It's amazing what a short sentence in a personal blog can accomplish these days.
The Scene: Sitting at my desk (yes! sitting! in a chair! progress is being made!) yesterday morning, watching a coyote rub himself on something scrumptious in the middle of the road and feeling calm and comfortable for the first time in a long time. No one else in the house - TBG having decided that I can be left alone for an hour while he goes to the gym - and feeling no pain. Life was stable and almost good.
Then the phone rang. I wasn't in the mood to be disturbed but I'm incapable of ignoring the pleading ringing. Caller ID is my new best friend; I'm never surprised.
CHASE was staring at me from the window. Hmmmmmm....... what now? Had I missed another payment? Was there another problem? Semi-aggravated, I picked up the receiver and said hello.
Christine identified herself as a manager. My anxiety began to rise; I must have done something really wrong this time. But no, the more I listened the broader my smile became. "Chase management had become aware of my situation" ..... someone on their staff is monitoring social media, it seems. My comment in Wednesday's post , even without a label to alert them, had been found. Management is aware.... this was sounding interesting.
Unusually for me, I didn't interrupt her. I just let her talk. They had reviewed the situation. They had listened to the calls. They were sorry. They regretted the inconvenience and the unhappiness they had caused. They were sorry that I was given bad information because I rely upon the company to tell me the truth and to be prompt in its responses. They were apologetic that an agent had given me mis-information and they wanted me to know that steps were being taken to rectify the situation.
At that point I had to say something. The lovely woman I spoke to first had, obviously, told me that the card would be available when in fact it wouldn't ... but she was kind and sympathetic and just a little teary and she raced around trying to solve the problem just as fast as she could. The fact that she had mis-read a clock, or a protocol, was not behind my anger with the company. She was wonderful, everyone makes mistakes, but her attitude was so thoughtful and filled with love that I had to insure that nothing untoward would happen to her, It was the manager I spoke with the next day, the one who told me that my sad story was nothing more than a sad story and that there was no one else with whom I could speak, it was with her that my problems arose.
Christine understood. She heard me. She listened. She shared "upper management's concerns" that I be treated well, just as all their customers should be treated well. They were so sorry to have added to my burden, to have embarrassed my husband, to have put any stumbling blocks in my road to recovery.
And then there was the fun part. "We'd like to offer you...." was how the sentence began and suddenly the interest charges and the late fees had vanished from the account. A VISA gift card is on its way to my house. Christine's business card with all her contact information was on its way, too, and if I ever have any problems of any kind with my account she is my go-to-girl.
Well, denizens, what can I say? They searched me out and found the problem and I have this fabulous image of senior management sitting around a table wondering and pondering and furrowing their brows, all worrying about poor me and my credit card. They managed to figure out that Ashleigh and Suzi are one and the same (one wonders how) and they chose the perfect person to convey their regrets and their solutions. Christine was confident and concerned and connected to my pain; a young mother herself she was able to relate to Christina-Taylor and the day we had planned as if it had happened to her. She understood that I was insulted, she understood that her firm had made a mistake, and she seemed to be personally affronted that a Chase employee had mistreated me.
I just kept going back to the image of the upper management of the bank spending the day worrying about what The Burrow was going to do next. I liked the picture. A lot.
So, I am going to keep paying my bills through the Chase VISA card. Christine convinced me that they want to be my bank, and I cannot deny that this counts as extremely wonderful customer service. I'll be using that Amex every once in a while, but it's nice to know that the number I've memorized for my VISA card does not have to be relegated to the trash bin.
If you haven't cut up your cards yet, why not hold off for a while. And if you have any problems, let me know. I'll see what Christine can do for you, too.