Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Persistence = $39.00


I LOVE this quote! (I would frame that. :)

It might not seem like much... but $39.00 is $39.00.

And then there is the principal of it all.

I was reviewing my credit card statement and saw that the company added a $39.00 membership fee. I did have to pay that fee in the early years, but have since had the fee removed as a courtesy...which I most appreciated.

So I called and spoke with a pleasant enough woman, who said that she was sorry , but my agreement states I have a membership fee. And I stated that the company had removed it, told her to review my account and she could see how good I am with making payments throughout the month. I may have made mistakes elsewhere but I am really on top of this account. She agreed, but maintained the membership agreement still stood and that even though they waved it in the past... they had to cover costs of credit card protection, 24 hour service and I forget what else. (all for my $39.00 - what a bargain! ;)

I told her that I appreciated her patience and assistance, but that I would like to please speak with a supervisor. She told me that a supervisor would tell me the same thing. I told her that I would still like to speak with the supervisor. And so she put me on hold.

After approximately 2 minutes... she came back on to tell me he was on another call and again stated that he would agree with her and would not remove the membership fee. I again requested the supervisor.

After approximately 4 more minutes... she came back on to tell me he was still involved in another call and asked if I still wanted to speak with him. "Yes... I still want to speak with him please."

And so she put me back on hold. It occurred to me that she may be trying to wear me down... but I had the phone on speaker and I am blogging. I thought "Little did she know just how tenacious I can be... and that blogging will keep me happily occupied for as long as I have to wait."

Also... now it felt like a little competition of the wills. After all...why was she trying to discourage me from speaking to a supervisor?

5 or so minutes later...she came back on to inform me he was still tied up and to restate that he also would say the same thing she had told me... that they cannot remove the membership fee. At this point... I was a cross between annoyed and amused and in it for the long hall.

As I waited... AGAIN... an episode of Friends came to mind, in which Phoebe stayed on hold for a company for hours... maybe all day.. I don't recall. Well... I was blogging... I could do it! Time just flies by when I am in the the land of Blogdom. :)

But as it turned out... the supervisor came on almost immediately after she put me on hold. I do give her credit for coming back to inform me because you should never leave someone on hold too long without checking back with them, especially since there weren't any recordings reminding me "You're call is important. Please stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly." :)

I was polite, yet assertive and of course factual. I discussed my impeccable history with them and did state that I have made mistakes elsewhere but not with this card and reminded him that I was a valued customer. I explained some other personal facts and ended up stating... "I know it might seem like a little thing... but $39.00 is $39.00."

He was most gracious and apologized. He said she didn't have the power to reverse the fee and to ALWAYS ask for a supervisor if I want charges removed. He told me I would see the fee removed in a couple of days.

I thanked him and told him to have a beautiful day and he told me to have a beautiful day too and I hung up as a happy customer.

If I was working, enmeshed in the hectic hamster wheel of life ... this would've been pushed aside and they would've won in the past.

I have found persistence pays off with medical insurance companies as well as cell phone/telephone companies and electric and other random financial errors. If something doesn't seem right about your bill... it probably isn't. You should at least review these things because mistakes do happen. And be persistent... politely persistent, because they may not want to own up to it, may not care, may not understand and has to be rectified by someone in the company.

So... for about 20 minutes of my time...I saved $39.00. I'll take that. :)


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