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Category: Money

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This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 55

| CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Money

(I work in a high end makeup retailer that has just recently gotten a credit card program. We have had a points-based rewards program for a long time, and our systems base pre-approval off of a customer’s rewards card’s history.)

Me: “Can I get your phone number for your rewards card?”

Customer: “It’s [phone number].”

(The screen comes up with the message that the customer has been approved for the highest level of the credit card, which is able to be used anywhere, not just in our stores.)

Me: “Congratulations! You’ve been pre-approved for an [Store Rewards Brand] credit card! With that card you’re going to earn extra points on the purchases you make in the store, and get 20% off of your purchase today. Are you interested in signing up?”

Customer: “Sure! Sounds great!”

Me: “Okay! Just go ahead and select one of the options on the screen in front of you.”

(The options include: “Yes, sign up”, “No, this isn’t me”, or “No, not at this time”. After the customer chooses “Yes, sign up,” I continue to read through the customer’s reward information in great detail, including the spelling of her first and last name, address, email, birthday, etc., as they have to be completely accurate to make sure that the approval goes all the way through.)

Me: “All right, on the screen in front of you it’s going to have you read over all of the information that we just went over, just to double verify that it is all correct and your information.”

(The customer clicks yes and it goes to the next screen, asking her to verify her social security number.)

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know my mom’s social security number… I might know it; I could try to guess. Or I could call her…”

Me: “You told me that that was your information, not your mom’s. We can’t open a credit card in her name without her here… Did you see the button that said, “No, this isn’t me”?”

Customer: “Yeah, but we just share the same rewards card, so I thought it would be fine.”

(I exited out of the credit pre-approval and finished her transaction as usual. I gave her the credit brochure and told her to give it to her mom. I’m interested to know what happened after her mom found out her daughter tried to sign her up for a credit card!)

Related:
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 54
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 53
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 52

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Got To Give Him Credit For Trying, Part 3

, | Boise, ID, USA | Crazy Requests, Money

(I work at a call center for a bank that finances credit cards for several companies: anything from jewelry to gasoline. We handle both consumer and business cards. The craziest call I ever get is from a business account for office supplies.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]; my name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, my name is [Customer] and I am authorized by [Accounts Payable] to pay $140.”

(I verify them as authorized on the account. The balance is over $800.)

Me: “I can certainly run that payment for you, but that amount will not postpone further collections activity. The balance is [amount #1] and is five months past due. We need a payment of [amount #2] to prevent the account going to third party collections.”

Customer: “I don’t think you understand; I will only pay you $140. If I make this payment, you have to forgive the rest of the debt. I WILL NOT pay you any more, and you WILL NOT charge me any more late fees.”

Me: “I can’t do that. This is a balance that has been accrued on this credit card. It needs to be paid in full or at least paid on time to prevent further fees.”

(Customer ranted on and on about how it wasn’t fair of us to charge him and that he would speak with accounts payable. Then he hung up.)

Related:
Got To Give Him Credit For Trying, Part 2
Got To Give Him Credit For Trying

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Should Have Cashed Out Early, Part 2

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Extra Stupid, Money, Popular

(I am working the self-serve. Note that we have six self-serve stations that are in rows of three each. One side is cash or card, and the other is card only. There are clear signs stating “card only” on the card-only machines, as well as a voice pop-up that states, “No cash available at this register. Card only.” A customer using one of the card-only self-serve stations calls me over.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, how can I help?”

Customer: “I put $50 in but the change hasn’t came out. Why?!”

Me: “Whoa, you put cash in this? It’s card only. Didn’t you see the pop-up notice?”

Customer: “Of course I did. But I wanted to pay cash. So I ignored it… Where’s my change?!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s card only, meaning no cash… Where did you put the cash? Why didn’t you use the cash-and-card self-serve station?”

Customer: “There!… and this machine was closer.” *points to the receipt chute*

(The customer had inserted the cash into a gap where the receipt comes out. A sign stating “receipt” is next to that gap. She was quite angry as I opened the machine to get the cash out… muttering how stupid it was that the card-only machine had no cash.)

Related
Should Have Cashed Out Early

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Got To Give You Debit For Trying

| Poughkeepsie, NY, USA | Money

Customer: “Can I replace my debit card?”

Me: “Did you lose yours?”

Customer: “No, I left it home.”

Me: “Well, why don’t you go home and get it?”

Customer: “I want to get some pizza at [Pizza Place] next door and I don’t want to go home.”

(I pull up the customer’s information on the computer and notice he lives four blocks away but decides not to comment further.)

Me: “You could just do a cash withdrawal and pay for the pizza with cash.”

Customer: “I don’t want to look up my account number.”

Me: “I can do that for you right now.”

Customer: “No, just replace the debit card.”

(How lazy can some people be?)

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I Don’t Have The Energy To Explain The Energy

| Hampshire, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal, Extra Stupid, Money, Popular

(I work for a major energy supplier in the department that deals with accounts where the customer hasn’t paid for at least 18 months. Most people we talk to haven’t paid for two to three years and we are in the process of taking legal action.)

Customer: “Yeah, I have a letter saying you’re going to court. How do I stop it?”

(I tell the customer all her options and she decides she’d like to arrange a payment plan where she pays for her usage and her debt every month. I tell her that the amount she must pay is £100 which includes her monthly usage and her debt, which is two years worth of unpaid gas and electric bills.)

Customer: “That’s a lot. Are you sure that’s right? I’m hardly ever home. I think your meter is broken.”

Me: “No, your usage is only £50, but you have to also pay the debt on your account, so your usage is £50 but in order to pay back what you owe over the period of a year, your plan will be set to £100. This is £50 for what you use every month and £50 to clear your balance.”

Customer: “But you just said I only use £50. Why are you charging me double? You can’t do that.”

Me: “We’re not charging you double, ma’am. Like I explained, your usage is £50, but you haven’t paid anything for two years. You have to also clear that balance off, too.”

Customer: “I understand I have to clear my balance but why are you charging me double?”

Me: “If you just paid your usage, you wouldn’t clear your outstanding balance.”

Customer: “But surely just paying something would bring my balance down.”

Me: “Well, no, because as you pay, you would continue using gas and electric which, of course, you have to pay for, so you need to pay enough money for that as well as a little extra to cover your outstanding balance.”

Customer: “But I told you, I’m hardly home! I work lots of hours.”

Me: “Do you have a fridge?”

Customer: “Well, of course I have a fridge and a freezer.”

Me: “Do you turn them off when you go to work?”

Customer: “No, that’s stupid. They wouldn’t work and all my food would be ruined.”

Me: “Okay, do you cook your own meals when you get back from work?”

Customer: “Yes. Most days.”

Me: “Do you do your own laundry or do you go to a launderette?”

Customer: “I do my washing at home; I have a washer and a dryer and a dishwasher, too.”

Me: “So what you are telling me is that even while you are working, you are using energy because your fridge and freezer are on while you are out and when you get back, you use your gas and electric. Whether you use a little or a lot of energy, you still have to pay for it. For the past two years, you haven’t been paying for any of it, so you have built up a debt on your account, so not only do you have to pay for your usage going forwards, but also for the energy you haven’t been paying for the past two years. This is why the minimum you have to pay for the next 12 months is £100. After that, your payments should go down to £50 because you will have cleared your outstanding balance and then only have to pay for what you are using.”

Customer: “…but I still don’t understand why you are charging me double; if I only use £50 worth of gas and electric, why do I have to pay £100? Is this a fee for not paying for two years?”

Me: *really wanting to bash my head against the table* “I can send this to you in writing if you like.”

Customer: “Okay, but I want to set up the payment plan today before it goes to court.”

Me: “Okay.” *I take down all her details and then confirm the amount*

Customer: “Wait! I said £50, not £100! Stop trying to take all my money! That’s illegal – it’s theft. Maybe I will go to court after all and tell them that you are trying to rob me!”

(At this point I have zero patience left. I have been on the phone explaining the same thing over and over for what feels like forever.)

Me: “Actually, ma’am, it is you who have been stealing from us. We have been providing you with energy that you have not paid for. If you go to court, you will have court fees added to your account as well. The judge will not rule in your favour because you haven’t paid a penny in two years, despite our regular communications, and now that you are calling today, you are still refusing to pay for your outstanding balance.”

Customer: “Fine. I’ll go to court. See you there. We’ll see what the judge thinks of your sneaky extra charges!” *click*

(Customer called up several times after, trying to get a different agent, and they all told her the same thing, so she asked to speak to a manager. In the end she decided she would go to court. The court ordered her to pay, and she had to also pay court costs on top of it all just like I warned her, so her payment plan ended up being more. Last I heard she was writing to the ombudsman saying we were operating illegally. Y’know, because asking customers to pay for the electric and gas they used is illegal.)

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