Sunday, February 21, 2010

The $4 principle

There are some things you shouldn't have to pay for. An annual fee for a credit card is one of them. When I saw one of the cards I have started to charge an annual fee- on a monthly basis nonetheless- I immediately made the decision to close the account. It was a card that I used on occasion, one that I got because I thought it was a hoot. With minimal use there was no reason to keep it and pay a fee.

Instead of paying the account online I wrote out a check and put in instructions on the statement to close the account upon payment. Payment went through and I thought it was the last I would hear from them.


I received a statement yesterday showing I owed $4. That is the amount of the annual fee. Apparently they didn't close the account. I went through the fine print and found that I was supposed to call them. A different card I had years ago required you to write them; they wouldn't take verbal instructions. This bank was different.

So I called them up and explained that the account should have been closed last month. The rep answered that it was in fact closed. Only when I asked why I was charged a fee did she say that it hadn't been closed and that had to go to a different department. What? My closed account was open again. I asked her to close the account now. Not a problem she said. The account is closed. I just need to pay the $4.

What? Oh hells no! I explained to "Dorothy" that I was not paying this fee. I closed the account last month in written instructions. The 4 bucks was not going to be paid.

She then told me that in order for that fee to have not been charged, I had to opt out of the agreement by December 14, 2009. So, in order to not be charged a fee in February, I had to decide to opt out two months prior. That is a month before I decided to close the account. I guess I need psychic powers to have this card.

I told Dorothy this was ridiculous and that there is no way I was paying this fee. I wasn't rude. Well, that is if you don't count being sarcastic. I was firm and told her a couple times that there was no way I was paying their fee for an account that was closed. She suddenly found a exception form and said it has been submitted. I bet I receive another statement from them next month.

By the end of the call Dorothy seemed annoyed with me. Telling her I hoped she had a good day didn't seem to improve our relationship.


OhCaptain said...

Credit card companies are evil.

StB said...

Credit companies aren't evil. People that abuse credit and don't pay their bills are the ones to blame.