Remember my post about the bad_service for my store's credit card ? It gets better :D .
Disclaimer : I DO understand my mistakes here. I should have followed up better, especially my spending, to avoid this. But this doesn't excuse the lies, I think :) .
And the bad CSR attitude I got (semi-bad since I tend to babble, but bad nonetheless - I mean, I typed the first paragraph of this post, called, and... GAAH!)
The recap of the whole story :
- March 2006, I apply for my store's credit card. It has a 1500 Euros "credit reserve" on it, and I apply cause I need the money pretty bad. I am not told of the following :
- the purchases I make are made directly on the credit reserve, and not taken from my account. I always thought the credit reserve was supposed to be used for big purchases only or, as I used it, to put on your regular account to "help it".
- all the purchases are "saved" to be only taken from the account on the 5th of each month (a bit like an Amex card like the one my BF card) ... but there's an option to have the purchases directly taken from the account (I am told this six months after that when another employee from the store card stands has her conscience hit with a hammer when looking at my file) .
Before anything else happens, I make the mistake of withdrawing as much of the money as I can, blowing 300 Euros stupidly (that is the first I make). I use the rest for my account and all seems fine. The "good" thing is that, if you use up all the 1500 euros before paying them back, the card *then* works like an Amex, aka you can spend as much as you like with it as long as you pay it on the 5th. I realized that only after the facts, which will be relayed later, though.
So, well, there's an online account feature. You log in, and there's a pop-up window with basic info :
How much credit you had
How much you've used
And then, very important, two lines about next month's payment. But the line indicating the amount is one thing I hadn't suspected : only the amount of the next payment for the 1500 euros credit. Aka, not any of all your other purchases.
The first problem occurred in July. Since I hadn't realized that thing about that line, I had seen an amount and "not cared" (aka, spent 600 without realizing it). 5th of July comes up, I suck it up and pay, thinking about how dumb I was and this is not going to happen again.
The problem ? I tried to follow up better the next month. I still don't really know about that line by that point, but I try to click another link to get the list of my purchases and I add them in my head to make sure I don't overspend. Which hits mistake number 3 : I stopped at 400 euros. Well, I apparently only *thought* it was 400, cause it ended up 800 to pay on August 5th, and, oddly enough, I had indeed spent that (now, I wonder how in hell I managed to spend that much, but heck, I did it, so that's my mistake).
It's only by that point that I get the info with the employee whose conscience gets hit by a hammer (remember above ?). She also tries to "reverse" one or two charges I had made to lessen the blow, but it doesn't work. I don't care, she does a good service thing.
Now, you might say, I'm a moron, I just had to follow up better, right ? Hmm.
Problem one : in April, I thought I wouldn't be able to make my next payment. So, not wanting to make mistakes, I call them and ask what happens if one payment doesn't go through (like the 800 one I had after that). The lady on the phone tells me that it's transformed into a small-ish payments loan, with high interests, that takes longer to pay. She specifically tells me that if the payment is "posted" once and rejected on my account, it's posted a second time five days later and if it's rejected *then*, it's transformed into that small-ish payments thing.
So, of course, when August 5th rolls around and I have a 800 Euros salary with other payments that go before that card, tadaa, payment rejected. I figure I won't use the card anymore and I'm fed up with it anyway so I put it in a corner and "forget" about it in the sense that I want to pay better attention to be able to pay back more on Sept 5th, since I had been told around April what happens when a payment doesn't go through.
But, of course, the April thing I was told was a lie. The payment tries to post on my account at least five times between Aug 5th and Sept 5th. I get, with each try, a 23 Euros RejectedPaymentFee, which doesn't make me happy as it doesn't help the situation at all. Imagine 115 Euros thrown out the window cause someone thought lying to customers was okay. The thing is, I still suck it up at that point because I made mistakes so I somehow have to pay for them, right ?
As of September 17th, no one has contacted me. They have my phone number and everything, and, dammit, I work at the damn store the card was issued from! Since I receive my mail at Mom's and I live with BF, Mom often calls me to read me my mail. One letter reads that I have to cut the card in two, and get it to them, and continue to pay the rest I owe (dammit, as if I didn't know that. I wasn't going to cut the card, give it to them, and stop to pay :P ) .
Another letter gets there Sept 17th saying... the exact same thing. o.o The thing is, I work bizarre shifts that week that don't enable me to even take the card to the store card desk. On Sept 22nd, I get a green note, where it basically says "Pay up NOW or a procedure will be started" (the green slip was from collections, actually).
Of course, it's a Friday, I work an evening shift, Mom doesn't tell me until the night when I get home (I was to sleep at her place). I take the green slip and try to call on Sat, after work, at 3:30 PM or something. Of *course*, the collection office is only open Mon-Fri.
I gather the courage to call this morning right as I finish typing the first paragraph of this post. The CSR I get is not very helpful. I give her my account number, and she puts me on hold for no reason (I think she's going to go through my account). She takes me back after two or three minutes, and I think it's a different person but no it's the same one, and I explain the situation to her.
Note : the green slip mentioned I owed the collection agency 311 euros.
I try to be short, but as it always happens when I'm interrupted, I get my words mixed up. She only can say "How will you pay" . She tells me it's going to be 811 euros or something. I'm a bit surprised, but don't say anything, say I can't send anything until Oct 1st cause I don't get paid before that, and I'll send a check. I take the adress again just in case, and then... I hang up, and call Mom back.
Mom, tell me, what was the amount written on the slip again ?
311 euros, why ?
Sure ? Not 811 ?
Okay, I'll kill one of them soon. Thxmombyeomg.
So, the good part is that I will be able to send 250 Euros on a check on Oct 1st and it seems they will cooperate about me sending the rest. But after the lies and the CSR's attitude, I'm really surprised at how I managed to stay calm. I mean, I'm always calm ANYWAY cause I know that bad_service can end up good but ONLY if the customer has a good attitude... but dammit...
1) The store card desk employee lies to me (by omission) about an option.
2) The store card bank employee lies to me about what happens about a payment.
3) The store card account website is so badly designed you can't check your payments easily.
4) The payment options seem to vary depending on the customer's face. I'm told something, my Mom is told another so either they lied to me and tried to cover up or they lied to Mom again.
Basically, the store card desk only works to open accounts, and I think it should be suppressed. I mean, they're supposed to represent a bank. What good does it to when people have a problem and can't see someone for real about it ? There *are* online banks, but if I have to see someone to open an account, damn it, I want to see that same person, should any problems arise.
Anyway. To end that on a positive thought note, the good thing is that all of this happened now and not later with three kids and the credit for the house and the car and stuff. I'm 23 and this is quite the learning experience. Told Mom : NEVER AGAIN! From now on, I'll save up, and dammit if I can't afford it (save for car and house, but those only, lol... I doubt I can save up for a house in three months XD ) .
And as I thought many times, all the coworkers wanting to hear my story will, should they mention the card. Sure, if you handle it better than I did you can end up totally fine, but I don't think I deserved to be lied to and treated like that by that CSR :) . Should you need any clarification, don't hesitate to ask, it appears I can be pretty confusing u_u ...