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February 13, 2011

Day 3 of 30: Pushing my luck with credit card policies

Here's something I'm not exactly proud of, but in the name of transparency I'll spill the beans.

(Just one request first, