So everyone out there, I want you all to know it is official.
I’ve broken up with my Capital One Card.
We had a long run and this has been coming for some time. You see, I haven’t even touched the old card for months. Its been laying there, alone, broken hearted in my wallet of desolation. Fourth to a company purchasing card for OfficeMax, my insurance cards and my new affair, Amex.
Ok, so at this point you are probably thinking that I am crazy and you are right. However calling and closing a credit account is the hardest thing a man has ever to do. it would be easier to break up with Heidi Klume then to break up with these bastards.
I’m not sure if any of you have been down this road, but hang on there will be valuable information about getting the best of those bastards. In most cases you can get your way or at least have some laughs trying. In this post I’ll explain what to do.
The first step is deciding you hate your credit card. In this case I had a very low limit and an annual fee of 19 dollars. Yeah, that’s right kids, 19 freaking dollars. I other accounts that have larger credit limits and absolutely no annual fees, so why should I pay these guys my hard earned dollars. Just think, in twenty years that will add up to 380 dollars…which I could spend on beer!
So what I did is politely called their customer service line and went through all the verifications and told the girl I was ready to break up. Now, in this case I was very stern but very nice, not giving the impression that I’m an asshole, just say it with confidence because after all it may become true.
The girl with the India accent said she was sorry and that she’d have to transfer me over to an account specialist. Ok, now what these people are really called are account recapture specialists. Their job is to get your business back by tauting you with things depending on your concerns and hopefully make you so angered by the process you decide to keep the damn thing.
This is a pivotal point in the negotiation. They will coyly ask you how they may help you today even though they already know. Tell them confidently and nicely “I’d like to close my account.”
Here it comes. This is the real world equivalent to “I can’t quit you.” Your representative will become very concerned with you leaving. In this case I got the girly soft tone “Why are you leaving us?” I’m not joking this girl sounded like she actually cared. Well she does care, after all she gets paid if she keeps mine/your business.
I proceeded to repeat my claim very positively and without any negativity. I said why would I keep a card that has a crappy limit and annual fees?
That’s when the first offer came through, a one-year waiver of the annual fee. Ok, that’s fine, but its annual so it will come back and I’m way to lazy to remember to call back again.
This is not good for me, I told her. We argued for a difficult and tragic five minutes. She kept the same tone of voice. You’d swear that she was a homeless mother who needed five dollars to buy baby formula but in all reality she was just a cog in the credit card machinery. I kept my ground and actually closed my card because she was unwilling to actually fix my concerns.
What is the lesson here? Always try. You will get something. Say for instance you didn’t even want to close the card but hadn’t called them in a year. Do it. Remember to be specific. Choose something you don’t like about your card like the interest rate, limit, fees or rewards. Then tell them that this is why you’re happy and there are other better programs that you have or can get.
This will prompt a buyback type of bidding. It works with cable companies, Internet providers, phone companies, satellite television, etc. Do it often, about once a year. I guarantee you will stay ahead of the game or at least keep getting deals. Remember though, don’t be afraid to actually close your account if that was your intention. Don’t let one small victory be the reason you stay with them, unless it is worth it.
You can always back out at the last second. They will usually ask you to confirm that you are going to do it. If you can’t get any further and need to chicken out say that you’re not completely sure. Ask them politely if there is anything else they can do for you and they may try. If they can’t, let them think they’ve persuaded you anyway, put your tail between your legs, and walk home.
So, your assignment my loyal fanbase of three people is to go out there and get yourself a deal. Pick anyone of your bills. Remember to stay positive, no one likes a prick on the phone, even the agents. They say that “Nice guys finish last” but in some cases the more aggressive person is smarter and swifter. Use that personality of yours, form a pseudo bond.
In reality, use all of their tactics against them. Good luck to you all, comment if you luck out.