$6,000 Saved by Great Customer Service

For years, decades even, I have been the victim of extremely poor customer service.  My friends and family think I do not eat fast-food because of health reasons, meh.  That may be one of the reasons, but the number reason is because I grew weary of having mayonnaise on a burger when I ordered mustard and pickles only.  It doesn’t stop there.  I once went to a fairly fancy Italian restaurant and was completely ignored.  I sat there for 15 minutes, after being seated, and nothing—no service.  I left.

Traveling abroad and not always having access to a telephone has also caused some inconveniences.  Amazon still refuses to let me sign-in, they want to text me a code.  I’ve only told them 17 times that I cannot receive a text!  Just email me a code, please!  No luck.  I had given up all hope.  After all, would I really care if I was the one sitting in a cubicle at a customer service portal getting paid hardly nothing to deal with people that are mad all day…probably not.  But all my troubles, years of enduring rude, indifferent, and highly uneducated workers in the customer service field just paid off in a HUGE way.

I logged onto mysychrony.com like I do around the middle of every month.  I have two accounts at Synchrony Financial, and after what they did for me a few days ago, I’ll be looking to give them as much business as possible.  My two accounts are credit card accounts in a partnership with Park West Art Gallery.  Both accounts were interest free for a specified promotional period.  If paid off in full before the expiration of the promotion, then no interest.  Win win! 

If you follow along with my financial posts, then you know to write everything down, keep a ledger, and if you don’t, well you know now!  Every month, on the 14th, I calculate how much we have and how much we owe, then I enter it into Excel.  Last month, on March 14, we owed $2400 to this account.  I looked on April 14th, and the new balance was over $8,000!?  Needless to say, I quickly investigated.  It turns out that on March 17, the promotional period ended.  Okay, no big deal, so they charge me interest for a month.  It should be around $40-$50, not $6,000!

Being in France, I have no phone.  I had to rely on email instead.  I emailed customer service, a nice but firm email.  After the email, I dove into my account a little further, clicked on several tabs, and began reading.  The fine print made my stomach drop.  This account wasn’t interest free; it was interest deferred.  What does this mean?  It means that if the account isn’t paid in full by the end of the promotional period, then I owe ALL the interest from the date the account was open.  HEAVY SIGH.

After doing a bit more research, it looked like I indeed owed the $6,000 in interest.  Then, I saw some green writing at the top of the page, “Chat Now.”  I clicked it.  Great, a virtual chat agent; no chance that this robot can help me.  I typed in, “real person representative.”  To my surprise, I was connected to Summer.  I explained to Summer the situation.  I had been out of the country for a couple months, with no access to my mail or a phone, and had no idea that the promotional period had expired.  I told her I would be happy to pay the principal balance in full, right now, today.  It had been less than 30 days so no extra interest was accrued.  She replied, “let me talk to my supervisor and see what we can do.”

Summer didn’t have to do that, but she did.  She could’ve just said, “Sorry, there is nothing we can do.”  A few moments later she came back to the live chat with great news.  If I pay the principal balance in full by the 17th, then she would zero out my account and waive the interest.  I paid in the next few seconds.  Thank you, Summer, and thank you Synchrony Financial.  You just saved me over $6,000, and I won’t make that mistake again! 

To be honest, I am not sure of all the products that Synchrony Financial offers, but I am going to find out.  If there is anything at all that I can use, they have my business, and they also have my endorsement.  I hope Synchrony reads this, and I hope they give that young lady a raise, because she is by far the best customer service agent I have ever dealt with.  A great company with great customer service is a rarity these days, but Synchrony Financial is a diamond in the rough.     

 

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