A few days ago my wallet was feeling a little too bulky. It was not because it was stuffed with cash. It was filled with plastic; credit cards as we call it. So I thought it was a good idea to cancel a few of them that I hadn’t been using for a while. I would like to share with you how I canceled one of my credit cards.
Although I have experience of Applying for credit cards but this was my first experience of canceling one. Apply is easy, canceling a card is harder. Have you ever tried to cancel your credit card?. Or close a bank account. Or Tried to terminate your Internet Service?.
Most of these companies try to make it very hard for you to quit. They put you through lots of exit interviews and throw you to their “customer retention specialists”. These hogs keep on making calls to you and ask you teasing questions the list of which might be endless. They even try to talk you out of your decision. Thy use anything to achieve their target.
They question your sanity, try to bring in moral questions that you feel guilty about canceling that credit card or whatever service you are trying to quit.
This morning I had a similar experience. I have an Citibank Visa card that I am trying to cancel. I have no balance on this account, so if thought that is a good idea to call them and tell them that I no longer need their service and that would be it. but that was only what “I” thought.. I was nothing like it.
I called the number at back of my Citibank Visa card and the first person I came in contact with ( after going through a maze of voice prompts) asked me if I was having a great day. I told her that yes and I would like to cancel my credit card. She transferred my call to someone else who put me on hold and when he came online he asked the same questions and asked me to please hold while he transfers me to another.
After a short while I was greeted by “Monica”. Monica Identified herself as Customer Support Supervisor and asked me how can she help me. I told her that I would like to cancel my credit card. here is how the conversation went
Monica: Can you tell me why you would you like to cancel your card?
Me: I don’t need it any more. I have no further use of this.
Monica: You have no further use for the card??
Me: That’s right.
Monica: What was it that made the card “non-useful” to you?
Me: Can we skip to the end of the questioner and just cancel my credit card?
I recently read the story of a guy who called to cancel his AOL account. They kept him on the phone for 15 minutes, asked endless questions, insulted him and then demanded to speak to his father. (The guy was 35 years old.) I knew I wanted to cancel, and I didn’t want to participate in a pointless Q&A session. So I persisted…
Monica: Nope. (long pause)
Me: Can I speak to someone else who can help me cancel?
Monica: No, I’m the only one who handle cancellation requests.
Me: Okay, Monica, I’m going to start recording this call now. Will that be alright?
Monica: No, that’s not alright
Me: Okay, I just started recording.
(Click!) Monica hung up on me.
Apparently it’s okay for Credit Card Companies to record our calls for “training or verification purposes” but they sure don’t want US to record what they are saying. Maybe It is very embarrassing for them if we all really knew what a hassle they have made it to cancel one’s credit card.
I called back immediately, when the IVR(Machine Voice) asked me to punch in my credit card number, I did it. I was surprised to hear that
“Your account is closed. The balance is zero dollars.”
Well that’s exactly what I wanted! So it seems like that the trick works all you have to do is to tell the customer support guys that you want to cancel, and that you’re going to record the call, they can really cancel your account in under 5 minutes. That’s good to know… I would leave you guys here as I have another credit card that I need to cancel. 🙂