Drawing the line with poor customer service

Last year, I wrote a breakup letter to Chase Bank. It was pretty ugly. I'll save you the heartbreaking details, but trust me, they had it coming.

Closing the account was another nightmare. They wouldn't let me break up with them! They told me I couldn't close the account because my signature on the request form did not match the signature they had on file. An understandable concern, but I'd been signing my name as either a squiggly line or “The Hawk,” for the past few years, so I don't really understand why my signature had suddenly become so important.

It took months. But my account was finally closed, and I've been recovering nicely since the breakup. I'm in a new relationship with a financial institution that I can trust, depend on and, most importantly, I rarely have to call for anything.

Before and since then, I've had plenty of other issues with banks, organizations and institutions. There was the $2.00 fee some ATM company charged me even though their machine was broken. There was the totally disputable $100 traffic ticket. And the list goes on, as I'm sure it does for you, too.

These issues cost us more than the charge itself. They cost us time, sanity and, oftentimes, grace (Chase's customer service really brought out the worst in me).

The other day, I was on the phone, on hold, about that aforementioned $2.00 ATM fee. While listening to ABBA's “Dancing Queen,” I took the phone away from my ear to see how long I'd been waiting. Twenty minutes.

I hung up. I felt myself getting frustrated, and I let it go. Maybe this wasn't the most frugal thing to do, but then again, maybe it was — after all, your time is valuable, too. And in that moment, I decided that my time was worth more than $2.00.

My point is this — and it's not exactly a point, really, but a question: Where do you draw the line? How much of a fight do you put up before you decide that the customer service battle is just not worth it?

Financial justice vs. letting it go

Regarding those two dollars, my mom would have probably told me to stay on the phone. “It's the principle,” she would likely say. But I wonder if that principle has any place in getting rich slowly. The mind-set of working to get what is owed to you certainly has its roots in frugality, but if your time and sanity are valuable, then isn't wasting it on two dollars sort of defeating the purpose of frugality?

Here's my measuring stick. While the principle is important (who wants any amount of money unjustly taken from them?), for me, it can't just be about the principle. If I'm going to spend my time calling customer service, I have to be getting something out of it other than the satisfaction that I've put the company in its place. With the ATM fee, the problem was a broken machine. I'd inserted my card, stared at a blank screen, and then removed the card without conducting a transaction. But their system charged me anyway. This probably didn't usually happen, and I don't think the company was trying to pull one over on me. Personally, it wasn't worth my time to spend upwards of 20 minutes on the phone; I would just avoid using ATMs in the future, being especially aware of the “glitches” of this particular company.

Chase, on the other hand, was a different story. I genuinely believe they needed to be put in their place, and while I broke up with them for my own sanity, I did relish the fact that I was justly serving “the principle.” I could have left the account open and just never used it, but it was worth my time to never worry about any issues with them again and let them know why they had driven me to that point. After spending months arguing with them over some fraud charges, I figured I was already invested in this argument, so I was past the point of no return. It was worth it to go a bit further and end things altogether.

Putting up a fight…or not

It's bad enough when dealing with customer service problems that you have to spend your free (or sometimes work) time correcting someone else's error. But, man, these institutions can really drain the life out of you. It's easy to get mad when some company is charging you an unfounded $100 “processing fee” (sadly, a true story), but the last thing you want to get is emotional. As the saying goes, you attract more flies with honey, and you want to spend as little time arguing your point with customer service as possible. If you find yourself getting heated, annoyed, or you begin to raise your voice, I've found that the best thing to do is to hang up and deal with it later. Being relentless is one thing, and it's sometimes necessary when you need to talk to a supervisor, but you've already lost your money and time — don't lose your cool while you're at it.

Avoid it in the first place

Going back to the Chase example, I could have avoided that headache altogether. I joined Chase because a friend of mine used them and told me she had racked up enough points to earn a free flight. “Wowee! A free flight,” I thought. I was young, OK? I didn't know better. And a lot of my friends had Chase, so I figured, Chase must be great. I didn't read any reviews, didn't consider my longstanding relationship with my current bank — I switched banks that week, dreaming about my flight to, oh, I don't know, the Bahamas or something.

