Credit Card Conundrum
Here's a story about a credit card. Not my credit card, but I was, sort of, drug into the situation.
My mom was paying her bills online and came across a problem. She could not remember how she'd paid her Victoria's Secret (VS) bill online. So she called me in to help her figure it out.
We went to the VS Web site and sought out information on paying the bill. Not easy to find, but it's there at the bottom of the page listed as 'Angel Card'. Still, paying online was not easy enough. We decided to call in the payment. Problem was, it was Sunday and that department is not open on Sunday. I was give a number to call back on Monday. My mom put me in charge of making the payment on Monday and she gave me her bank card to make the payment.
On Monday, I called the number that I was given. Of course I get a menu. I start to push through the prompts only to get stuck at 'enter the last 4 digits of your social security number'. Well, since it was not my account, I did not have that information. I waited for the system to default back to the previous menu. That did not happen. The system continued to ask for the SSN. I hung up and called back. I tried to 'zero' out to get a person only to get returned to the same prompt for the SSN. This went on for some time.
Finally, I decided to call another number on the bill that my mom had left with me. After a few prompts, I did get a human being on the phone and explained the situation: I'm paying the bill for my mom, I do not have her SSN. I just want to make a payment. She assures me that she will connect me to another human being and ... she does.
Here's where it gets tricky. They don't accept bank cards for payment. You can only use a checking account. What? Who does that? Is it still 1990 and not 2010? I am peeved. I do not have my mother's bank account info, just the bank card. I decide, what the heck, I'll just pay using my personal bank account. I proceed to provide the cs rep w/the necessary info: bank routing number and checking account number. After he takes the info, he goes into what sounded like a pre-recorded message, but apparently it is him doing the reading. I hear something about a $10 processing fee ... blah, blah ... do you agree? I don't respond because I don't believe I heard what I just heard. So instead, I say "hello" ... because again, I thought that it might be a recording. The cs rep says, yes and I say "did you just say there would be a $10 processing fee?" He says, "yes". I ask why. He says the payment is late.
Okay, here's a part of the story that I left out. We tried to make the payment when it was due on Friday, but got frustrated. The next business day is Monday. Wow, it's been complicated trying to get them their money, right?
The cs rep also makes a comment about the $10 processing fee being less than a $25 late fee. Well, damn. How about no fee at all? After all of the inconveniences, still the bill has not been paid. I tell him to cancel the checking account payment. My only other option is to physically go to a VS store to make the payment. Really? Really. And so, I throw on the snow gear because of course, the snow machine is on ... but no matter, I am going to get this bill done ... and I trounce out to the mall.
At the counter in VS, I present the VS billing statement and my bank card to make the payment. The young lady informs me that they only take cash or a check. What? Who does that? Is it still 1990 and not 2010? Although the payment was only $30, I don't carry much cash. I almost did not take my check book either. I tried not to glare at her (it's not her fault), but what is w/all this ridiculousness already.
Victoria's Secret, where is the convenience for the customer in this process?
- the phone number and Web site info is not easy to find on the VS billing statement
- it was difficult to get through the VS menu and get a human being
- it was difficult to make a payment on the Web site
- it was difficult to make a payment over the phone
- it was difficult to make a payment in store
Also, to be fair, VS outsources their credit card and billing to another company. Still, who does this? You shouldn't be nickle and diming people. Period. It's wrong and should be outlawed.
VS has just taken a dive in my book. I won't be shopping there anytime soon. But now that my mom's VS credit card has been paid, I'm sure that she will be shopping there enough for the both of us.