Chase Rep Insider Answers Your Questions

The Chase customer service rep whose 10 Confessions we posted last week has been reading your comments and has responded to some of your questions. The rep also offers five more tips that they forgot to include in their original post.

“To all the Readers of Consumerist-

I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to read the Chase Confessions, I’ve kept an eye on it and would like to respond to some of the questions left for me in the comments section.

RANDOTHEKING: “Your logic on #4 is dumb and most people don’t realize that stating “I didn’t get my statement” is an automatic fix for your account. At Macy’s if you stated that then your late fee and finance charge were removed as legit no questions asked. You have to factor in that your statements go through a 3rd party called the USPS and they lose shit all the time.”

That might be the policy at Macy’s, but not at Chase. If you state that you didn’t receive statement, I’ll confirm your address, and if it’s right, I can offer to either send you another copy in the mail. I can also fax one to your home, office, or local branch. I can also get you online and talk you through signing up online and viewing your statement there. No doubt, the USPS loses a lot of mail. But if that’s how you choose to receive your statement, it can be lost, like I said I don’t doubt some people didn’t receive it. But I have to take into account that you know you have a credit card, you’re in possession of the banks money, and you know it needs to be paid back. One thing I would suggest, mark it on your calender, set a reminder in your cell phone, or if you just kinda ‘feel’ the bill is coming due, just call customer service, we have a ton of options to get your statement to you. Also, if you haven’t gotten your statement, and need to make a payment before it will be late, let us know, in most cases we’ll gladly waive the fee for you to make a payment over the phone, as long as it’s not habitual.

ECHODORK: “So, this is basically the same as most of the other call center confessions, I suppose. Don’t yell at me, and unless you’re a profitable customer, don’t expect much. Fantastic.”

Not really. You can yell at me if you want to, but obviously, it would make me less eager to resolve your issue. And, I try to help everyone out best I can, but keep in mind, I have to follow rules and guidelines set by Chase. I have a lot of leeway and discretion with those guidelines to do things on your account, but don’t be surprised if you encounter what many in the customer service industry call ‘the asshole fee’. That would be not getting things waived, or doing the bare minimum to help you out.

PUBLIC ENEMY #1: “If the CSR is reading these comments, how do I get Chase Freedom to stop pestering me about their buyer protection program? I’m not interested, and I get a stupid letter about every two weeks and/or a phone call about it.”

What you do is, call the customer service line, and ask the Rep to exclude you from all marketing or solicitations. We’ll remove you from all mailing lists, all telemarketing, all special offers, emails, everything. Takes about 2 minutes and you’re all set.

“DALLASDMD: “8. NON-PROFIT” What a load of BS. The bank is most definitely making money off your account. Why would they keep you as a customer if they were not? They are not obligated to keep you. The fact is the bank is making money each time you make a transaction. Those fees each business pays to accept credit cards goes to VISA/MC and to your bank. If I am not profitable, then why is Chase sending me post cards with reminders of my rewards plan and lists of merchants where I can get special deals if I use my Chase card?

The majority of those transaction fees go to Visa and MasterCard. We do get a small cut of it, I don’t know exactly how much. But usually it’s not enough to offset the other things on the account, especially if you just have a balance transfer amount on the card, and aren’t using it. I mean, if you drop 30k every month, then it would be enough, but other people spending 2k or 3k it wouldn’t be.

CMDR.SASS: “”I WILL GO TO BAT FOR YOU IF YOU TREAT ME LIKE A HUMAN” -I will continue to treat you like the faceless, interchangeable cog in the Chase machine that you are because “YOU ARE NOT A UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE”

Fair enough. Just expect the same obviously. To me, most people, you’ll just be a number, some guy I talk to once and that’s it.

MGYQMB: “”We do let cards go over a little bit, just in case you’re in a situation where you really need it. Imagine these scenarios. Imagine you’re in a restaurant, and you go to pay the bill. Would you rather be declined and be embarrassed in front of your friends and family, or have it go through and pay the $39 fee.”

This is ridiculous. Of course I want it to decline, as I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY. This is the same argument for overdraft fees, which turns 3 $5 purchases into a -$100 nightmare.”

While you might want it to decline, the other 1000 people I’ve encountered in this situation have screamed at me demanding what I would do to compensate them for the embarrassment they’ve had to endure. I mean, the restaurant is just an example. I’ve had people standing in line at Wal-Mart be declined, at the post office sending a package, paying for some other item in a line somewhere that declined the card and left them hot and bothered looking for other means of payment while people looked on. To me, if putting some food on your credit card is going to get you declined, you should re-think your spending habits and maybe not go out to eat. But, if you want to make certain you won’t go over your credit line, just give us a call and we’ll put an Overlimit Block on your account. That way, you can be certain you wont incur the $39 fee for making that purchase.

TODDKRAVOS: “I guess the most important rule to CSRs is STILL NOT BEING TAUGHT/TRAINED: Retain the customer at any expense to prevent negative and long lasting ill effects against our brand. In the age of the internet, customer satisfaction and retention are extremely important these days. Boy am I glad I don’t use Credit Cards, I’d lose my patience real quick with a CSR like this.”

This may come as a surprise, but remember those ‘Non-profit’ cardmembers we’ve talked about. Well, if something comes up, we are advised to encourage you to close the account. That’s why the threat of “I’ll transfer my balance elsewhere” might be met with the Rep offering to close the account during that phone call. Not something I like to do often, but part of the job. As far as losing a customer, to be honest, if I lose you, I gain somebody else. The credit card industry is one big revolving door. There is some other person on the phone right now, at Bank of America, at Citi, at “Name Big Bank Here” telling one of their Reps the exact same thing, that they’re leaving. And where will that person go..? Probably to Chase. People transfer their balance out all the time, in fact, every Rep in the call center probably averages over $600k in balance transfers per month. Unfortunately, with all the big banks, most of you named Average Joe Consumer, are treated like like a number. And I don’t think you’d lose your patience with me, I’m actually one of the better Reps, by that meaning I know what I’m doing, I give the best advice possible, and, as an added bonus, I speak clear and fluent English.