You know how the story ends, and no, there was no free flight. The point is, I could have avoided that entire headache by doing some research and not being impulsive.

Some fee issues we can't help; others we have control over, if only negative qualities like procrastination and impulse wouldn't rear their ugly heads.

Dealing with customer service issues is probably a constant in most of our lives. It's simply something we have to live with. But how we deal with it is a matter of contention. So now, I ask: Where do you draw the line in dealing with customer service? How much time do you spend righting financial wrongs, and how does your frugal mindset affect your behavior in those situations?

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Holly@ClubThrifty

Kristin,

I am sorry for whatever Chase did to you =) I’m sure they deserved the break-up.

I don’t know. Things have changed for me over the eyars. I used to spend whatever amount of time it took to right a financial wrong…even over 50 cents. Now I just pick my battles because I have been worn down by poor customer service for so many years.

The exception was dealing with AT&T and Comcast earlier this year. They crossed the line!!!

TB at BlueCollarWorkman
TB at BlueCollarWorkman

If Comcast was a person standing in front of me, I’d karate chop their face off. I dealt with them over a year ago over this $400 dispute (definitely worth the time!) and after 2 months of getting a different answer every time my wife or I called, I finally clicked on the computer and wrote a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Whoa. The next day Comcast called us and apologized and credited our account the $400. Just like that.

Don’t be afraid to use the BBB when companies jerk you around!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

I second using the BBB if you have to — or any other organization that might help with serious complaints. I once had a six month battle with my cable company over errors on my bill, and only later learned that Canada has a federal body set up to deal with telecommunications complaints! My province (Ontario) also has a governing body for the travel industry, and Canada has an organization set up to deal with complaints regarding financial institutions as well. I remember a friend who was a hotel manager once telling me that if you have major problems with… Read more »

jxm
jxm

Ohhhh! I know what it’s like dealing with Comacast after a $200+ overcharge a few months ago. Their billing system is so terrible that even the representative couldn’t tell me what the extra charges were for. I said that it makes no sense for me to pay for what you can’t even tell me what it’s for. They were still being resistant. I told them that I’d be happy to take my business elsewhere and they credited the account almost immediately. I switched providers a week later for a similar package with more features, but half the price. Happy!

Bryan
Bryan

I had a very similar experience with Comcast. I had switched packages due to their promo period ending and the new bill made no sense at all. I used the online chat because I was tired of spending so much time on hold everytime I tried to get through (and I was going to be on my computer anyways so waiting wasn’t as big of an issue). Basically I laid out what I thought was wrong, they didn’t understand, tried to tell me they were prorating for a change in the middle of the month. I had them tell me… Read more »

SteveK
SteveK

I’m not a fan of Chase but their customer service has always been great for me. I accidentally used my CC at an ATM and was charged a $10 fee and a little interest. Called, no wait, asked for the $10 fee to be removed and didn’t mention the interest fee. A minute later the rep said both the fee and interest had been credited back. I haven’t paid a penny in interest or fees on the card in years and have received over $1000 in rewards so no complaints…

Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies
Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies

Have you ever tried FastCustomer? It’s an app that dials customer service for you and calls you back when a person is on the other line… I used it once and it worked great.
Before giving up completely, why not try it? Fight the good fight against bad customer service, but with an additional weapon at your disposal. =)

Jason
Jason

+1 for FastCustomer!

Ash (in US)
Ash (in US)

To that I would also add:

1) Try gethuman.com to see if they have a phone number listed you can use

2) Call and put the company on speakerphone so that you can do other things while waiting for someone to pick up (dishes, sort mail/bills, etc.)

justin@thefrugalpath

For me poor customer service means a poor business. Often the people are reading a script, until you get to a supervisor. If you’re unable to get what you want ask for someone higher up.
I usually call customer service while I’m watching tv. so the $2.00 not being worth my time doesn’t matter because I figure that I’m multitasking. Plus the $2.00 fee this time could be a $200 error next time.

