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Monday, February 22, 2016

WASTING TIME WITH MY CREDIT CARD COMPANY

BRYCE ON LIFE

- Actually, the programmers are at fault.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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I recently received in e-mail from my credit card company notifying me of the rewards I earned last year. It's not necessary to mention their name as I believe they are all basically the same. In my case, I have two separate credit cards administered through the same rewards program. This hasn't been a problem until I was asked to check my points. In doing so, I discovered the company was moving away from their old login routine to a new one, meaning I had to re-register my account. Fine. After dutifully registering my first card, I was shown my balance and reward points, but this was a card I seldom used and had few points associated with it.

I then tried to register my second card but hit a roadblock. It simply wouldn't allow me to add another credit card to my account which I thought rather odd as it is not uncommon for people to have multiple cards. This made me nervous as I had visions of losing all of my travel points. After banging my head against the wall for several minutes I then called their Customer Service telephone number as instructed. Of course, I had to fight through voice mail jail until I could speak with a human being. I patiently explained my problem to her, but I do not believe she understand what I was saying and, frankly, I had trouble understanding her heavy Spanish accent. I didn't push #2 on my phone did I? Frustrated, I hung up and, No, she will not get high marks on the follow-up Customer Service survey.

I then started over again but hit the same roadblock. I tried the Customer Service number again. This time I talked with a woman located in Kentucky. After explaining my problem, she explained they could not accommodate multiple credit cards in the system. This was ultimately an admission of the weakness of their software people. Nonetheless, she was very professional and walked me through the problem.

Once again, I found myself trying to register a new account for a separate credit card. All went well until, at the end of the process, they were to send me a secret code verifying my new account. Unfortunately, there was no way to send me the code as there wasn't a way to input my e-mail address or telephone number. So, I went back to Customer Service for the third time, this time to Arizona. After describing my problem, the representative was perplexed what to do and put me in touch with Technical Support who patiently walked me through the process three more times, all with the same result, Nada! This forced them to go in manually and make the necessary adjustments so I could finally log back in. And voilĂ , my odyssey was finally over.

Keep in mind, all I wanted to do was login and review my reward points, nothing more, nothing less. The amount of time for me to finally do so was 90 minutes, a colossal waste of time for both the Customer Service reps and myself, all because their programmers couldn't figure out how to include multiple credit cards under one account, and implemented a poorly designed login process that was far from bulletproof.

I have been involved with the computer industry for forty years now. This problem only confirmed my belief that, "Programmers will only do what is easiest for them to implement, not what is best for the customer." I didn't blame the Customer Service reps, but the software people who programmed this mess has probably caused pandemonium. Then again, maybe this was an isolated incident and I am the only person to suffer through such a problem. Yea, right.
 
Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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LAST TIME:  WHEN THE OLD SURPASSES THE NEW - What does this say about our culture?

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