Well, Credit Card Companies are the Same

Not just that they all want your money, but the way they treat you as a customer.

Last year, I had a nightmare with American Express over the fraudulent charges on my Costco TrueEarnings card. Though eventually, the issue seems to be resolved, I had to keep calling and calling them every month for more than half a year! Then last week, I went through a similar one with Citibank.

Early this year, I transferred some of the credit line from one credit card to the then newly opened Citi Driver’s Edge card in order to use the card’s 0% APR offer to pay off our car loan. At that time, I only moved credit line from one Citi card, enough to cover the remaining car loan. Since the 12-month promotional offer won’t expire till February 2009, I decided to take the full advantage of the offer. So I called Citibank last Sunday and asked to move some credit line from my UPromise card to the Driver’s Edge card. After some verification, the guy who was helping me told me to hold while he was checking something. When he came back minutes later, he said it was done!

Done???

But I didn’t even have the chance to say how much I wanted to move yet. And I didn’t want to reallocate the entire credit limit because I am still using the UPromise card.

Realizing that he made a mistake, that guy put me on hold again and went to ask his manager on how to reverse the action. When he came back the second, he also brought his manager on the line whose first comment was telling me I shouldn’t use the word “consolidate” or “all credit line” when making my request. But I didn’t use either. This was the first time I did credit line reallocation and I told the manager I knew what I was doing. Then the manager said I had to wait two business days for a different department to unconsolidate my cards then call back to make request again.

It took then just minutes to consolidate, but needs days to unconsolidate!

So I waited two days as told and called again on Tuesday evening. After I asked the CSR to check if the credit limits of my two cards were returned to what they were before, I was told I still have no credit left on the UPromise card. This time I didn’t waste any more time with the CSR and asked to speak with the manager directly. The manager, to my surprise, told me there wasn’t any record regarding the unconsolidation request that I was told two days ago, thus no action was taken since then.

I can’t believe it!

The manager then apologized, but not before telling me that since I couldn’t provide any details on whom I talked to the other day, he had no way to know it was a manager or not or what happened to the request. At the end, he assured me he wrote down the request this time, but asked for 5 business days instead of 2 to get it done.

I wonder I have to ask for the name every time I talk to somebody. From what happened in these two incidents, maybe I should.

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2 Responses to “Well, Credit Card Companies are the Same”

  1. Tomaste |  May 19, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Any time I do something on the phone these days where there is potential risk, I record the call.

    Check with your State laws, but many places only require one party to consent, so you can record all your own calls. If not, just inform the first person you are speaking to that you are recording.

    I primarily use two methods to record my calls. (both free) For incoming calls, I use GrandCentral.com All my incoming calls have an option to be recorded when I take the calls. At the end of the call, I get an email with the recording.

    For outgoing calls, I use http://Drop.io

    drop.io provides a phone number and extension that will record messages. I first call this number, start the recording, then I use my three-way calling to dial whomever I wanted to talk to.

    Once the call is done, the recording is available on drop.io’s website.

  2. kitty |  May 22, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    It is always a good idea to ask whom you are speaking with. The only exceptions are if you are just trying to get some general information and don’t need to ever cite it. It doesn’t matter if it is a credit card or a phone company or a cable company or a store: if it is something important you should always ask who you are speaking with. I learned it the hard way some years ago. Don’t remember what it was, but it wasn’t a credit card issue.

    Tomaste – this is a good idea. Thanks for the tip.