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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Confrontation

Well, somehow my last entry disappeared and now I'm losing my momentum to re-type. But, here goes...

I am an avoider of confrontation. Probably to a fault. However, last week I received a credit card bill that required unusual attention as I had a surprising fee charged to my account. So, earlier in the week I put on my confrontation hat and called the 1-800 number. I got a voice message system that wouldn't take me to a person. I found another number on their website and when I dialed it took me to the exact same machine. I found yet another number--this one for direct banking which I had no interest in, but dialed anyway--and when I pressed my selection, it took me back to the original message. Frustrated, I quit. Tonight I finally got around to calling back (after talking to Dad and receiving the advice of pressing '0' until I got an operator). I did finally got to a new automated voice that said my call would be answered, but I'd be waiting at least 10 minutes due to the high volume of calls.

Therefore, I started my conversation with Kat--I semi-foreign girl--a little put out. We suffered through a lengthy, far from succinct conversation where she repeated rote script throughout. Finally she asked me if she'd been able to help me and I said, "Well, you helped me with one thing, but not with the other." Lest I sound rude, let me explain. I have been a very faithful, timely customer to this company for over 3 years and the thanks I've gotten include: abysmally low credit limit that has increased maybe $200 since I joined them and now this fee. I realize that Kat is just the peon that answers the phone and deals with annoyed customers, but seriously, from our conversation did she really think she'd helped me? She did waive the unnecessary fee after about 7 minutes of me talking, but the credit line increase was refused. And you know what she had the audacity to say? Something along the lines of, Well, it is always good to be on time with your bills. (This is my americanized version of what she said.) I have always paid every bill on time and in full. What does this company want in a customer?

Perhaps I'll take my business elsewhere.

2 comments:

jeremy said...

What to do: They bill you for, say $23.25. Send them the sum of 23.47. Then send them constant (daily) emails--choose a particular representative or go random...businesslike stating. "Thank you for your continued interest in the Stephanie Judd Account System. Your attention to details is valued at SJAS. Therefore we were shocked to see that you have not remitten payment of 22 cents. Please pay promptly as it is wise to pay your bills on time."

Then, minutes, hours, or days later, send another note of encouragement (whether they paid or not): "We have yet to receive payment of the twenty-two (22) cents. Have you attended to this? We value your patronage. We must say that failure to comply with the return of the twenty-two (22) cents may result in a)legal action; (b)lowering 'interest rate'--ie--SJAS' flagging rate of interest in using your befuddled credit card company in the near future or forever onward. (c)termination of your card into approved SJAS receptacle.

Thank You

*kim said...

I love fighting with companies. I spent an hour on the phone last week fighting with Sony for my camera that has broken for the FOURTH time in the same way. After telling them that I would really like a different model of equal value they told me they couldn't do that, but they could fix my current one again for free. Great, that's really addressing the problem at hand, isn't it? Customer service sucks.

 
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