Chase Scores

Last week I noticed two small charges on my Chase MasterCard bill which didn’t look right. Sure enough, they were “pond scum” charges: Internet sites that trick you into a subscription, hoping to charge thousands of people a small sum for months until they catch on. (My wife sent someone a greeting card and now was charged $3.99 a month for the “benefit” do doing it again whenever she pleased.

The Chase system was awful. Dozens of prompts intended to prevent you from finding a living person. Then two people in succession who believed the priority was to get me off the line and have someone else deal with me. Neither had the inclination (or empowerment) to try to help, and when the second one put me on hold for the fraud protection unit, I waited five minutes and hung up.

I called the offenders myself, arranged to cancel the charges, cut my Chase card in two, and composed a letter to the president of Chase. I had been a customer for 25 years with a spotless record. It was over, I was happy.

This morning—Saturday morning—a woman called from fraud protection, told me she had listened to my conversations before I was “disconnected” and told me I was handled abominably. She said she would personally monitor my account and alert me to any future suspicious charges, and would take the recordings to management so that front line personnel could be better selected and trained. “I want to apologize for them, for myself, and for all of us here at Chase,” she said three times.

“Is there anything else at all I can do for you?” she asked.

“Well, you’d better send me a new card since I cut the old one in half,” I mumbled.

“I’ll get it out immediately,” she promised.

Credit where credit is due (no pun intended). That’s customer retention.

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to Chase Scores

  1. Tim Wilson says:

    Alan,

    Interesting post it seems that what passes for customer service is really customer pass off.

    I find that whenever I have to deal with any level of customer service organization I’m appalled at the amount of my time that has been wasted just to get a simple problem resolved. The listen “closely because our menu options have changed” is enough to send anyone over the cliff. I’ve resorted to pushing any button on my phone and eventually I get a live person. But then having to deal with someone who can’t get of their script is enough to make you scream.

    I have come across a few companies who have a live person answer the phone but they are rapidly becoming an endangered species.

  2. Alan Weiss says:

    You’re right, they’re doing everything they can to try to get you off the phone without involving human interaction, which in the end, is more expensive than just having people pick up the phone.

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