VASTRIGHTWING: “I always love the response, “we’re not making ANY money on you.” as if this is an excuse for bad service and a way to make me feel guilty. My thinking is, if they are not making any money on me, it’s their problem, not mine. 99% of the time they lie. The other 1% of the time, yes, they didn’t make any money on me this time, but they are on most everyone else. Please let me shed a tear for the bank. Paleeeeesssssseeeeee!”

You’re right, and it’s not excuse for bad service, and I don’t try to make you feel guilty either. It’s just the facts.

Other than that, some other things I wanted to mention in the first post but forgot to put in..

1. If I say no to your request, ask for a supervisor. My mind is not gonna change if you argue with me.
2. You have to verbally state your request. I’m not allowed to just waive fees, even if you and I both know that’s why you called.
3. Same thing with asking for a supervisor. You have to ask, I can’t just transfer you, even if it would make both of us happier.
4. If you really want to voice a concern, write or email our executive office. Yelling at me about is gonna do nothing. I’m not the one in the boardroom making all these rules and regulations.
5. If you don’t want a late fee, don’t be late. One thing I always tell people, your due date is not the only day you can make the payment. You’re allowed to make it before that.

Sincerely,

Your Chase Rep.”

PREVIOUSLY: 10 Confessions Of A Chase Customer Service Rep

Comments

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  1. savdavid says:

    He/she seems honest enough. As I have not dealt with Chase I have nothing to go by except this CSR’s statements. I must say they do sound fair and logical. Having said that, I do despise the credit card companies I have for the fees and rates they charge.

  2. ShortBus says:

    “As far as losing a customer, to be honest, if I lose you, I gain somebody else. The credit card industry is one big revolving door. There is some other person on the phone right now, at Bank of America, at Citi, at “Name Big Bank Here” telling one of their Reps the exact same thing, that they’re leaving. And where will that person go..? Probably to Chase.”

    If a CSR related that kind of attitude to me and I was the supervisor, they’d be canned in a heartbeat. Afterall, the job market is just a big revolving door. By firing someone who doesn’t care about customer retention when that’s their job, I’ve opened up a job for someone who does.

  3. Bladefist says:

    “are treated like like a number” … “as an added bonus, I speak clear and fluent English.”

    Just messin, great article.

  4. Scudder says:

    This person seems burt-out on the job. Giving good customer service leads to client loyalty. I’m a “non-profit” customer regarding credit cards, but I would possibly be a great mortgage or auto-loan client to a bank that gave consistantly good service. Ask me to close my account, and I’ll most defintely seek other banking needs elsewhere.

  5. trollkiller says:

    Maybe it is the mood I am in but it seems most of your position comes down to “kiss my ass and we will get along just fine.”

  6. matt1978 says:

    @ShortBus: That’s why you’re not the supervisor. You can’t see the truth – THEY ALWAYS COME BACK.

  7. jefino says:

    @ShortBus: This is especially true in the call center environment and is a reason i feel that there is alot of negative experience, especially the larger the call center. The lowest level representatives probably are no more then 6 months on the job, as the rep gets more experience they promote them to a next level or another department or those reps simple quit. What i believe call centers need to realize, is they need some experience representatives at the lowest level, since this is the first contact with customers and it is the first impression of the company on the customer.

  8. lenagainster says:

    Regarding #4; With the amount of mail that gets misdirected im my neighborhood, I thought I would avoid the worry about statements not arriving in the mail or arriving late, so I have ebills set up with my bank for Capitol One, Citicard and Chase. All went well for a while, then a couple of months ago, Citibank sent my bank the ebill two days after it was due and the next one was only a week before the due date. This month, Capitol One’s ebill is late. I’m waiting for Chase to pull the same stunt. It’s very frustrating, but I just have to keep checking all three accounts online and make the payments as soon as the statements show up. Fortunately, I had done so with the Citi card and didn’t get burned with the late ebill. It’s not only the US mail you can’t trust, depending on the company to send ebills on time is unreliable.

  9. DallasDMD says:

    The majority of those transaction fees go to Visa and MasterCard.

    How much? For a mere CSR, you sure seem to know alot about details of your agreements with Visa & MC.

    We do get a small cut of it, I don’t know exactly how much

    So how do you know its a “small” cut or perhaps a 40% cut?

    But usually it’s not enough to offset the other things on the account, especially if you just have a balance transfer amount on the card, and aren’t using it. I mean, if you drop 30k every month, then it would be enough, but other people spending 2k or 3k it wouldn’t be

    How do you know this? You’re a CSR, not an accountant. Why is Chase offering me a rewards card and mailing me material almost weekly if I’m such a pathetic customer costing them money?

    Sorry but I call BS on this Chase “rep”.

  10. pastabatman says:

    @ShortBus:

    I think you may be missing something. This CSR is reflecting the credit card culture, not creating it. I think he gets a pat on the back for showing that attitude. It’s not the CSR that doesn’t care about retention in this situation, it’s Chase itself.

    I can’t remember where i heard this, but the term for people who pay on time every month are not called “Non-Profit”. They are called, and I’m serious, “Deadbeats”.

    I love being a deadbeat.