DanM53
DanM53

The script reading usually drives me crazy even if the customer service is good. I hate the canned “I do apologize for the problem…yada yada…” It often makes what could be a 2 minute call into a 5 minute call.

Adult student
Adult student

The amount of time I spend is proportional to the amount of money at stake. I would probably not bother calling up over $2 given how long it always takes to do phone business with banks, but I spent hours on the phone over the course of weeks a couple years ago trying to understand the source of “surprise” charges from Allstate, trying to get my local agent who apparently didn’t know how to use the computer system to fix them, and then trying to get them to cancel my policy so I could switch to a more competent company.… Read more »

Paul
Paul

This story is from about 1994. I was in the military and entitled to a special pay, which I was not receiving. I went to the Finance people, because it was a financial issue. They told me I had to talk to Personnel. Apparently Personnel had to fill out some paperwork to submit to Finance. Personnel wanted proof that I was entitled to this special pay. I provided the proof and eventually Finance got the paperwork. In the meantime, months were ticking by. After a couple months, I started to get my pay, but I was also entitled to back-pay.… Read more »

Jacob
Jacob

I am one of those people who argues on principle. Even if it’s 50 cents: I would never feel okay about ripping someone else off for any amount of money, and I also know that institutions count on people not haggling over smaller amounts of money, which can add up to millions every year for larger corporations and banks. I just can’t let them get away with that! 😉

Beth
Beth

I’ll usually always try to get my money back on principle, but here in London one company’s introduced something that makes me want to *scream* because it’s so unfair! It used to be that if the tube barriers mis-charged you on your Oyster card (the pre-payment card used for London public transport), you could go to the ticket office and get it refunded. *Now*, Transport For London, who run the busses and tubes, have said we can’t do that, we have to call their number – which isn’t toll-free. It’s not just not toll-free, it’s an 0845 number which, contrary… Read more »

Keith and Kinsey's Real Estate Update
Keith and Kinsey's Real Estate Update

I broke up with all my credit card companies. I now deal only with a small regional bank and my local credit union. Both these places give me amazing customer service. Citi was my frustrating one. It took me 37 min just to convince them and get the right person to close my account. If anyone is interested here’s my post about ditching the credit cards: http://keithandkinsey.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/ditching-the-credit-cards/

SweetCoffee
SweetCoffee

Thanks for the link Keith and Kinsey; nice article!

Beth
Beth

I can help you (well, others) on this one. When I came to close my Citi account, I told them I’d left the country. There’s no argument they can come up with that will counter that. It only took a few minutes to close the account.

Admittedly, in my case I really *had* left the country, but I’m sure you can use that excuse even if you don’t plan on emmigrating 😉

Tom
Tom

I agree that 20 minutes to solve a $2 problem seems silly. I’ve disputed minor charges via my bank’s website. It might take 24-48 hours to respond, but much more efficient for my time usage.
It also is very helpful if:
* you don’t chronically overdraft your account or not follow the rules, leading to other account fees
* you keep what you consider a large sum of money in the checking account
* you’ve been a customer for over a few years.

Mom of five
Mom of five

The older I get, the more likely I am to let the small stuff slide. I don’t think it’s only that we’ve got financially comfortable so a few dollars here and there is less meaningful. I think it’s primarily due to not wanting to feel angry and worked up dealing with customer service people. Also, as I’ve aged, I’ve gotten less able to translate quickly a thick foreign accent. I know it makes me the biggest xenophobe ever, but we have been using primarily Discover Card (better points programs be darned!) so that when an issue comes up I can… Read more »

Stacy
Stacy

I’ve had 2 over the phone dealings with Discover Card’s customer service in the past month (fraud on our credit card). One incident was good, the other was stellar. In the second incident the employee cheefully credited back some cashback bonus that had been spent fraudulently, waived a late fee (happened because we were waiting for the new CC to arrive), and bumped the interest rate on our account back down. The last doesn’t matter so much since we pay our bill in full each month, but it was still an excellent experience.

margie
margie

Whenever I call a company (either commercial or financial) and get a customer service rep in India or the Philippines, the rep is unfailingly competent and easy to work with, and I’ve always been able to understand them. Maybe I’m just lucky?

