? ARGH!!

Then, the website where I take surveys for Amazon certificates (love those Amazon certificates!) suddenly won't let me log in. When I ask them for help, they keep telling me something's wrong with my computer. Then why can I get into every other website that needs my login? Why do NONE of their suggestions work? WHY WON'T SOMEONE JUST HELP ME?

Yes, over and over again. @CustomerserviceFAIL.

Wooo. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest! And good luck with the billing problems, btw.

hope said...

Winifred, I don't know if it works where you're from, but I read a long time ago if you don't want to play the "press the numbers" game, you just keep hitting "0" after each question. Makes the machine mad...and it gives you to a human. :)

Ah Peggy, you have my sympathy! I'm sure there are some very nice people in India. Sadly, none of them work the computer business. I guess in India, you don't have to apologize for being rude, even when wrong. Hmmm, wonder if that's a bad American CREDIT CARD representative trait that was outsourced?

Susan, you should be legally allowed to throw something at your idiot people! Do you have any Atlas books handy? ;)

Ladies, let us hope we have put the idiots behind us and can look forward to a lovely weekend.

A girl can hope, right? ;)