Thursday, July 31, 2008

United Front on Bad Customer Service (Chase Bank)

My last post was about American Express and their arrogance/stupidity with their benefit-deprived Black Card but the other credit card banks are not unfortunately much better.

Instead of a Black Card from Amex, I ultimately chose a United Platinum Visa from Chase Bank which gets me miles on an airline with a hub in Los Angeles which has helped me be able to get upgrades for most of the flights I have traveled on in the past three or four years. My AMEX miles are still sitting in their account with it being literally impossible to redeem. Trust me, I tried to use them. Those 750,000 miles are plenty to buy my wife and I a first class trip to Paris and one call to Delta (Amex's biggest mileage partner) got me flights stopping in Salt Lake, Atlanta and then on to Paris thus adding 6 to 8 hours onto an already intolerably long flight. They were blacked out on the direct flight from LAX to de Gaulle in Paris. The last time I tried to book flights to Maui on Delta (they have 2 a day from LAX non-stop) the agent had me leaving LAX at 6 AM going to Salt Lake, connecting to Honolulu and then being stranded there needing another flight. What a great solution. I flew on United and used miles to upgrade.

Today I got an email offer from Chase Bank to upgrade my card to the Gold level. While I have platinum card from them (whatever that means) yet they are touting double miles, no mileage blackout dates (see nightmare above) and other perks. They provided a web link from the email that that was broken. They offered an 800 number and I have been on hold for 31 minutes and counting waiting for them to answer. Their first level customer service girl was "going on her break" and didn't have any idea how to help me. This wait - which is more of a war now and I am curious to see how long the wait would be - may not be over anytime soon. Note: they sent the offer by email but offered no way to correspond by email to take the offer.

All advertising in my opinion boils down to Cost Per Acquisition of client meaning you spend all the money you spend on advertising and marketing to ultimately get quality leads and from those leads you close whatever percentage you can. If you spent $1,000,000 on email campaigns - wouldn't it be nice to know you closed X number of upgrades and each cost you Y per customer? In this case - I was interested customer who is packing significantly above 800 credit. The email got me on the hook and that is where I died as a lead. There was no reasonable way convert and that is a waste of their money and my time.

Ultimately, it was 37 minutes before I got someone on the phone from Chase who explained to me that the Gold card is really a downgrade over the Platinum card I have and that the offer is only for my personal card and not my business card - where I book most of my travel anyway. Brilliant.

Its nice to know AMEX doesn't own a monopoly on moronic marketing and bad customer service. While unquestionably arrogant - at least AMEX picks up the phone faster than 37 minutes.

1 comment:

James said...

It amazes me how horrid credit card customer service is. I remember learning one time while on vacation that I had to contact Capital One about a possibly fraudulent charge. I call from a payphone and type in my credit card no. Then they make me say it again over the phone. I told them I was at a pay phone but they wouldn't help me unless I said it out loud.

Why did I bother typing it in?