Always ask for the supervisor

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I’m getting sick and tired of fighting with corporations for what they owe me. This time, surprise surprise, it was a credit card company.

I opened a credit card bill this weekend to find out that the company had moved my due date up and the bill was already three days overdue. I know when most of my bills are due, and I never got a notice that it was changing, but they’d charged me a $29 late fee (on a $41 balance) because I’d waited until the regular time to pay.

I called, thinking it was a hassle to have to spend my time on the phone fixing their mistake. That’s when it got really infuriating. 

The person I spoke to said there was no way she could refund my money. Didn’t matter that they failed to notify me of the change – there was a supposed postcard that I never got. Didn’t matter that I’ve paid them on time, every time (and every other credit card bill that I can remember). Didn’t matter that I’ve never even run a balance on the card. Company policy was firm.

I asked to speak to her supervisor of course, and she tried to convince me not to bother by saying no one else would be able to help me either. I almost bought it, but figured I needed to complain to someone higher up the ladder even if they wouldn’t fix it.

And then, voila. The next woman I spoke to fixed the problem in about 2 minutes. She refunded the fee, no questions, no arguments.

So why did the first tier rep tell me it was impossible? Was she really just ignorant? Or was there something more calculated going on? Was the due date changed without notice in the hopes that some people would just pay the $29 and be done with it? That could be a serious windfall with the millions of customers Chase must have. Or is it company policy to deny fixing anything the first time you ask, to discourage those people who can’t spend the time on the phone to argue, or don’t know they can ask for a higher-up when the infantry refuses a request? Every time I have to spend time on the phone correcting a company’s billing error I’m more convinced that the delays and mistakes are all part of somebody’s master plan to nickel and dime consumers to death. It’s getting harder and harder to believe any company has made an honest mistake when I expect to have to fight for every cent I’m owed.

The first company that commits to compensate customers for the time they waste fixing their own mistakes will blow the competition away. I can’t wait to give them all of my business. At the very least, I’ll know they aren’t dragging things out in the hope that I’ll just give up. Until then, remember to always ask for the supervisor.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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