  11. sherm10 says:

    Thought I would clarify something posted in reference to the fees charged to merchants that accept the card. Actually, the largest amount of that charge actually does go to the issuing bank and V/MC actually gets the smallest portion of that fee. The issuing banks make roughly 1.5% + $.10 on retail credit trans and 1.85% + $.10 on not present trans (these fees are less for debit cards). I guess the moral of this is that as a ‘non-profit’, you are still generating revenue.

  12. JeffMc says:

    2. You have to verbally state your request. I’m not allowed to just waive fees, even if you and I both know that’s why you called.

    That’s good to know, it may explain the situation I had with Microsoft about a broken Zune a while back where the CSR just kept going over the same fixes until I got frustrated and asked why we couldn’t just RMA it. I thought I was being polite and letting him do his trouble shooting, he was probably going crazy waiting for me to mention the return so he could get me off the phone.

  13. mantari says:

    @trollkiller: Hey, it is like anywhere else. They’ve got some small measure of leeway in what they do. Piss off a sales person and then ask for a 10% discount? Good luck.

    CSR rewards customer for treating them nicely. Who would have figured?

  14. AT203 says:

    I have to say, the Chase rep insider is too well spoken to last in that position for long. She seems intelligent, and competent. I wish her well.

  15. shan6 says:

    @DallasDMD: Agreed. This guy really just sounds like one of the CSR’s I have had bad experiences with.

  16. pastabatman says:

    @DallasDMD:

    I actually believe that the CSR is on the up and up. They logi behind keeping you and offering you rewards is the “hope’ that Chase has that you will go in debt. That you will fall behind. or of something happens in your life – laid off, illness etc, that you will use Chase to bury yourself in debt.

    I think they general strategy here is “throw out a bunch of lines and see if the fish bite”

    I would bet that in the long run if they look at ALL the “Non-profits” over time, the ones that eventually start generating money for Chase (as per going into actual debt) offsets the cost of “losing” money of “Non-profits” that never slip.

    Consider that it’s possible that ONE slip up (ie a late payment or one time rolling the debt over a month) might very well cover the losses of said “non-profit” for say a year. so even money right there and maybe, a windfall in the future. I mean Chase can cross their fingers you’ll get laid off…heh

  17. Nytmare says:

    If you won’t forward customer problems, whether isolated or systemic, you’re not really a “representative”. Makes me wonder how companies ever discover and solve problems within their organization, I would guess it happens only when someone finds a way around the system.

  18. ColoradoShark says:

    Quote:
    “What you do is, call the customer service line, and ask the Rep to exclude you from all marketing or solicitations. We’ll remove you from all mailing lists, all telemarketing, all special offers, emails, everything. Takes about 2 minutes and you’re all set.”

    Really? Two minutes? Please go ahead and test this yourself. Good luck getting through to a rep in two minutes. Almost anytime I call anywhere the customer service line says, “Please hold, we are having an unusually high call volume” with little clue about how lone the queue might be or when to call when the wait would be shorter.

  19. sventurata says:

    @nytmare: Reread 4. “If you really want to voice a concern, write or email our executive office. Yelling at me about is gonna do nothing. I’m not the one in the boardroom making all these rules and regulations.”

    Get it? The rep can’t forward problems to anyone who’ll fix them. At best, he/she will be disciplined for not “owning the interaction” and escalating too many customer complaints.

    BTW, mysterious Chase rep, I think I was pegged for your outsourced job (not yours specifically, but you know what I mean)… sorry, man! Hopefully you’ve found the career of your dreams since. :)

    I left a few months after transition when it became clear that not violating national banking/consumer laws, not maintaining vermin-free workplaces with functional plumbing, not providing more than one week of training from people who’d never done the job themselves, expanding the business, etc., were less of a priority than shuffling American workloads up to our itchy, ignorant, disgruntled, and UNDERPAID “heritage” hires. Although I did enjoy the expression on one of their transition auditors’ faces when he personally witnessed all this. It made my pending resignation a triumphant gesture.

  20. GothamGal says:

    This has nothing to do with this particular CSR, but Chase is the dumbest bank that I’ve ever dealt with. I only have my IRA with them and it’s such a battle to make things work. They change addresses to where to send the check, and then checks that are sent directly from my BofA account never get deposited. They are lost or returned. Then I put a stop payment on the lost ones, Chase finds them and deposits them anyway. It’s a complete nightmare. I would never having a checking/savings/credit card with them. I fear their stupidity.

  21. Buran says:

    I still haven’t seen a rebuttal to my comment that no matter what these companies just hate having to have customers.

  22. Bladefist says:

    @Buran: Here is rebuttal: “They like having customers”

  23. clevershark says:

    Yeah, those “unusually high call volumes” announcement seem to be used permanently, oddly enough.

    Perhaps if our secret CSR actually tried calling the number that ordinary cardholders get he’d realize that no one ever gets through in the “2 minutes” he speaks of. That’s one of the reasons we’re always pissed at bank CSRs. Having to listen to a half-hour of truly shitty muzak before we speak to a human being has a way of souring people’s mood for some unknown reason.

  24. mantari says:

    @ColoradoShark: “Good luck getting through to a rep in two minutes.”

    Oh my goodness. Looks like we have another person who isn’t flagged as a priority customer and avoids the wait.

  25. tasselhoff76 says:

    My biggest problem with Chase has been them changing my due date. I have had bills get lost in the mail but I do get ebills now and I scheduled all my bills to happen on or after a certain set date towards the end of every month, and I just pay everything then, even if I do not have the bill. It saved me with Citi a few months ago when their ebills were late.

    I really do not find the customer service to be good with Chase, but then I think Citi usually sucks too. AMEX has been good to me. I think I just wish I felt like staying with a company for an extended period of time meant something. I’ve been with Citi and AMEX for over 10 years and I think I have rarely had a late payment, if ever, in all those years. However, when I call them, none of that seems to factor in. I think customer service just sort of sucks. Then again, having worked customer service, the people on the other end can also suck.