Mom of 5, I’m not disputing that you had difficulty understanding a call center worker.

I’ve just wondered, in general, how much this “thick accent at the call center” thing that we Americans like to complain about is based in reality and how much is us holding onto a years-old stereotype.

Laurel
Laurel

In my experience, younger people like my siblings and I do all right with foreign customer service. My parents struggle. Maybe it’s because we heard Spanish on Sesame Street during our formative years? I’ve been with my parents while we deal with a foreign hotel or airline staff person, and I’ve witnessed them not understanding what sounds clear to me.

Mom of five
Mom of five

In my case it’s definitely a slowed mental capacity. When I was younger I had no trouble instantaneously “translating” accents. Once I hit 40, I noticed that I could no longer do it with the same speed. It’s frustrating when I’m speaking with customer service to have to re-say the sentence in my head and get a translation from it that may be right or wrong. I often will end up spelling something to confirm I had it right. It’s not just Indian accents, it’s all of them.

Anne
Anne

Totally agree, Mom of Five, on holding onto the anger thing. It sometimes feels like it is taking years off my life.

You defiitely have to take that into account.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Interesting post! I would probably complain about a $2.00 charge, but my bank’s customer service is much faster than described here. How do people feel about complaining about customer service when no money is involved? I’ve been ignored or treated badly by sales people and not said a word — I just don’t go back. One time I ever witnessed a customer service person swearing at a customer. I didn’t think it was my business to say anything to a manager if the customer didn’t, but I still think of that incident every time I have to deal with this… Read more »

Laura
Laura

It’ll depend on my mood and the vibe I’m getting from the clerk, but I tend to assume that person is having a really bad day and can’t keep their upset under wraps. I try as much as possible to be at least polite and preferably project a note of compassionate warmth in my tone of voice (plus make eye contact in a friendly manner if it’s in person). I’d say about 2/3 of the time, the clerk relents at least somewhat. If it’s a longstanding pattern, then I’ll avoid that business. But most of the time it’s somebody paid… Read more »

Carol in Mpls
Carol in Mpls

I hate being ignored, it just pisses me off.

When I was ready to buy car #2 (Mazda 626, brand new, right off the lot) I had the money in the bank. Yes, a total cash transaction, ready to write the check, no loan, and was completely stiffed at the dealership. All the guys hung outside yakking and smoking. No one inside volunteered to assist me except the receptionist, and I left.

Went back to my hometown, where I had bought car #1, and later, car #3. And, any future cars as well, I hope. Treat me right, and I’ll come back.

Sam
Sam

I fight for the $2. We don’t use credit cards in our day to day life. But we do utilize Home Depot card for our real estate business. The card is in Mr. Sam’s name, and for some reason they like to charge him $2 fees when we are taking advantage of the 0% offers. I say for some reason, because there is no reason. If I call and dispute it they (1) can’t identify the reason for the fee and (2) the refund it. The reason I fight for the $2, I have a moral objection to random fees.… Read more »

Amy
Amy

Left the bank mess years ago. I found a wonderful Credit Union. Never any problems and they know my name when I go in. No fees, no problems.

PB
PB

I called Discover because they did not credit the payment I had made to my husband’s account. They were very nice, looked at our payment history, which showed that we ALWAYS pay off the balance in full every month, and believed me that this check must have gotten lost in the mail. I paid both that month and the current month over the phone, they waived all interest and charges, and that was that. Great people to work with!

