In late March, I got a letter from the PayPal Plus credit card company telling me they decided to close my account and were not sending me a replacement card when it expired in April. Their explanation was vague, so I called the number on my statement and talked to a service representative in, of course, India. She explained that PayPal reviewed my account and decided that since I hadn’t used the card in a few years and I still owed them money, they would close my account. It didn’t matter that I NEVER missed a payment or that I NEVER went over my credit limit, which was much more than what I owe them, I was apparently dragging down their bottom line and they dumped me like a bad mortgage.
I was concerned how this would appear on my credit report and she assured me, in a tone that suggested I’d done something wrong, that as long as I paid my account on time every month (I reminded her that was never an issue), there would be nothing negative posted to the credit bureaus.
Right. Like I trust that.
But I made my peace with their stupid decision and did what they told me to do in the letter which was to shred my credit card because I wasn’t supposed to use it anymore. Fine. I did that.
Fast forward to today. My PayPal credit card payment is due in two days. No problem. I’d pay it online like I always do. Only, I no longer have access to the card’s website through PayPal. It’s been taken away, vanished, whoosh! It’s gone.
Mildly ticked off, I decided to make a payment by phone since for me to send them a payment by check would take longer than two days to get there and then technically my payment would be late. After five minutes of answering the voice activated questions, I was told this transaction would COST me $10! The voice said, “Do you accept these charges?” to which I screamed in the phone, “HELL NO!” Funny how the voice activation understood that.
“Would you like to speak with a customer service representative?”
“She” understood that, too.
Pretty soon I was talking to “George” in India. I explained to George my problem. He said he would extend my payment date and charge me no late fee if I mailed my payment today. Thank you, I appreciate that, I said, and I went on to explain that I want to continue making my payments online.
“How can you make that happen for me, George?"
He replied, and this is my FAVORITE part:
“You’ll need your statement AND YOUR CREDIT CARD to access our site.”
“Um….George?” I say to him calmly, believe it or not. “Let me explain something to you. The letter your company sent to me said I had to SHRED my card. I DID that. I played by your rules. And now you’re telling me I can’t pay my account online because I don’t have the credit card you guys told me to shred? Do you HEAR how ridiculous that is? I want to pay my account online. Now how will you make that happen?”
“Ma’am, you’ll need your credit card…” he insisted.
“I get that part, George. Who can I talk to who will at least ACKNOWLEDGE how ludicrous this situation is? I don’t want much, George. I just want someone at PayPal to admit PayPal is wrong,” I said, a little more agitated than before, but still not raising my voice, at least not too high.
He transferred me over to his manager and I explained the same thing to her. I didn’t yell, although I admit I was sarcastic, but she would not – no, she REFUSED – to acknowledge how backassward this whole thing was.
I don’t know what I hoped to accomplish, what kind of satisfaction I hoped to glean by asking one company representative to take responsibility for a problem the company created, not me, but all I got was her assurance that she’d “take it up with her managers” so something like this wouldn’t happen again.
Right. And I won’t be charged a late fee for mailing in my payment this month and nothing negative will be reported to the credit bureau. What was I? Born last week?
I’m sure she was doodling on a notepad the whole time I was on the phone, probably making faces into the phone, maybe sticking her tongue out at me when I said, “Do you see what a Catch-22 this is?” Then I wondered if she understood the literary reference. Not sure if they read Joseph Heller in New Delhi.
I hung up the phone and went upstairs to get an envelope because I threw away the one in the billing statement because I ALWAYS pay them (on time) online. I went to the post office to buy a 1-cent stamp to accompany my 41-cent stamp I bought last month and I stuck the envelope in the mail box.
Yadda yadda yadda…I’m keeping a close eye on my statement next month, and on my credit report for that matter. I really hope I don’t have to go rounds with another George in Dubai. It’s really not worth missing another workout for.