  26. yetiwisdom says:

    Chase Insider: You mentioned in your original post that Chase reps have visibility to other Chase accounts including mortgage – does this go both ways – IE if I have a Chase Auto Loan, do their CS reps have visibility to Mortgage & CC accounts?

    I ask because I had a hellish interaction with a Chase Auto rep about a year ago where she really treated me like sh!t, made promises that weren’t kept regarding removing a late fee, and required several calls before I gave up and just paid off the loan a couple of months early to be done with it. I’m probably a ‘valuable’ customer since I have Mortgage and CC accts w/Chase. I’m in the process of closing my Chase CC account now and am shopping for a refi because the experience was so negative and I want off Chase completely. I told the rep that I held these other accounts long in good standing and she didn’t seem to care. I was just amazed by how horrid the customer service was and the apparent willingness for them to lose a Credit Card and Mortgage customer over an $11 late fee when I had never been late prior for the life of the loan. Truth be told, the loan was 0% interest, which probably made me a “no profit” for that loan but from the macro point of view the expense Chase will have to incur to (maybe) get me back someday is much higher than the $11 fee. And that’s to say nothing of the 3x20min calls that probably cost them 3x that amount in CS wages.

  27. Dancing Milkcarton says:

    Ughhh. Credit card companies have always left a bad taste in my mouth, and this ‘confession’ did nothing to change that – as a matter of fact, I just feel slimy after reading this crap. I need to take a shower.

    Bottom line is – don’t be late, and only take out as much credit as you can afford.

  28. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @ColoradoShark: I just called Chase to get off their mailing list. It took about 5 minutes to speak to a person so I just hit the speakerphone button and did other things while wating.

    Once I got a person, it took about 30 seconds. Although she did say it may take up to 90 days to be completely off the solicitation list as things may already be in the pipeline. That frustrates me much more than having to wait a few minutes on speakerphone.

  29. sventurata says:

    @clevershark: I know! It drives me insane. If call volumes are unusually high 24/7… maybe the company should hire more people?

    Pity the French-Canadian caller, though: one of the places I worked sends those calls to voicemail during 8 hours of the day, and those are when French-speaking reps are scheduled to work. Otherwise, they go to the States, where an English rep conferences in an external translation service to handle the call. Ridiculous! They almost always hear “Due to an emergency at one of our sites, your call has been rerouted…” perpetual emergencies, methinks.

  30. DrGirlfriend says:

    “This may come as a surprise, but remember those ‘Non-profit’ cardmembers we’ve talked about. Well, if something comes up, we are advised to encourage you to close the account. That’s why the threat of “I’ll transfer my balance elsewhere” might be met with the Rep offering to close the account during that phone call. “

    I can attest to this myself, as a Chase cardholder (not for much longer). I have a Chase card that I got initially as part of a balance transfer, and paid it off. My usage on it is minimal. One month, I forgot to pay my $17 balance (yes, my fault, not arguing that), and my APR shot up to 28%. I rarely use the card and decided that I would just continue my good (as in, pay off the balance) history for a few months, then use that as leverage to ask for a lower rate.

    When I called to ask for a lower rate, I was told in no uncertain terms that it was not possible, as I didn’t qualify for any promotions. I said I wasn’t looking for a promotion, but a lowering of my APR based on my good payment history, and I was still told no. I asked for a supervisor, still no. When I said, “Well, guys, you leave me not a lot of choice but to close my account”, the response was, well, we’re sorry to hear that. Goodbye.

    I wasn’t quite sure why absolutely no attempt was made to work with me, and now I can see why. I’m of no use (ie, profit) to Chase.

  31. Maude Buttons says:

    @Buran: It’s because your comment was reductive. It has that rhetorical smack of “Ta-da!” Only you’ve not made any real point; you’ve simply created noise.

  32. LeoPersica says:

    No, you DO take most of the interchange

    Re: response to DALLASDMD: “8. NON-PROFIT”

    As someone who works in Senior Management in the payment processing industry, I can tell you that the bank does, in fact, take the lion’s share of the interchange charged to merchants, NOT Visa/MasterCard.

    Those individuals who do pay off their bills regularly also generate the highest merchant interchange margins, since they tend to use their cards as spending management tools and try to maximize rewards, but are also very low risk compared to the rest of the customers. So you don’t lose as much money on our transactions due to fraud/default risk: i.e. you get higher margins.

    So yes, we are profitable to you and if your CSR manager is telling you otherwise, he/she needs to go talk to someone with actual insight into your P&L and risk models. Maybe then he/she will learn that CSRs need to treat these customers at least as well, if not better than the deadbeats with huge balances.

  33. Daniels says:

    @trollkiller: When did “kissing someone’s ass” become the same as treating them like an actual human being. As someone who worked in face-to-face retail for ten years, I much prefered making life difficult for people who were jerks.

    And, frankly… no… the guy on the other side of the counter doesn’t care if you’re his customer or not. If we make 99 people happy and you miserable, we can call it a pretty solid effort for the day.

  34. chrisbacke says:

    I think the moral of the story is the same wherever you go these days:

    First, be nice to the people serving you – it either comes as a real shock to them, or it helps you in getting what you want. Their job is just that – a job to pay the bills. There may be some fulfillment in helping people, but they get no satisfaction from explaining a company’s policies that make no sense to anyone.