Tina
Tina

I had an issue years ago where a scamming company took 200.00 out of my checking account without my permission. I had to go through the whole process of closing the account, reopening a new one and trying to recover my $200.00 for the fruadulent transaction. The bank was willing to help(because of their fraud policy) and said they would do the investigation but would leave my old account open with the negative balance and would waive all fees once resolved. After months, I get a statement from my bank for the closed account with a balance of 0.00. So… Read more »

Colleen
Colleen

While I absolutely agree that we have to “pick our battles”, the thing that we all forget is that these companies are banking on the fact that it will be too much trouble – in fact, I believe they go out of their way to make it painful for us just so we won’t hold, write the letter, etc. It all adds up to money in their pockets. Take that $2.00 for instance. If you were the only person this happened to, no big deal it’s just $2.00. But more likely there were probably hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people… Read more »

Laura
Laura

+1. Totally agree.

Rail
Rail

This is what happens when we live in a plutacracy and nobody cares enough or has the time to fight the little stuff. I agree 100% about the company attitudes about 2 bucks here or there. Ask someone who has ever worked for a railroad about the Timekeeping dept. Railroads devote large amounts of manpower just to not pay contractuall agreements in the hopes that it wont be caught on the paycheck. Ie. the term “Railroaded”.

smirktastic
smirktastic

I have 3 suggestions for you
1. Credit Union
2. Credit Union
3. Credit Union

Laura
Laura

Like others, as I get older, I tend to pick my battles but will sometimes still fight over the principle of a matter. If the monetary amount is low, it depends on if I feel truly wronged. Below is what I do and recommend to others. Pre-emptive strikes: – Use a credit union or regional bank for better service over a big box bank. – Do research on companies via BBB, Angie’s List, Yelp, or simply a Google web search BEFORE using them. – Assume their business is set up to benefit them, not you. – NEVER try a service… Read more »

Brigitte
Brigitte

Another suggestion to Laura’s great remarks: Don’t only TRY to get the customer service rep’s name, GET it, at the beginning of the call. I always make a note of date, time, and to whom I spoke. Usually a quick, “Would you please spell your name so I can make a note of it,” let’s them know that you’re serious and not a flake. At the end of an unsatisfactory call, I ask politely for an employee id. Being able to cite a conversation with proper employee info is priceless. I also ask that notes be made of our convo… Read more »

Peach
Peach

As a former customer service rep, I ALWAYS pursue it until it is resolved. Always! I understand the business so well, and I know that even for that $2 charge, some billion dollar company is making lots of money when we don’t make them accountable. Don’t get me wrong, I like customer service. There’s a real art in talking to people and turning a bad situation around. I had a really good time at work some days. On the other hand, there were sometimes impossible goals set for the number of calls we were expected to handle (by management) and… Read more »

Laurel
Laurel

I like that you ask for a supervisor after a good experience- I’m sure it’s usually just the opposite for customer service reps. I’m going to try it.

sarah
sarah

I’ve had horrible experiences with Chase… ugh.

Edward
Edward

I would fight for the $2. I think in many cases the company is counting on people to give up if they place them on hold long enough. You think they aren’t aware that when a machine is broken it still charges a fee? I bet like hell they are. If they do this to a few hundred or thousand people a day and 99% of customers don’t notice/complain/give up, hey… They’re doing very well for themselves.

Good article, Kristin!

Claire
Claire

I will not waste my time sitting on hold only to be spoken to an ineffectual script reader at the end of the phone. If I have called and the matter has not been resolved the first time, or if I can’t get through in a reasonable length of time, then I will only communicate with the company by mail. This way I have a written record of everything I’ve sent them and when, and I can keep a copy of their mail back to me. Having worked in customer service (and more importantly, complaints resolution) I know that a… Read more »

partgypsy
partgypsy

I REALLY want to break up with my phone/internet provider (they will say one thing on the phone with me regarding bill total, price of individual services and when I get the bill there will be something else, getting different stories depending on who I talk to) plus my web connectivity sucks) BUT my Dad doesn’t like talking to me on my cell phone, and I don’t want to go cold turkey on internet access. I wish I was more of a tech head to figure out a solution.

Morgan
Morgan

Whenever possible, I don’t waste my time with phone calls. Send an email or a letter – it takes 5 minutes and you’ve got yourself a papertrail.

