Paraphrase of an actual customer service conversation I had this morning

For rather innocuous reasons, Annette and I decided to change the billing due date on a credit card we recently acquired/signed on to. Annette called and was told it would take months and a special over-ride to accomplish this. I thought that odd so I called a bit later. To paraphrase the experience:

Me: I was told when I signed up for this card, I could change the billing date whenever I wanted. So I was under the impression that it didn’t really matter and this would be no big deal.

Customer Service Rep (CSR): Well, you can’t keep changing it whenever you want. That’s what people do to avoid finance charges.

Me: I understand that. I just want to do it this once.

CSR: And we can do that. It will take two billing cycles though.

Me: Why?

CSR: Because we have to do this manually. The paperwork has to be filled out and sent and such, blah-blah-blah.

Me: Huh. Where do you send this paperwork?

CSR: Williamton, Delaware.

Me: And do you send this by mule? (I do remember that I did actually say this to the guy). I mean, two months seems like an awfully long time to process this.

CSR: Sir, we service 80 million credit cards, and blah-blah-blah/I’m gonna give you a lecture about how credit works and your credit score and such/blah-blah-blah.

Me: So, there’s no other option here?

CSR: No no no no no no no no no no nooooo and no.

Me: Can I speak to your supervisor please?

CSR: Well, there’s not going to be anything they can do. Blah-blah-blah-blah-diddity-blah, more about what I should do to help my credit but I’m not a credit counselor.

Me: Uh-huh. I’d like to speak with your supervisor.

CSR: Fine.

(On hold for a few moments)

Customer Service Supervisor (CSS): Hi, what’s the situation here?

Me: Here’s the deal: blah-blah-blah. Does this really take two months?

CSS: Nah, I just went ahead and fixed it. You’re fine.

Me: Oh. Oh, good.

CSS: Glad to help. Any questions on that?

Me: Nope.

CSS: Have a nice day.

So, the moral of the story: it never hurts to ask for the supervisor, does it?

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3 Responses to Paraphrase of an actual customer service conversation I had this morning

  1. “Oh, and one more thing — can you fire your idiot employee?”

  2. Steve Krause says:

    Well, from the credit card company’s point of view, this guy was doing exactly what they wanted him to do: say no. I suspect that many people would have given early in the process if they were told “nope, there’s nothing we can do about this.” And that’s good for the credit card company, which means (from their point of view) this did a good job.

    The same thing happens with insurance companies, of course: when you call them up, they want to usually say “no.” After all, if they immediately said “yes,” they wouldn’t make as much money.

  3. joanna says:

    I spoke with a customer service guy for a company which rhymes with Flomflast, and he wound up agreeing with me that the internet service was bad, and that it didn’t hurt to be vigilant in hounding the company. He, himself, has to badger the company when his internet service goes out, which happens frequently. That was comforting to hear. But soft! Is that Verizon on the horizon?

    I’ll be thinking of the mule train dragging the credit card forms to Delaware. In fact, since I live in Maryland, I may pass a few as I drive to school.

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