    Second, recognize what the person serving you can or cannot do, and will or will not do. Our Chase CSR *can* assist with you with things when you ask them to. They’re trained on a ‘reactive’ basis – in other words, only doing what they’re asked to do, if they’re asked to do it. He/she *cannot* make overarching changes to the ‘system’ or the amount of late fees. In many cases, they see glaring errors or problems with a customer or their account – and they can’t do a thing to proactively assist them. What they will or will not do goes back to my first point – as Mantari said, “Piss off a sales person and then ask for a 10% discount? Good luck.”

    Third, recognize that for-profit businesses aren’t in business to be ‘nice’ to customers. They’re in it to make money. These days it’s easier than ever to tell if the business is making money off of you (or not). If you’re not making them money, they may not want to spend any time/money/resources in making you happy. If you’re self-employed, would you spend any time/money/resources on jobs where you’re not coming out ahead in the end?

    Fourth, given enough time in the same (or similiar) position in the same (or similiar), you begin to understand and know much more than you used to. Our Chase CSR may not be an Accountant, but perhaps he/she was an Accounting major in college. Maybe she knows enough about the credit card industry to know the bank gets a ‘small’ cut of Visa / MC transactions.

    Fifth, every company makes mistakes. Whether you continue putting up with them is up to you. If they shrug their shoulders (or offer to close your account) when you make a threat to take your business elsehwere, follow up on that threat. Don’t expect to give you something just because you make a threat – they get those all the time.

  35. That70sHeidi says:

    Having worked with CSRs (admittedly not in banking), they’re trained by [usually] borderline schizo freaks to take as little time as possible on a call, do the least amount of work possible, and move on. They’re paid to answer phones, not give a damn about anything. That’s what the sales force is for. Everytime CSR loses a customer, a salesman gets his free trip to a ballgame. Just my 2cents.

  36. ARPRINCE says:

    Read both posts. Great tips indeed!

  37. rmgustaf says:

    There are a few good tips in these posts, but they’re essentially very well-written Nuremberg defenses for CSRs.

    I still think going directly to a supervisor is better than talking to the first person who picks up your call.

  38. Ariel.Sanders says:

    This was written by someone in managment. I’ve worked in several call centers (Chase Human Resources, Bank One & Verizon) Honestly, we are there to keep our job not to help the customer. At Chase in Human Resources (Access HR in Houston) I was trying to help the customers too much and got “the frown”. Companies shoot themselves in the foot, because to a certain extent, we can give back the banks money (Bank One at the time). So I adopted the attitude, “This isn’t my money…so why should I care” and gave back all fees all the time. When Chase and Bank One merged, upstate Chase New York employees where paid a stipend to relocate to Texas and Florida, then Chase bought Bank One (whom paid their people less for the same jobs) Well, one bank doesn’t need two people for one job. Guess who they kept? You guessed it BK1 employees. Now to their credit Chase (if they keep you) does their employess well, actually very well relatively. Honestly, from an economic perspective If I were this informants supervisor, I’d promote them. The average Customer Service Representative on the floor isn’t this smart. I’ve been one, so it equates to “it’s ok, because i’m a doctor”. I teach school now and they are no smarter and sadly its more like communism.

  39. johnva says:

    @lenagainster: You might want to look into whether the problem is with your bank rather than the credit card companies. It seems like an awfully big coincidence to me that the ebills would be arriving late from multiple different companies. I’ve only had one get delayed once, and when it happened my bank sent me a message telling me about the delay (it was on their end), apologizing, and informing me that I should maybe make other arrangements to pay my bill on time.

  40. Eric says:

    Those fees that he was talking about, they more than pay for everything. Around 3% of each transaction goes to the bank. Mailing and other costs are much less expensive than many people think. Remember economies of scale?

  41. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    I work at chase collections and all these tips are dead on. Especially the one about the CSRs that are NOT trained and who never get corrected. Inconsistency seems to run rampant there. Oh, and anyone reading this…if you have payment protector on your account: Cancel it IMMEDIATELY. It’s OKAY to use however you have to be current and enrolling yourself into it after a major life event is quite complex and you have to be fast. So you might as well cancel it and save the xtra monthly charge. Furthermore, once you cancel it FOLLOW UP and MAKE damn sure it’s cancelled. Payment Protector has a nasty habit of continuing to be billed even after you request it be cancelled.

  42. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    Another thing, not getting your statement and using that as an excuse is just lame. Sorry, I’m usually on the side of the consumer however people need to take responsibility. Statement or no statement my folks still pay their cards each month . AND, if the statement never arrived they’ll call the bank anyways to complain and to report a payment has already been sent.
    Oh, and I love the “threat” of “I’ll just file bankrupcy” or “I took my account to a credit counseling agency and they told me to not speak with you”. Priceless. People need to wake up and get informed. A good place to start is the consumerist. :)

  43. dantsea says:

    Consumerist really should offer deals on Tucks Pads and Preparation H to deal with all the butthurt in the comments section regarding this post.

  44. justaconsumer says:

    Chase is not fair and logical. They will hit you with a scam.

  45. nickripley says:

    This is the year that all the credit cards will be defaulted, so we can all laugh when this jerk is out of a job.

  46. Copper says:

    @nytmare: At BestBuy.com, we have no way to forward customer complaints. We can log them in our notes, but have no one to send it to. We can’t forward them to our customer relations department, to a supervisor, anything. It’s been the same for the other CSR positions I’ve worked in. You’re better talking to consumer relations yourself, at least that’s a formal complaint.

  47. sventurata says:

    @nickripley: He already is… read the first post. Insults are much more effective when they’re issued from an informed stance!