Matt E
Matt E

One trick I have used – ask the company for additional compensation for your frustration. This only works if you have an ongoing relationship with them (cell phone, cable, etc…). Recently, I was charged an extra $1.80 for a “long distance fee” even though long distance service is included in the base price of my plan. In addition to getting the charge removed, I asked for compensation for the inconvenience. Bam–an extra $25 off my next bill. I actually like it when companies make small mistakes–more often than not, you can “profit” from them if you express your frustration calmly… Read more »

nicoleandmaggie
nicoleandmaggie

It depends… but whenever it’s a credit card or bank mis-charge that really gets me to dig my heels in. Well, I haven’t complained to Wells Fargo about how they round their pennies with my mortgage (I just occasionally adjust my spreadsheet… so far I’ve lost about 7 cents from that)… but I did get pretty pissed off at them about a $10 for no reason (“computer mistake”) charge they made the other month and got that taken off. They also screwed up the mortgage prepayment the month before in a really bizarre fashion (potential loss from that: $2.62, assuming… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin

If your grocery store made so many mistakes, why did you keep going there? And does anybody point out your mistakes all the time?

As for you potential mortgage loss of $2.62, I’m guessing Illuminati…

nicoleandmaggie
nicoleandmaggie

Jeez, Kevin, what a snarky comment. What did I do to you? The mortgage mistake was them applying some of an 8K October prepayment to the month of November rather than all of it to prepayment (not all of it, which is what made it weird). They were not going to send me a bill for November. If I hadn’t caught that it would have cost a lot more than $2.62. The $2.62 is what it would have cost me if instead of getting it applied correctly for October, I made the prepayment with November’s check… and assuming they’d done… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin

You didn’t do anything to me, but I thought I’d give you just a little bit of push-back since the poor grocery store employee cannot do that. You mentioned getting a free item if the store gets a price wrong. If it was me, I would ask for the price to be corrected, but I would not accept a free item. As for the news story, this sounds like a manufactured story. A grocery store carries THOUSANDS of items – of course there will be mistakes from time to time. This is news? My experience working in retail was so… Read more »

nicoleandmaggie
nicoleandmaggie

I think you’re assuming that I’m being a jerk to customer service. Not so, the standard operating procedure is to go up to customer service, show the advertised price in the flyer, show the price on the receipt, and then they say sorry about that and thanks, credit the receipt, and *correct their computer program* so that the registers ring up correctly for the next customer. You seem to assume that the local workers at a chain grocery want to keep making the mistakes pushed on them by corporate. They would be more upset if, as you suggest people should… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin

I have to admit that you are making some good points. I need to so some more thinking.

Marcy
Marcy

I had a Net 10 prepaid cell phone. Over the course of a few years I had several occasions to call their Customer Service. All experiences with their Customer Service were very time-consuming and bad. I kept planning to go with a different provider, but kept procrastinating. But one day, I lost the phone and it turned out for the best. I bought a Tracfone which holds the charge longer and I’ve been able to use it everywhere so far. I haven’t needed Customer Service yet, but will hope for the best when I do.

Kevin
Kevin

This might be slightly off subject, but trust me, for every instance of poor customer service there are 15-20 instances of boorish, uncivilized behavior on the part of the customer. I worked in retail for many years but eventually the anxiety and depression resulting from working with the public drove me into a different line of work. I thank God every day that I now work in a cubicle. Also, I seldom have problems of this kind. A few years ago we had problems with our internet provider. We eventually changed, but I did not file a complaint or anything… Read more »

BD
BD

Thumbs up for Kevin. I’ve worked in retail many years too, and it’s usually the customers who are rude, impatient and belittling to the workers. I can’t think of a single problem I’ve ever had with customer service anywhere, because when I do have a problem, I’m super-friendly to the representative. I politely ask for things, I do not demand. And guess what? I get what I want. I can’t ever remember a time when a fee wasn’t waived, or an account wasn’t closed at my request. I show gratitude to the representative. Being nice gets you a lot further… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin

Thanks for the nice comment. I know I make a lot of mistakes, so I don’t get too mad when they happen at my expense. I’m with you – being nice is the most civil and productive way to handle things.

suz
suz

I think people have been conditioned to make as much “noise” as possible to get the attention they think they deserve to solve their problem.
I think people who make this noise by being insulting and complete jerks to sales clerks, servers, cashiers, etc. are horrible people.

