|by Jason Steele|
I went to college in Delaware, where many banks and credit card issuers are located. Many of my friends there had part time jobs working as customer service representatives. Every time I talked to a customer service representative, I like to imagine it is one of my college friends.
One time, back in the day before no call lists, my parents received a telemarketing call about a credit card. Out of curiosity, they asked where the caller was located. They were located in Delaware. My parents proudly informed them that their son would be attending the University of Delaware this fall. Although they never applied for the credit card, they did have a lengthy discussion about the various dormitory and meal options that we were sorting through at the time.
Put Things In Perspective
People have jobs. They represent companies who you do business with. The company may be bad, their policies may be bad, but that doesn’t mean the person you happened to be speaking with is bad. I always try to keep this in mind when I am dealing with customer service representatives from credit card companies or other companies. No matter how poorly a company treats you, it is never ok to be disrespectful to someone who is just doing their job.
It Should Go Both Ways
Amazingly, such courtesy and respect does not always go both ways. Recently, I phoned Chase in order to cancel my United Mileage Plus credit card. At first, the representative asked me if I would answer a few questions about my cancellation. I said yes, but they must be brief. The conversation went like this:
Him: Why are you canceling the card?
Me: I don’t need it as I am tired of doing business with United Airlines.
Him: Well, we can offer you other cards that are linked with other reward programs.
Me: I really just want to close the card.
Him: Since you told me that your problem was with United Airlines, and I can offer you rewards that have nothing to do with United.
Me: I just have too many credit cards at this time and I would like to cancel.
Him: Can I just tell you about our other reward cards?
Me: No thank you, I would just like to cancel.
Him: I would just like to tell you about the other offerings we have.
Me: I would just like to cancel.
Him: I am sorry you won’t let me tell you about our other reward card offerings.
Me: I would just like to cancel my card.
Him: We can cancel your card and give you a different card with the same account.
Me: No, just cancel my account.
Him: Your account has been cancelled. click
He actually hung up on me! I was as polite as possible, yet the guy just kept on pushing. I understand that they have to make offers to retain me as a customer, but enough is enough. I must have told him “no thanks, just close the account” about ten times before he rudely hung up.
I know being a customer service representative is a very tough job, but perhaps it is time for this particular guy to move on.
Why would I want to do business with Chase in the future when closing an account leaves such a bad taste in one’s mouth?