Too simple to bother with…

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Ah the beginning of the month.  That time where I take a bunch of calls for the first five days from customers who got that nifty notice our system sends out.

This is an automated note to let you know that the expiration date of the credit card number you have on file, with us, has passed, or will shortly. In almost all cases, your credit card company has sent you a new card, with a new expiration date. Please contact our office and update this information as soon as possible.

It triggers on the first of the month, when the month and year matches the month and year found on our customers credit/debit cards expiration date.  This gives the customer an entire month to call us with their new credit card information.

So the phones are busier from the 1st to the 5th of the month with customers calling to update their info.  Some however, despite the fact we notify them, don’t call until the payment fails on the following month.  Even though the paper included with their new card also says, “Please update your information with your billers.”.  They just activate their cards and move on.  Life is far too busy to be bothered with simple, but mundane tasks.

Then we get much nastier calls during the following month when their payment fails.  Such as:

My card is the same!

Hey, now it’s a month later.  You’ve forgotten about getting your new card.  Sadly our system won’t accept payment if the date on the card doesn’t match what we have.  Especially if it is passed the expiration.  Sure your card number may have remained the same, but not the expiration date.  Now that date has come and gone and we can no longer process your payment.  Like it or not, a simple phone call is needed to update this with us.  Please though, leave your attitude out of the conversation.  It’s not our fault you didn’t call.

Only the date has changed.

Sure, OK.  No problem.   Many times this is the case.  However, when you call, we always ask the same questions so as to keep card processing failures from happening.

  • Does the name on the card still appear as [insert customer name here], such as Henry R Dependett?
  • Is the card still a [MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover]?
  • Does the card still end in [last four digits], 5432?
  • Do you still live at [customer address on file]?

And you can hear the annoyance in the customer’s voice.  Like asking these few questions has somehow interfered with their busy day.  I’m sorry, I’m trying to be thorough so you won’t have to call back angry because your payment was rejected.  I’m not being stern, I’m not raising my voice.  I’m simply asking questions to help you help yourself.

No matter what, some still call back later pissed off because they got another email from us saying their card payment was rejected.  If you look at the images above carefully, you’ll see why.  Generally always happens with the 5 being changed to a 2.  Or vise-versa.  I guess they look similar.  One number is all it takes to make a card fail.  However, I’ve taken calls where the last 8 numbers are different even though I asked them on the previous call if it was right.  I guess they were still looking at the old card.  Still I don’t know why they take it out on me.  I asked.

My bank should’ve notified you!!

Uh… No.  They don’t do that.  That’s why when they send you a new card, there is a paper attached with remindful statements such as, “Please update your information with your billers.”.  Just saying, reading is fundamental.  Again, park your attitude.

I mean I get it.  Some people just can’t be bothered with taking an hour or two out of their busy day to call 3 – 10 businesses or logon to 1 – God-knows-how-many websites and update their credit card information.  You have these setup so you don’t have to call them, or log on to them every month to simply make a payment.  That’s too much work.  Golly gee.  Sorry your life is so horrible.  Goodness knows we try to help by sending you reminders.  Your bank gives you pointers too.  We try to be thorough on the phone.  Yet no matter how hard we try, some folks still call with fire in their eyes and hate in their voice because something went wrong and they got a nasty email or their service was cut off for nonpayment.

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