Tip: Cancel Your Account To Get A Human

Courtesy of Bart, comes some excellent advice when trying to reach a human to resolve your problem: just threaten to cancel. They’ll be happy to resolve your complaints then!

In this case, it was a malfunctioning Capitol One credit card. Bart found that despite only having a $50 balance, it had suddenly stopped working. He tried calling Capitol One to resolve the issue, but no dice — in fact, they wanted to chare him $10 just to let him speak to a human. So he just pounded the cancel key and immediately found himself whisked away to a very helpful customer service agent who was pleased to immediately resolve his problem as long as he pretty-please-didn’t-take-his-business-elsewhere.

Naturally, this is going to work on more companies than just Capitol One, because everyone wants to “retain” you! Bart’s email, after the jump.

I have a Capitol One credit card that I wasn’t using, and after getting promoted recently at work, I found myself taking frequent business trips. I just found it easy to use the Capitol One card for business transactions to keep everything on a separate statement. Things have been working fine until this last month.

I tried to charge a rental car and another airline flight, and both were rejected. I decide I need to call Capitol One because my statement online shows I’m up to date, and I only have just over $50 balance on the card and that payment has already been sent.

It’s then that I found that calling Capitol One and actually speaking to a human being is impossible. Go ahead, call them if you have an account with them, and try to find a way to just talk with a customer service rep about a problem like mine. I finally just decide to fake out the system and act like I wanted to make a payment. Come to find out they charge $10 freaking dollars if you want to talk to someone to make a payment. Damn!!

So I just get tired of pushing buttons on the phone and decide to cancel the card. If I can’t use it, and they won’t provide a way to fix it, then I’ll just cancel the damn thing (I’m reading that’s easier said than done…but what the hell).

I actually get someone on the phone then. She confirms my identity and then asks why I want to cancel my card. I tell her I can’t get it to work, so I want to cancel it. She then quickly looks at my account and says “We sent you another card, and your current card was deactivated.” I say I don’t understand why that was because the current card didn’t expire until 2010, and I never saw the other card. She says that she sees that the other card was never activated, and she’s not sure why another one was sent my way. So I tell her either get the one in my hand to work or cancel my account. Two seconds later I have a working card again.

So if you want to talk to someone, just act like you want to cancel the card. But the lady was very nice and quick when I did get her on the phone, but you shouldn’t have to fake out the system just to talk to a real live human being.