21
Mar
09

2 out of 3 ain’t bad, I guess

I have to admit that it was not the smartest thing for me to have 3 credit cards and live the student lifestyle. It takes a toll on my finances and requires crazy budgeting skills on my part. Nevertheless, I have good credit and I am always diligent with my payments. Being a diligent consumer, I decided yesterday to contact the 3 companies and alter my method of payment. Typically, I pay through online banking from my Cdn bank; however, as the funds in that account is slowly dwindling it required me to continuously wire transfer money from my current US account to my Cdn account in order to pay for my credit card bills. After doing this for 2 months and costing me an extra $50 on wire transfer costs, I opted to stop this insanity and start mailing cheques. Ideally, I wanted it to be an autopay with my US account, but, to no one’s surprise, this is not feasible. Thus, I stuck with option B, cheque mailing. I wanted to ensure that a note was placed on each of my credit card account regarding this change of payment and so begins my phone calls to each one of them. Company A and B were a breeze. Both csrs I spoke with were pleasant and helpful as usual. The transition was quite smooth. On the other hand, Company B, which btw is one of the largest banks in Canada, proved to be difficult. First call resulted in me ending the call frustratingly since I could barely understand the csr. I waited 10 minutes and called again hoping I could actually communicate effectively with a different csr. Yeah, I wish! It was the same situation. To make matters worse, csr #2 informed me that I cannot send US cheques because it’s a Cdn credit card and they can only accept Cdn money. WTF!!! This was honestly the most asinine logic I have ever heard. Money is money! They are going to turn down someone who wants to pay! Regardless, I gave csr #2 another chance. Is there any other way I can pay by US cheque? His solution…I have to personally go to one of their branches. At this point, all I could do was let out a big sigh and ended the call. I did not bother arguing with someone who clearly does not know what is going on not to mention he kept confusing the word credit card with bank account for some bizarre reason. I was pretty frustrated now. Immediately, I phoned one of my friends, who actually works at one of the branches, to verify this false information. Of course, csr #2 was completely uninformed. Apparently, mailing US cheques is a common occurrence. I have to admit that this experience surprised me since this bank has had amazing customer service for the past 5  years (that’s how long I’ve been with them). Unfortunately, my friend informed me that their call centre may have been recently outsourced. This is a little disconcerting to me. They really should guarantee that their outsourced employees be knowledgeable and be able to communicate effectively to their customers.

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4 Responses to “2 out of 3 ain’t bad, I guess”


  1. 1 Mamabeek
    March 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Outsourcing… is there really any positive aspect in this for the customer in ANY situation? Nearly every frustrating interaction I have had with remote businesses has been a direct result of someone not living in the same country and either having a language barrier, a culture barrier or not knowing wtf. Sigh. I once had a woman at a Canadian flower company (I am in the US) who was not in Canada OR the US, try to make me understand why a trailing ivy plant with a yellow bow on it was equivalent to the $120 traditionally decorated PINE TREE I had ordered sent my mother in the hospital for Christmas. In the end she told me it was my problem in being intolerant of other people’s cultures. Gah!

    I’m glad you finally got it sorted out, anyway. It’s bad enough being on a student budget without hemorrhaging funds needlessly.

  2. March 22, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I’m with you on this one. I think the onus is on the company to ensure that their outsourced employees be informed not only on the products they are offering, but also on the culture they are servicing. The language barrier gets to me all the time regardless if they are outsourced or not. Imo, customer service entails being able to communicate effectively to your customers. If one is lacking this ability, then he/she can work a different position in the company. Super frustrating!

  3. March 22, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Ugh. One of the hardest parts of being abroad for graduate school. Right now I have 2 systems: 1) A family member makes the payment, I pay them via cheque (which takes 2 weeks to clear)

    2) I mail a cheque to my Canadian ING acct, wait 2 weeks for the hold to end, transfer it to my Cdn bank account, make an online payment. I do this every pay day, so I’m kind of constantly turning over payments.

  4. March 27, 2009 at 7:06 am

    I did consider mailing a cheque to my bank at one time. Unfortunately, I have moved around so much, even in Canada, that I have not had any contact with my home branch for years now. Not to mention my home branch is the head branch in the province. I’ll keep you posted on how my current system is working out. 🙂


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