Sick of paying annual fees, Steve wanted to get out his NWA WorldPerks Visa Signature Card he had going on with US Bank.
In August, Steve did battle with the retention consultant, who ended up offering to waive the annual fee. Steve gladly accepted.
Imagine Steve’s surprise when he opened his bill this month and found… an annual fee charge!
When he called back, the new rep said there was “no way” that the first guy could have waived the fee and that Steve had “no proof” that US Bank ever said that. (This is one of the reasons we encourage people to record their customer service calls.)
The second rep went on to say that the only way for Steve to not have an annual fee was to cancel his account entirely. Unhappy with the bank’s duplicity and wanting nothing more to do with them, Steve canceled.
Wow, lying to keep from cancelling people’s accounts? Double-talking retention departments? Maybe all the downsized AOL retention consultants went to work for US Bank.
Steve’s letter, inside.
I just wanted to share with you an issue I experienced a few minutes ago with US Bank and the NWA WorldPerks Visa Signature Visa.
As you probably know, this particular credit card offers holders one NWA (Northwest Airlines) frequent flyer mile per dollar charged. The regular use of this card, and it’s general payment each month has lead to my earning quite a few frequent flyer miles at the cost of essentially only the $90/year annual fee.
Not wishing to continue paying $90/year and with the annual renewal date coming up in November, I made a point of paying off the card at the end of July, 2006. Then, on August 2nd, 2006 after confirming that the account reflected a balance of $0, I called to cancel the account.
Upon speaking with a customer service person and informing them of my request to close the account I was transfered to someone who I’ll call a customer retention specialist for the actual closing of the account. This person asked the standard questions about why I was closing the account in a generally friendly tone. When I informed them that I no longer wished to hold a credit card with an annual fee, I was first offered a lower fee card, and then the option to maintain the account but to have the annual fee waived. I accepted this offer, figuring that I could simply continue using the card as before to earn some frequent flyer miles, all while not paying the annual fee.
Now, it’s the fifth of October and I’ve noticed a charge on the account of US$90. Figuring that there would possibly be a credit in a day or two for this $90 (as I was promised) I waited a few days to see what would happen. Seeing no credit I called customer service to inquire as to why.
The first customer service person I spoke with informed me that it’s not possible to waive the annual fee, and he didn’t know why someone might promise me such a waiver. So, of course, I requested to speak to someone who could inform me of this. That’s when I was transfered to Josh, at extension 88114.
Josh informed me that the annual fee is completely unwaivable and he has “no reason to believe” that any customer service person would have made me such a promise. He did confirm that I called on August 2nd, that the balance on the account was $0 around that time (August 4th was the date he could see), and that substantial payments were made a few days before I called. However, he continued to imply that I was lying, repeatedly telling me that he has “no reason to believe” me.
During this conversation with Josh he informed me that the only way the annual fee would be waived is if I were to cancel the card within the next few days. I thanked him for the information and informed him that I’ll think about canceling the account and call back.
After taking a few moments to think about this all I decided to cancel the account. Calling back I was successfully transfered directly to Josh (again, at extension 88114) who remembered me from the conversation a few minutes prior.
He seemed to have no problem canceling the account and even promised to send a letter of confirmation which, I was told, should arrive within a week or so. I was also sure to obtain the address to which payments could be sent that I can close all business with US Bank as soon as possible.
After the especially poor experience I’ve had with US Bank, from the customer retention person’s lack of follow-through on the promise which kept me with the company to Josh’s repeated insistences that I was lying to him, I’m rather thankful that I will soon be finished dealing with this company. Of course this will only be true so long as Josh has more follow-through on his promise to close the account than the customer retention person did at keeping a customer.