Contacting Your Credit Card Company
The bright intoxicating adverts that credit card companies use are certain to entice you to sign up for their too-good-to-be-true contracts. Sadly though, it often seems as though these companies spend a good deal more on their advertising budget than on their customer service!
Contacting your credit card is often, if not always, troublesome, tedious and longwinded. All three methods of contact (email, telephone, letter) can prove fruitless and are usually highly time consuming. Credit card company contact details are usually found on firm's websites and on the statements that are sent to you once a month. But getting hold of these is the easy part! The following stages are the most disagreeable!
Contact by Telephone
Good points:Calling your credit card company allows you to speak directly with customer services teams who will be able to talk to you in real time and solve your problems as you speak (in theory). Telephone contact is by far the quickest contact and allows customers to gain quick resolutions to problems.
Bad points:Calling your credit card company may lead to major headaches as you spend countless minutes waiting in a queue just to talk to a telephone agent who may not even be able to help you! Calls can cost double digits and may not even lead to a resolution to your problem. Poor quality staff are likely to pass you to other departments and your call could end up leading you on a fruitless wild-goose chase!
Top Tips for Calling Your Credit Card Company
Never call your credit card company outside of office hours unless it is absolutely necessary. Phone lines are almost always jam packed before 9am, between 12:30pm and 2:00pm and after 5pm. If you can, call in between these times as you are much more likely to be put through to a customer service agent a lot less slowly, saving you time and money.
If you keep hitting a long queue when calling your credit card company, try keying in the corresponding digits on your telephone keypad for the "sales" department, rather than "customer service". Big companies always have more staff available on "sales" lines because they want to be sure that new customers are dealt with swiftly (they have the cash). Current customers are not top priority to companies, and consequently the corresponding departments are usually under-staffed. Once through to a sales teams, staff will either be able to deal with your queries themselves, or they will be able to transfer you directly to the front of the queue of the customer services department.
Contact by Email
Good points:Email allows customers to prepare well thought out queries and questions that can be sent in your own time, for free. Responses will be sent when customer service agents are available, which may take some time, but will not require you to spend a long time waiting on the phone.
Bad points: Email responses can take days, if not weeks to arrive and are often lost in computer systems. Sending emails may result in absolutely nothing and you may just have to pick up the phone to call call centre staff anyway!
Top Tips for Emailing Your Credit Card Company
Always quote any reference numbers or account numbers and your surname in the very first section of your email. Be wise and include your account number in the email title as well as your issue itself. For example, a good title would be: "Credit Card Charges - Account Number 00293348"
Contact by Letter
Good points: Sending a letter is a great way to get your credit card company to stand up and take notice of what you have to say, if it is received by the correct department. Letters are taken more seriously than phone calls and email and, if sent to the right person, will bypass frontline general customer service staff and go directly to managers who will be more likely to act professionally and solve your problem more quickly.
Bad points:Due to the state of the UK postal service and the size of large credit card companies (post room staff often mislay a large percentage of incoming mail) there is a big chance that your correspondence may never reach its destination!
Top Tips for Writing to Your Credit Card Company
Always send letters by recorded delivery to ensure that the correct person or department receive it. If you've spent half an hour compiling a well written complaint, you want it to be read! Use proper letter structure and grammar when writing to companies. Well written letters will be takenmore seriously and consequently, your complaint is more likely to be dealt with efficiently.