Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chase Freedom Credit Card--the freedom receive poor customer service

Well, I finally got my mail from the post office who had somehow missed the end date. I immediately went through all of the mail and read the remaining Christmas cards/letters and then the bills (ugh!). One such bill was from one of my credit card companies--Chase Freedom.

This is that credit card that used to have commercials where they'd yell, "Freedom!" and show people prancing about on the beach or engaging in other fun and costly pursuits. Yes, you're free to go do all of those things--buy now, pay later, blah, blah, blah.

Well, I've had this credit card for over a year now. I got one because my brother in law and his wife had one and they really liked getting the cash back. I liked that idea too. I have a Sony credit card that rewards me with points, but I thought it would be advantageous to start getting cash back instead.

I've had no problems until last night. Let me clarify this by saying, I've never contacted Chase Freedom credit card company before last night either. I always pay my balance in full (except for one month where I left a small balance which I paid off the next month) and I ALWAYS PAY ON TIME.

I noticed, while I was going through all of my mail, that the due date for this credit card was that very day. Realizing that even if I did my usual online bill pay option, it still would not post to the account until tomorrow at the earliest. Trying to a dutiful and responsible card holder, I contacted Chase to explain my vacation and mail hold problems and ask their advice on how to best pay the bill.

The first woman I talked to, whose name I can't pronounce and who probably lives in India given her extremely difficult accent, read me the lines that I'm sure popped up on her screen that told me that she would take my payment over the phone for a charge of $14.99. What? $14.99? Are you kidding me? This whole transaction won't cost the credit card company more than some pennies and I've NEVER been late on a payment EVER. I asked her if she could give me a waiver on the fee for processing given my perfect payment history. No, she couldn't. Okay, well, I wanted to talk to her supervisor then.

She was happy to transfer me to her supervisor--who did speak English perfectly. I again explained my situation and asked him if he could waive the fee. He informed me that he could not. I asked him why he couldn't (providing to him my perfect payment history) and he informed me that I knew when my credit card payment was due and I could've made plans while I was on vacation to pay it off. I told him that I didn't know the amount I owed because I didn't receive the invoice before I left. He didn't care. He said I could've easily found out and made other arrangements. I also reminded him that my due date was that very day that we were talking. Technically I wasn't late at all. BUT, since the payment wouldn't post until the 8th, it still cost me a fee.

****Sidenote--do any of you know off the top of your head when each and every one of your various bills are due each month 'cause I certainly don't. I should've said that to Mr. Accounts Supervisor.

I again stated that if I had received the invoice before I left town, I would've paid it, and the mail had not delivered to me as I had requested once I received the invoice, which was just a couple of hours ago, I was trying to get it paid.

Once again Mr. Accounts Supervisor was uncooperative. I requested to talk with his supervisor.

That is when he told me that he didn't have a supervisor--he was the accounts manager. To which I replied "You don't have a supervisor? Are you telling me that you run Chase Bank?" Well, no, he didn't run Chase Bank, but he didn't have a supervisor. I insisted again that he must have a supervisor to which he finally conceeded that his supervisor had gone home for the day. I then requested a voicemail, so I could leave a message about Mr. Accounts Manager. He said there was no voicemail, but he would leave a message for his supervisor to return my call within 24 hours. I told him that would be great.

I then told him that I would never refer his card to anyone else ever again. He then started to sound like a robot and asked me if I'd like to make a payment. To which I responded, "Yes, do I have any choice?" He then asked me how much I'd like to pay; I told him and then he started to chime in about the $14.99 fee associated with this. I cut him off and scathingly stated, "I KNOW HOW MUCH THE FEE IS." As if I had somehow forgotten the fee cost. Was that not the reason I called him in the first place?

I got his name after that and asked him if I was done. He replied that I was and then I hung up on him. Aaaaah, I wish that hanging up provided more satisfaction. You know, like the telephone would reach out and smack him across the face or something. I was a little angered by the whole situation in case you couldn't tell.

*** I also wanted to say that I once had a late payment problem with a previous credit card that I owned. I was in Spain and my mom was making the payments for me. I guess she forgot to pay one month on time and realized it a bit later. She called the credit card company up and explained the situation and they immediately forgave the late fee. As you can see, I have received no such kind service here.


SHERI said...

I would have told him I would then be canceling my account with them and move on to one that is more helpful- you know Costco American Express gives a cash back too!

Lara said...

They obviously never would have told you this, because they wanted the stupid fee so badly, but you should have paid online. If you said for it to be paid that day, it would have been considered paid on time. It doesn't usually post for a couple more days to your account, but on their end you would have been good. We have two Chase credit cards (not the Freedom one, but I imagine it's all the same people running it) and I often pay online the same day it's due and have never had a problem.