Sarah
Sarah

While our time is worth $$ – there’s also something to be said for trying to change a bad system. If customers generally hang up after a certain amount of minutes, then these companies (having already proved themselves as bad customer service establishments) will just start automatically placing customer service calls on hold long enough for them to hang up never to try again. I would not be surprised to learn that there have been studies of how long a company must keep an unhappy customer on hold until they hang up. If we keep putting up with the use… Read more »

Debtgirl
Debtgirl

I will keep at it until I can’t stand it any more. If that means I have to wait until I am in a certain frame of mind to make the call, I will wait. The stress of dealing with customer service issues is really a lot to deal with at times. So frustrating!

Dan
Dan

I like Chase. Chase and all of their points are flying my wife and I to Paris in Business Class next year. Chase and all of their points are putting me up in the Park Hyatt in Paris for four nights next year.

Chase and all of their points flew my wife and I in first class (flat beds) to Bali this year. Chase and all of their points put me up in a suite at the Bali Hyatt for six nights in October.

I like Chase — and all of their points.

Meghan
Meghan

Um, funny that this is today’s story because I broke my old record for how long I was on hold! The new record is 84 minutes! Luckily I called from my office phone and listened to 84 minutes of elevator music while I continued working. It was the IRS. I have been paying them – very long story regarding a mistake made by Regions back as they forgot to withhold taxes, my aunt stealing the $100,000 bond that was then going to pay the taxes and be distributed, and my spending of the money on a down payment for a… Read more »

Carla
Carla

Next time your find yourself victimized by a bank, try out the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They have a ton of clout and are genuinely interested in protecting consumers. So far, they seem to have been pretty good about making sure consumers are cared for, and being sure that each problem is neither illegal nor systemic.

Julie
Julie

I can completely identify with you. I’ve run into my fair share of companies that won’t let you leave at least without some time of financial penalty. Thinking about it, only companies with bad service have financial penalties… the ones with good service well they don’t have people dropping out all over the place. I guess we should keep that top of mine before jumping in bed with the next one.

suz
suz

I would have stayed on the phone for $2 with a bank, credit card company, or healthcare provider. Even though my time isn’t worth that. Just out of principle. In the case of banks and credit card companies I think that they don’t deserve to have my cash if they make a mistake. I do everything I can to avoid fees, even going out of my way to use a specific ATM. In the case of healthcare, there are so many mistakes that I don’t trust that a bill is right ever. I just had an incorrect bill that took… Read more »

Monroe
Monroe

What bank or financial institution did you decide to go with?

Jim
Jim

When dealing with such issues, I will always start out the conversation with the other party with “I know it isn’t you and please don’t take it personally, but I am pissed!” This usually gets them in the mode of wanting to help and “FIX” the problem. It also eliminates the need for a pissing contest in general. Time is certainly money or lack of depending on what it is you are doing, but if we all stood strong when the need arises, then the need would arise less often!

andy_mcf
andy_mcf

I had a surreal experience recently when trying to pay off the balance on a loan with Chase Bank. It took only a few minutes to get the loan. But paying it back required two (2) hours and the involvement of at least four (4) different departments (I stopped counting).

More here… http://bit.ly/cTtEpt

Jean
Jean

Unfortunately, I believe we have all had ‘how stupid can this be’ moments. Let me tell you about mine: A few years ago, I had a home equity loan with Chase bank. Diligence and patience persevered and the final payment was finally sent in the mail to the bank. The next month I received a statement from chase bank in the amount of TWO CENTS! Yes, that’s correct .02 cents. The two cents was interest on the unpaid balance from the date of statement to the date of payment received! In a state of disbelief, shock and anger, I got… Read more »

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