  48. emailclay says:

    First let me say that I am a complete slave to Chase and they definitely make money from me.
    My mortgage is through Chase and I have 3 Chase cards with over $12,000 on them and up until last week I hated them.
    I’ve never had an issue getting through to a CSR when I call, my problem is the language (or thick accent) barrier (God bless globalization).
    I was frustrated that they where trying to raise one of the cards rates to 31% (when one of the other cards is 17% and the other is 9.99%).I tried to call and could not get any satisfying answer as to why the rate was going to go that high, then I went to the branch and the personal banker wasn’t able to help me out. I was ready to give up and let them eat all of my debt through a spiteful bankruptcy, when it hit me to look on Consumerist and try and find an Executive CSR number and see what I could accomplish. Well I found and made 1 call and the reason for the increase was explained and when I told her all I was doing was trying to be responsible and pay my bills, she told me I could close the high interest rate card account and they would lock in a lower apr. I explained that I was planning on refinancing my house and I didn’t want to have my credit score affected by closing an account. The Executive CSR told me she would look into it and call me back. She called me back in 2 or 3 hours and told me she had all of my cards interest set at 9.99%. AMAZING!!!
    At this point I’m obviously very happy with Chase!
    I guess my main point is that if you get the right people, on the phone, even this huge money whore will take care of you.

  49. KarmaChameleon says:

    @That70sHeidi:
    That’s not how it works at Chase. I’m not the rep who wrote the post(s), but I did work as a Chase CSR until I was laid off in September. There was a split between Inbound Servicing (just plain customer service) and Service-to-Sales (read: upselling for things like Payment Protector). A significant portion of the six week training for IBS goes toward what I like to call basic human decency training (they call it “Cardmember First”). I was in STS and our training was ten weeks (we even got college credits for it). So the comments about people not being trained at Chase are laughably ignorant to put it mildly. The problem isn’t that CSRs aren’t trained well enough to do their jobs or even to care. I firmly believe that empathy isn’t something that can be taught anyway, no matter how much training goes into it. Either you’re a douchebag or you’re not, it’s really that simple. The problem is that the very nature of the job demands a certain level of douchebaggery; the discerning rep knows when to get douchey with people and when not to.

    I know people are going to scream at me for that, but it’s true. Banks are the devil, (hell, when you’ve worked for one, you know that a little better than most) and there’s a special circle in hell reserved for CC companies, but you have no conception of the amount of fraud and outright scamming that CSRs see on a daily basis. I have zero sympathy when dealing with scammers because it’s the good customers who suffer from their antics, and I’d get douchey with them in a minute if it was clear they didn’t have genuine issues, but they were trying to get over. I’m talking about the one asshole who literally called fourteen times in the span of a week trying to get bonus cash for the Freedom card, when he admitted (after initially lying to me and changing his story a couple of times) he knew he didn’t sign up during the period that promo was running.

    Fairly or not, people like that tend to make you look at everyone who calls in with a jaundiced eye. It’s human nature. For every person whose statement really did get lost in the mail, there are 20 who just didn’t open it and are now trying to get out of a late fee. The shittier reps let that color their view of everyone and treat them accordingly. Good reps develop their bullshit detectors, giving people the benefit of the doubt unless given a reason to do otherwise. Also, as a front end rep you are basically helpless when it comes to certain things–as an example, we have NO power to lower APRs. Zero. All we can do is check to see if you’re “retention eligible” (I’m sure you’d be shocked to hear 95% of non-profitable customers aren’t), and if you are, we can transfer you to the retention department, who have the ability to offer you lower rates and goodies to keep you. If the system doesn’t deem you retention eligible, the transfer button is literally greyed out. It was maddening to be so handicapped by corporate when I sincerely wanted to help someone, and it happened too often. Add to that the vicious abuse from customers, the fact you have to be Sherlock Holmes and Perry Mason in the span of two minutes or less, and the constant pressure to make stat goals…would you do that for $11 an hour? Call centers are just fast food McJobs without the paper hat, and I’d never go back to one.

  50. lenagainster says:

    @johnva:
    The late bill from Citi occurred at the same time Citi was revising their website. Don’t know why the next was late, or why Capitol One was later than usual, but I get a lot of other ebills (utilities, etc.) and none of them have been late. Only the credit card ebills. Makes me wonder. The bank has nothing to gain by sending an ebill late, but the credit card companies do.

  51. johnva says:

    @lenagainster: Maybe you’re right and it is on their end. I’ve dealt with ebills for years (including from the companies you mention) and have never had that happen. My guess would be that it’s some sort of technical glitch and not a malicious thing though. Bank computer systems are often cobbled together, archaic things.

  52. ShadowArmor says:

    I always feel that people forget that credit card companies are businesses designed to make money. These practices that the customer hates are usually GREAT for the company. That doesn’t make the practices right of course, but the customer does retain a lot of power, they just don’t realize it.

    If consumers in general did not carry a balance, then the CC companies would have ZERO leverage. Unfortunately, our consumption-minded, instant-gratification based culture subverts discipline for pleasure and people get themselves into debt.

    It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that a less-profitable customer will not get the same attention as a more profitable customer. I know its inhuman, and it sucks, but its just how businesses work. That doesn’t mean they have to treat you like trash, but it also means they are going to spend their resources where there is the most to be gained.

    I also completely agree with the “revolving door” situation. Lose a customer, gain a customer. The CC industry only has so many players, and so long as people want credit, those are the places to get it.

    As far as “write to the executives”, this is one I hate. I know Verizon has a program that lets the CSRs take suggestions from customers, and pass them on. The program has resulted in the creation of some new pricing plans and services. More companies need to allow their front line people the power to solve the problems they are being tasked with.

  53. deadlizard says:

    I have to say Chase gives you every tool in their power so you avoid
    talking to customer service. I get a notification of my bill by e-mail,
    I can set up my account to pay the minimum online automatically, I can
    check my balance over the phone. You have little excuse to mess up with
    this. Unlike the Bank of America/MNBNA card I got. They continuosly
    changed their payment due dates, sometimes mailing me the bill a day
    before it was due. Online you can’t choose to pay on due date. I had an
    online automatic payment and they always changed the date around it. I
    hope they enjoy that money of those late fees they charged because
    they’ll never see a cent from me again.

