Monday, November 13, 2006

Will the real Rayleen please stand up?

This fall I decided it was time for me to face my nightmares and start repairing my credit. My credit problems were literally causing me to have nightmares. I was always running and hiding from something!

So, I made a phone call and made payment arrangments. Next, I ordered a credit report and went through it, looking for mistakes. After clearing all that up, I decided it was time to get a couple credit cards. You know, show someone that I'm worthy! After all, I'm not the same person now that I was in college. OK sure, I'm totally freaked out by the idea of credit cards (I hate owing money) but decided this was the sacrifice I needed to make if I'm ever going to buy a house. I decided the best idea was to get a card from a store I shop at. I mean, if I'm going to be there buying groceries I might as well use the card to my benefit. So, I looked up WalMart. If WalMart isn't going to approve anyone, who is? It seemed the safest option to start with. So, I applied online and was approved! Yay! I was well on my way towards responsibility! My credit limit wasn't high, but who cares? It's something to build upon! I applied for a couple other cards and got them too. Yesss!

Anyway, about two weeks later I got the card and called in to verify it. The person on the other end said my card was being investigated for fraud. Fraud! I just got the card! They forwarded me to the fraud department where I talked to a person from another country who politey told me there was nothing I could do and to call back in a month. I conceded. What could I do?

So tonight, over a month later, I called back. It seems the information I provided, the same information on my credit report and the same information I provided while applying and getting approved is not the information they have on file! They say I have to call back in another thirty days as my account is going to be investigated AGAIN for fraud. Remember, I haven't used the card. Nobody has. So I ask why? I'm calmly told by out-sourced-customer-service guy that nothing can be done, that he can't verify who I am. Let's preface this next part by saying I had a pretty bad day. Some of my peers called in sick leaving me alone with people just like I was about to become and with a very delayed lunch break. I was already a bit edgey. (Random cat photos to show their concern during this time)

I told the out-sourced guy that this was totally unacceptable, that I needed to talk to a supervisor. OK, I work in customer service. I'll let you in on a little trade secret: usually when someone asks to talk to a supervisor, they're passed on to a friend or someone who has more seniority or experience talking people "off the ledge." My supervisor rarely talks to customers. I don't blame him, really. This would mean he'd only talk to people when they're all pissy and who wants to do that? After being on hold for several minutes, I talk to this so called "supervisor" who says nothing can be done and they can't verify who I am so the account is going to be investigated. I ask, what part is incorrect? I don't need specifics, just let me know the basics so I can clear it up. I basically gave them all the information they need to steal my identity. Actually, yes, I gave them everything they need to screw me over! What more do they need? I didn't actually say this...not yet. All I wanted to know was what information was incorrect. I even sarcastically (yes I know, it's hard to believe) offered to call back every 30 days with a variation of my real birthday, drivers license or phone number until I got it "right." The guy refuses to give me more information and tells me to call back in 30 days to try again. So I asked to close my account. Even though I dinged my newly cleansed credit applying for this credit card, I was willing to just close the account and be done with it. He says he cannot close the account since I am not the real Rayleen.

This is when I start to raise my voice a little and the cats start running around like monkeys from all the excitement. I'm quickly transferred to another "supervisor." Maybe the real one this time? He repeats everything. I maybe tell him what bad customer service they are providing and how surely a large corporation such as WalMart should be able to provide better customer service. I ask if the phone call is being recorded and say "good" when he says it is, "I want a record of this." I continue to ask (demand) to close the account and if he cannot, to transfer me to someone who can do it for me. The person I had talked to before being transferred to the fraud department even offered to close it for me so I know it can be done. He says, it can't be done! Because they cannot verify that I am really Rayleen, then I cannot close the account. It has to be investigated!

I am not the real Rayleen! My account cannot be closed until it can be verified! I cannot verify I am the real Rayleen! Am I the only one who see's the problem here?? So we go round and round. Me asking to close the account and if he cannot do it to transfer me to the person who originally asked if I wanted to close it. Him telling me there is no way to close it since I am not the real Rayleen and that he cannot transfer me. Finally, he told me that if I did not calm down and listen to him, he was going to hang up.

I think this is right about when I started swearing (words that can be used interchangeably as verbs or adjectives) and telling him how he can provide me with a better customer service experience. I'm not sure. I felt hot and my eyes were bulging. Apollo had walked in from receiving his flu shot and stared at me. He later told me that he heard me out in the hallway. I was also jabbing my finger in the air and sitting on the edge of my seat. I was shaking, I was so angry.

Yes, it's true. I finally became one of Those Customers that I hate. The irrational crazy ones. The ones that make me dizzy. So I told him, "Let me help you out with that, I will hang up on you!" And I hung up. I called the original number and cancelled my card. Then I started crying from all the anger.

I know, this all sounds like I am crazy. Going over it again, I realize that I sound like my Mom. *sigh* Anyway, I was so angry at WalMart that I could barely handle the chats when I finally went back to work. I really had a hard time talking to them. In fact, I couldn't even really talk to Faythe or Aimee in instant message since I was still upset.

Oh, and the credit limit they were guarding so carefully? $100. The other credit cards I got from banks alotted me much higher credit limits. They knew who I am. I guess they get my money!

As you can see, I've decided I don't need this WalMart card anymore. I cut up the smiling, happy WalMart face with glee, carefully cutting out most of the numbers so some fake Rayleen couldn't call in and verify the account. Wouldn't that be my luck!!


Karyn said...

oh man, this sounds like something that would happen to me! i work at a 'call center',and know when a person tells me they cant do something, i have them get the supervisor.believe me, the chimps aren't alone in their cubes! gary got billed from earthlink for 2 months, AFTER we had closed the account, 2 months prior. they tried to tell me since i hadn't complained the 1st month that i had okay'd them renewing our service. i was QUICK to tell him it was illegal to charge our card, and after he chatted w/ his supervisor i got the charges reversed. believe me, when i get on the phone w/ a company like earthlink or aol gary has to leave the room. but i get results. just make sure you take names. a good phrase to thorw at the is 'this is not acceptable'. you should call back that credit card company and ask for an address....i'd mail them the scraps of cut-up card....and tell them to stick the shards of plastic us their arses!

Yaya said...

Wow, that sounds awful. I think you handle the situation as well as anyone could have. I mean, if he was unwilling to help you, what else could you do? The guy was probably new and did not know how to close accounts (or just a dumb ass). Come on, you know people from your job who are like that. I remember catching several people doing stupid crap to customer accounts or saying things that aren't true to customers. So what if you can't use their credit card, it's their lost and not yours. Those people are idiots.

katrina said...

Wow, I think anyone that has worked in customer service or experience horrendous customer service themselves can empathize.

I'm really sorry that you were put in such a stressfull situation due to someone elses refusal to be a decent human being and do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Hey... is this REALLY my sister? I mean, she's normally so rational! Hehehehehe!!!
My ID was "stolen" while I was out at sea in the Gulf. There wasn't much I could do about it. Lucky for me (I think), I had such bad credit for a while, all they could do was open a phone account with Southern Bell. It's still on my credit report.