I love being the customer sometimes…

I make sure that if I call a “customer service” department, the emphasis will be on SERVICE. Having done the job myself, I know the usual tricks and doublespeak.
But yesterday was a nice and simple matter, I took advantage of the early dismissal to take care of paying off some credit cards, thanks to the parental giftyloan. I was pretty detailed about it, wrote down each bank, my balance, called them up and asked the APR and the annual fee and asked if either could be lowered or waived or even removed.
Chase was pretty straightforward with the “no” answers, which I appreciated, even if I didn’t like the answers. What I hate is the “don’t tell the customer what you can’t do, tell them what you can do” philosophy, I never followed that since honesty is the best policy. Unfortunately they wouldn’t budge on my APR, but they had no annual fee. So I got a payoff balance from them.
I have two accounts with Capital One, gold and platinum (which really doesn’t mean shit nowadays), both have annual fees, but the APRs are much more reasonable even after the promotional rates expire. They were ha
ppy to lower the rate on one of my cards a whole 2 points, but I’m still paying them way down.
The funny thing came when I talked to the representative that offered to lower my rate, about the annual fee, she went into this explanation about how a bank charges an annual fee so that they don’t have to charge you fees for other things, not even “nuisance fees” in my opinion. Then she relates a story about a card she carried, it had no annual fee and she lost it. This bank charged her $20 to replace the card! :-O And I told her that it was truly a shocking story, but I asked her how long she’d had that account. She said about 3 years. And I said to her, I pay $39 a year to have this account, you paid nothing and in 3 years you got charged $20 for a service, while in the same 3 years, I’d pay $120 and get the “privilege” of not having to pay fees for anything else… which is the more economic card? Plus, what kind of messed up person would agree to a card that carries all of those “hidden” (but disclosed if you read the agreement) fees? That last bit was kind of rude, but so was her wasting my time with a useless story.
I hope, whether the story she told was true or false, that she won’t try telling that to anyone again. So by Friday, I should be much less indebted to these people. I don’t know if I should close the accounts or not, you never know when you’ll need them, but I certainly wouldn’t enjoy calling up on my anniversary date each year to have a fee removed. And the solicitation calls are a little annoying.
Ah well, it’s good to be out of debt, at least. As for the debt to my mother, well THOSE terms are much more easily negotiated. ;>

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