  54. forgottenpassword says:

    Another thing about cust. service reps. Is that sometimes you get an obstinate or cranky one that wont help you at all. SO when that happens… I will often call up at a different time to get a DIFFERENT & possibly more accommedating cust. service rep. Saved me about $120 once.

    @Bladefist:
    I got more of an “if you dont like how I choose to treat you…then tough shit” attitude (and a “I hate customers” attitude too).

    This whole “confessions of a cust. servcie rep” reminds me of this….. [www.craigslist.org]
    ….a certain disdain for customers in general seems to be the common theme.

  55. Rando says:

    If that is Chase’s true stance on customers that don’t recieve their bill then they seriously need to rethink customer service 101.

  56. mcsey says:

    Be a shrewd consumer and company will screw you. Be a stupid consumer and the company will gladly help you screw yourself.

    Got it.

    So the upshot of this is that credit cards are evil and no sane person should have one.

  57. LadyCarolineLamb says:

    She conveniently overlooked MY post from the other day, so I guess I SHOULD refi my mortage elsewhere… guess interest on a credit card non-profit’s HOME mortgage will be nothing to lose, lol. What a moron, but then, I guess the job doesn’t exactly require many credentials in THAT respect, so we shouldn’t be surprised that that she is unknowledgeable about finance. SERVICE, that should be the skill of your chosen trade, yet you can even do THAT much?
    ——————-
    BY LADYCAROLINELAMB AT 01/04/08 08:11 PM
    If “Customer Service Reps” would just do their jobs and not attempt to determine from only the info in front of them who is or isn’t “worthy” things would be much better. Just DO your job and treat EVERYONE with respect, and maybe you’ll help your place of employment not be a piece of ridicule for this site. As a “non profit” I assure you that Chase makes plenty of profit off my MANY purchases even though they are paid off in full each month. The merchant has to pay transaction fees, and I observe what kind of service you are providing to determine whether your bank will be “worthy” of my business in other financial matters. You forget that the “great” customers drowing in debt will only be temporary customers, and many will leave that debt UNPAID….and those who are RESPONSIBLE with their money will choose financial institutions who rpovide the best service and rates for ANY financial endeavors we approach. Do you want the customer who will PAY that Chase mortgage or the one who can’t get a mortgage?

  58. LadyCarolineLamb says:

    BY CHRISBACKE AT 12:17 PM
    “Third, recognize that for-profit businesses aren’t in business to be ‘nice’ to customers.”
    ———
    Chris, you’re not Donald Trump, so please, spare us the idiocracy in that vein. Only a very naive individual, not a businessman, would hold such a view.

  59. LadyCarolineLamb says:

    …Let me spell it out for the slower among us… You’re “nice” to the customer, because that is how you build customer RELATIONSHIPS, which lead to their satisfaction and interest in your other SERVICEs. A “non-profit” as you call them in the credit card sector, is likely to generate a huge amount of cash with your company’s many other SERVICEs…IF treated properly. You don;t treat the CUSTOMER “NICEly,” and well, you eventually don’t have any customers…well, except the Paris Hilton clones,pimp daddys, and their hoochies who you love to give credit they won’t pay back, that is.

  60. trollkiller says:

    @mantari: @Daniels: I said it comes off to me as “kiss my ass and we will get along just fine”, that does not mean I don’t expect people to behave politely.

    I too have worked on the other side of the counter. I too have had asshats that were pissy at me for no good reason. I expected my customers to behave not kiss my ass.

    Tell me why I have to ask for a supervisor or why I have to verbally state my request even if we both know what I am trying to get done?

    Good customer service suggests SOLUTIONS to the problem. I should not have to guess or hope I say the magic words to get something done.

  61. moorem2 says:

    I work as a CSR with a major 401k company… Let me add my two cents:

    You don’t have to call in a say the right words or ask for a supervisor to get things done. CSR are trained to process requests. You could essentially be calling in about any number of things, but I’m only gonna help you with the situation at hand. Most CSR are held accountable for how many calls they take per shift, and in most cases the average time the spend on each call. If I transfer too many calls to a supervisor, I get dinged. If I put in too many special requests, I get dinged.

    Your best bet when you call in to any CSR is to know what you want done. Tell us what your problem is, so we can fix it.

    The most pleasent calls I take are the calls where people know what trades they want done, and I can do them, hassle free, read the confirmation, and be done. These calls take two minutes… tops.

    The worst calls are the jerk holes that tell me how “I stole their money, or how I personally jacked up their account”. I didn’t do anything, grant it, my company may have, or it may have been your HR, but I just take phone calls for ten bucks an hour.

    Be nice to your CSR, and they’ll be nice to you.

  62. KarmaChameleon says:

    @trollkiller:
    The problem, as always, is with management. If I had a dime for every customer I had who I wanted very badly to help but I just couldn’t because of some stupid ass policy, I’d have enough money to start my own bank that actually gave a shit about its customers.

  63. KarmaChameleon says:

    @KarmaChameleon:
    Also? For all the people who say things like, “well you should bring these issues up to management”, Chase management takes CSR suggestions “very seriously” and “understands our concerns”.

  64. trollkiller says:

    @KarmaChameleon: Your last post was dripping with sarcasm. Thanks now I have a puddle on my desk. ;-)

  65. Smackdown says:

    Anybody who thinks that CSRs should be treated like a faceless “cog” in a giant corporate machine aren’t getting as much good treatment as they think they are. Screaming and blustering and being a giant asshole might get you something, but you’d be surprised at how much you’re not getting just because you’re a prick.