Another thing to do is just to go paperless altogether. They email you when your statement is ready, and then you can click through to go pay online. I much prefer that...not only does it reduce my mail, I'm just plain more likely to remember to pay when it's in my email and I don't have to write out a check and find a stamp, etc.

Sorry about the customer service though! So annoying...I especially love how he didn't have a supervisor. Whatever.

Lacey said...

We have the same card but haven't had the bad luck you guys have had. I'll have to tell you about my problems with Ginger and her licensing..but it's way too long to type!

I would suggest the AE Costco card. We have that one and use it for Gas and it pays cash back...and bonus, if I ever wanted to use it at Costco I could..but that would be VERY dangerous...especially as Chris is walking down the flat screen isle..yeah, basically I don't bring it into Costco!

Heather said...

That is so frustruating!! I would recommend writing a formal letter to someone...the unknown supervisor maybe?! I would also cancel the card and refer to that in the letter.

I'm bummed we missed seeing you at Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful holiday though :)

Lauren and Trevor said...

I apologize for partially getting you into this mess. We have our Chase credit card payments directly withdrawn from our bank account so that we never forget (not that WE would ever forget or anything). We don't have the Chase "Freedom" card though, just a Chase rewards card. Maybe that made the difference:)

rachel said...

I despise credit card companies. I sympathize and empathize about the customer service. What is the condition of Chase in the economy, in my experience when it's harder economic times they CREDIT CARDS/ BANKS lose ALL SENSE!

peachytiffers said...

We have that card too. We're actually going to cancel it though because they keep changing the due dates on us and we run into the same problem of still having time to pay it, but not having it on time because of the processing time for online payments. It's sooo frustrating. I like the phone slapping idea, let's get someone started on making that!

Mariley Johnson said...

Reminds me of when I called the arpet company to fix my carpet that they did a poor job of installing and they told me there was absolutley NOTHING they could do about it. That's just the way it is! I wanted to smack them across the face too especially since their web site clearly states the job done to customer's satistfaction!
Stinkin' customer service!!

CC said...

I don't have that card but our WaMu card kept getting messed up because they suddenly stopped sending me a paper statement plus they blocked out my online access and they couldn't fix it on their end! Anyway, good thing that BofA tells you on their billpay which companies allow 1 day or 4 day processing. If it's one day, it's because they can do it electronically on their end on the due date and then take the money out of your account on the same day. For the four days, they mail a check 4 days before the due date. That has helped me a lot to remember. I'm scared now that WaMu has been bought by Chase, WaMu has been very friendly with waiving their fee since they owe me for the online fiasco. I've never had to pay them $15!

Kelli said...

Okay, I already wrote this once and it gave me a duplication error so I'll try again.

I agree, I wish hanging up on someone made more of a statement. Any sort of physical pain would do ;).

I told Jarom about your lack of customer service. He felt bad that the guy was such a jerk. But, he did have these words of wisdom. The pay by date is generally a suggestion. He said that you usually have between 23 and 25 days after your pay by date to make a payment. Then if you don't make a payment it will start to go against your credit and so forth.

What jerks! Maybe someday that guy will have a problem and he can be treated the same way he treated you!

wackywilsons said...

This one hits so close to home. I am the Queen of Great Customer Service at my job....or, at least that is my title as "Service Managing Partner...." blah blah blah

I deal with people daily who are upset, irate, have not had good customer service or received a bad item. I must say, that they guy you talked to had obviously no heart. Chase bank can afford to give a good paying customer a $15 break, seriously! That is a no brainer. I am sure they have dealt with much larger quantities of money in bigger problems...not only that, but why were no efforts made to make sure that YOU were happy?

It's amazing how important it is to not only be a good standing customer, but when flipped to the opposite side...put yourself in the customer's shoes and do what you would want done for you.

At least you had a great Christmas! And I DO want to see pics of it all:)

Kylie said...

Due to our irresponsible spending, I am a pro at this stinkin stuff. I think Citi is by far THE WORST about that customer service, each call to them takes at least an hour, and we have to talk to like 4 different people before someone can actually help us. And they alwayw do help us by refunding fees or whatever, but it is a huge ordeal.

Anywho, Kelli is right, it varies from card to card, but most do give you a bit of a grace period before it effects your credit score, but if your payment is even hours late, they have the right to charge a late fee and change your APR. We have USAA, and they give us a full 15 day window after the due date to pay without any penalty.

Here is my tip: Call them back today and explain the situation, and say you would like the transaction fee refunded. It seems like they can more easily refund fees rather than waiving them. And hopefully you can go up the chain as far as you need to to get it done.

When I think about all the money that banks are making off of stupid fees like that, it makes my head want to explode!

PS Love the slapping phone idea!