This blog post is exactly what its title suggests. It is a RANT. It’s a rant about customer service and in particular a rant about customer service from credit card companies. If you like rants, please read one.
Some background info
So I have a credit card. It recently had a zero balance (i.e. I owed them nothing) as I hadn’t used the card. It’s my ONLY credit card. But there is a decent limit on there for emergencies. Or, expensive life periods like now where there are a few things that need to be purchased. So, I purchased them. Simple.
Then there was the TV. Our current TV is twelve years old. We have looked after it as back in 2006 it cost us over £1600. For the record, I have NEVER paid so much for a single item of technology before. But, it’s now starting to fail. The audio is shot and the outer coating on the screen is literally peeling off. I am not about to spend £1600 on a new TV. Thankfully tech has got cheaper so for a couple hundred pounds I can get a similar sized TV that wipes the floor with the outgoing model.
Is replacing the TV absolute necessity? No, of course not. I’m sure we could eek out another year from this thing. But, a little treat when we don’t smoke, barely drink and stay home all the time means we can justify it.
I looked online, researched, I looked online again and I saw a few models I liked but wanted to see them up close. We headed to Currys (other electrical stores are available.
Once we had successfully extracted ourselves from the drones and camera section we checked out eh TVs. After deliberations and frankly draw-dropping at moments at the giant TVs now available for sums of money, I would struggle to spend on a car we settled on one. It was out of stock. But, as we were in Leeds they check the York store and reserved one there.
We headed home via the York store. We found a guy to help, he checked out our reservation and I came to pay.
The credit card was declined. It wasn’t worried. I knew there was more than plenty available. But as I had just been to Ikea to stock up on some things and due to me not using the card for a while maybe they had flagged it. I checked my mobile app, all was well so I called the company.
Calling the credit card fraud line
The call went something like this (after getting through the security questions:
Me: Hi, I’ve just tried to purchase a TV but my card was declined.
Mr Credit Card: OK sire. I see your card was blocked.
Me: Blocked? What do you mean, blocked?
Mr Credit Card: Our system had blocked your card for security reasons. It will be reviewed and you will be able to use the card on Monday.
Me: Why was it blocked.
Mr Credit Card: I can’t tell you that.
Mr Credit Card: I can’t see why.
Me: So how come your system didn’t send me an automated text to tell me? You know like it would if I didn’t pay you?
Mr Credit Card: I can’t say why it didn’t do that.
Me: Wonderful. So your system decides to block my card. Leaving me in an embarrassing situation that could have been avoided if you system utilised the technology that was available. And, given that these cards can be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week why does your security department not operate on weekends?
Mr Credit Card: I agree – it could have been better.
Now the fact I couldn’t take that TV home there and then is not an issue for me. It’s just a fricking TV. The fact that my card was declined to leave me in an embarrassing situation in the middle of the Currys TV department was unfortunate – but I’ll get over it. No, what has annoyed me is the fact that in this day and age when a card gets’s flagged they card notify the car holder to avoid such situations.
I fully understand they are protecting me. The card being blocked isn’t an issue. But why do it and then leave it until the person tries to use it? What if I’d been on holiday and was using the card abroad and they did this over a weekend?
Insult to injury
After getting home I decided to log on to my account to have a closer look at things. I was locked out of my online account and the message told me to call them. Oh great!
So now it turns out it’s standard to lock out the online account when a card is blocked. Cue my rant at the poor chap. Why the hell did the first person I spoke to tell me that? Jeez – joined up thinking. Give the customer the right advice. It’s not rocket science, is it? But, I have to laugh as the mobile app is still working and lets me take a look at my account!
I had to write this because I am fuming at poor service. Plus, I can’t stand being messed about – that’s the real issue. It does my head in. And worse still I now have to way until Monday to find out what the hell is going on. So I don’t yet know it my card details have been compromised. Oh the joys.
Thanks for reading my rant. Ahhh, that feels much better.
As if to illustrate my point for me the credit card company this morning sent me a text message. I find it incredulous that their systems are incapable of sending this kind of message on a weekend when their system automatically blocks a card. That’s all it would have taken and I’d never have got so annoyed at them.