Customer Service is Dead. The Age of the MegaCorp is Here
Let me first state that I am no financial wizard. In fact, I would say that I am the antithesis of that. I absolutely suck at managing money. Because of this, I allowed our mortgage to get way behind last year and we had to enter into a "repayment plan" this past winter that changed our normal, $340 mortgage payment into a $920 one. Thankfully, this was only for six months.
Our final payment was made in July. Then, about a week after that, we got a huge check in the mail for over $900. Concerned, I called our mortgage company, Fifth Third Bank. I talked to a person in the mortgage department. They assured me that the check was correct, and that I was overpaid, hence the refund. In addition, I was told that my August mortgage payment had been made prior to cutting the check and that we did not have to make another mortgage payment until September.
When we entered into the repayment plan, we set up our bank account to automatically cut a check on the 1st an mail it to Fifth Third. So, as of right now, September 3, the check is literally in the mail.
"Um. I don't have a credit card."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I mean your past-due mortgage account. We didn't receive your August payment."
"Um. Ok. Um.. let me look over the notes on your account and get back with you in a moment."
Then the torture began. Fifth Third's "on hold" music is the worst...ever. Oh Lord, let me count the ways....
- It is a lilting tune played on a flute with violin accompaniment.
- The audio gain is turned up so high that the notes that are played at higher volume are distorted
- The tune is 15 seconds long. It then repeats. Over...and over and OVER again. AAAAAGH!
Finally, the girlie came back on the line and said that she was transferring me to a member in the mortgage department. I was having trouble understanding him so I went outside. I explained that I was told that I did not have to make an August payment.
"Sir, your mortgage account is current."
"What? Then why are you calling me?"
"We are calling because we did not receive your September payment on the first."
It took me a moment to reel my jaw off the floor. "You mean to tell me that you are having your COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT call me when my mortgage payment is TWO DAYS LATE?"
"That is our new policy, sir."
"You call this Customer Service? Really? TWO DAYS? Really?"
"Yes, sir, I do."
"Wow. Fifth Third has gone completely off the deep end! You are calling and harassing your customers when their mortgage is only two days late? This isn't Customer Service, this is Customer Harassment!"
"If this is your idea of how you serve a customer, DO NOT EVER CALL ME AGAIN." I hung up.
We are the Bank. We Don't Have To
I can understand the bank calling when your payment is officially late. For us, the late penalty applies on the 15th of the month. Today is the 3rd.
Once I got off the phone, I realized that the 1st was a Sunday and the 2nd was a Federal Holiday (Labor Day), so that meant that they were calling to harass me on the first business day of the month. This would be the first day on which any payment received could have possibly posted.
Apparently, Fifth Third is hard up for cash if they are calling to harass people when their mortgage is late by two days. Wow. This is absolutely amazing.
Didn't You Learn Your Lesson?
What is really amazing is that Fifth Third just settled a class-action lawsuit filed against them for making harassing phone calls. I was sent a letter asking me if they had called my cell phone after having been told not to.
Guess what? They called my cell phone this evening.
Fifth Third, you are an Asshat.