Customer Service - Does it Exist in Most Companies Anymore?

OK, this is a bit of a rant, but it has a valid point.

As you may know I've been traveling a lot and haven't had a lot of internet access. That's one reason why several years ago I set myself up with a bill paying service. All of my bills that can't be set-up for online retrieval have a mailing address in South Dakota. They scan them and forward to me any items that are non-bill related. So when I travel I never have to worry about a credit card changing my due date, etc. Everything gets paid on the terms I set for each bill, i.e., "in-full," "minimum payment," etc.

But when I got home Monday night I got a huge surprise...a LOC got paid in-full instead of the minimum payment. And worse yet was the timing, because there was enough money in my account to cover it because it was there for mortgage payments. This is a long story that I won't go into detail about, but I was upset and a bit frantic worrying about my mortgage payments bouncing, but even worse a couple of credit cards that I carry large balances on with "3.99% until paid off" would likely bounce and readjust to something more like 25% interest.

It actually wasn't even a bill they paid, but a letter telling me I hadn't paid the full amount (a fluke also due to this bill paying service - they sent them a check last month that the printer obviously ran out of ink while printing and it wasn't fully readable and got returned). I worked with the financial institution that received the overpayment (thank goodness it was a revolving line of credit, not a loan - which would have been paid off and not able to be re-instated) to figure out how to fix it. But I also called the bill paying service because although I didn't think they'd be legally liable (I'm sure the agreement I signed took care of that!) I wanted them to know about a major flaw in their system and be reassured that they'd make sure it couldn't happen again.

I was restrained, but firm. And then they lost me as a customer...their "customer service" person started telling me that they hadn't made a mistake, that the letter that was received (yes, they paid based on a letter, not a bill!) said "balance" and it was computerized and that's what they paid. I lost it at that point when he began arguing with me that they did nothing wrong. I demanded his supervisor, who continued to tell me they did nothing wrong. When I asked for his supervisor they were in a meeting and wouldn't be able to call me until today. Which they did not.

So, what had I wanted or expected from them in my call? Not much. Reassurance that a problem in their system needed to be researched and resolved so it wouldn't happen again, an apology, a credit equal to the fees I was going to be charged, etc. Something. But what I got was nothing close to Customer Service. And so now they've lost my business and I'm going to be going out of my way to tell everyone I know not to do business with PAYTRUST.com - which interestingly is an Intuit company. I would have expected better, much better. You've been warned, spread the word. It's the only way Customer Service in big companies will ever get back to serving the customer.

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