  66. stinkingbob says:

    Just a quick comment: Banks make so much money off of banking fees and penalties, moreso than they do from credit cards. It used to be that the banks bread and butter was the CC because they would charge high fees to merchants who used them. This isn’t the case now as just about anybody can get a CC. So now, in order to generate even more money, you now see banks charge fro everything. Late fee, overdraft fee, not-enough money in the bank fee, ATM fee, talk-to-a-teller fee, paper statement fee and of course, high interest when you want a loan, but crappy interest when they are supposed to pay you. Don’t forget that the recent mortgage loan crisis was a result of greedy banks giving out loans to people who the knew could afford paying monthly payments for a period of time. They figured, the could foreclose and sell the property to another schmuck, that is until the housing value went down…….
    So, no, I don’t feel sorry for banks. They have our money, they make HUGE profits off of our money, and yet they treat us like dirt.
    Many people yell at or treat cust serv reps badly. Just remember that they are not the ones who make decisions on the corporate. They have to follow rules like everyone else. best thing to do is to stay calm and speak with a supervisor.

  67. Ihatechase says:

    My comment is to stop doing business with a company like Chase all together. Not only do they not care about there customers but there employees as well. Chase is all about defrauding its customers. They will try to sell you “Yes” sell you products like Chase Fraud Detector, Chase Payment Protector or Chase ID Protection. These products are just a rip off. They tell you, you have a 30 day risk refundable period. But what they really don’t tell you is that there charging your credit card right away. Hoping that you forget to look at your bill, and then 2 months later refuse to refund you back to you. Also they could not care if you have had a death in the family, are in the hospital, or you have lost your job. They will not work with you one bit. All they want is for you to default on your account so they can raise your interest rate and tell you that if you call back in 6 months they can reevaluate your account. Which is a bull face lie. You can call back in 6 months but more than likely they will tell you to call back in another 6 months. Also why do business with a company that treats it employees just as bad as they treat there customers. Hey this could be one of your family members being treated badly. As far as I say close all of your Chase accounts a go with the competitive. Also don’t even bother wasting your time asking for a supervisor. All your getting is a representative who has been given the title but really doesn’t care and has no real authority. The real managers are sitting behind there desk doing nothing or even monitoring the calls but don’t care if you don’t get your fees waived. And yes!!!! ALL FEES AT CHASE CAN BE WAIVED BY A MANAGER!!! Don’t let them lie to you and say they cannot be. They can waive as much as they want at anytime. There systems allow it to be done. It all depends on how you treat the representative. Also its not that the representatives are not doing there job there forced to do a job that basically the upper corporate will not do. And that is to get on the phone and tell you no your can’t have your fees waived. Don’t call the reps yelling at them there just following the cutback of fees that the big boss are implementing. They get feed up a tired just like you.

  68. Ihatechase says:

    href=”#c3586376″>KarmaChameleon: KarmaChameleon is so right. Chase does not is the worst of all. They give there employees sick time, but penalize them if they use it. So basically you have a person who is sick on the phone or not feeling good but can’t leave for fear they will lose there job. Also they push there representatives to sell thos crappy products that don’t do a damn thing. Chase fraud detector for $7.99 when the fraud department already is suppose to be doing there job a monitoring your account. The managers will all do what is called cardmember you, which is basically the “yes sir yes maam” speech. “I understand”, “I definitly understand your point”. They will tell you let me put you on hold while I review your account. But they already done that, this is just a way for them to put you on hold so they don’t have to hear your complaints for a few minutes.

  69. BetrayedByChase says:

    You can’t really blame customer service reps for having a frame of mind that sees customers as nothing but money-making objects, as the company itself seems to be setting a tone of bold usery and its belligerent enforcement. And that business about Chase making no profit off CC people? What utter manure. If the CSR who keeps insisting on this point really believes it, it can obly be because he/she has drunk the Chase Kool-Aid and is beyond hope of regaining actual sense. I used to love Chase. They had some of the best customer service people in the business. What happened? Whatever it was, it seems to have occurred in the past two to three years. For example, take the Chase third-party vendor scam. These are those checks Chase marketing sends cardholders to try some identity theft/shopping bonus/car club service. I’ve routinely taken these offers, cancelled in the 30-day window. I’ve done this for years. Recently, Chase uses a new, underhanded, dirty-trick tactic to make money. There’s only one way to cancel, and that’s via one–and only one–toll free phone number in the agreement that comes with the check. Thing is, calling that number leads not to cancellation but to one of two equally frustrating situations: 1) you’re informed via a canned message that the office is closed. There is no automated system for canceling. You’re instructed to call back M-F, 8-5 EST, the same days and hours at which you are working yourself and can’t call; or 2) The call goes into the Twilight Zone of perpetual hold, complete with re-routing back to where you started and eventual disconnection. Is this even legal? I would think a legal definition of “days” in those 30 Chase offers would not exclude evenings and weekends. This underhanded tactic is very effective. While you make notes to call back on your break or get up early to be in their time zone, 30 days — however Chase defines them–fly by and Wham! you’ve got charges on your credit card. This is a new low for the much-lowered customer service standards of Chase. It shows what this banking institution really thinks of its credit card customers. As for the customer service people, talking to them about it gets the unfortunately predictable cry of “Sorry, Policy!” and — salt in the wound- an efficient transfer to the third-party slimebags also in Chase’s employ. (Complaining to the credit card dispute department is one way to get through to an actual human with the third-party service.) The company’s ethics are clearly hanging out in the back alley with the hucksters and strong-arm thugs. Safekeeping of personal ethics and conscience is up the individual who chooses to serve such a master.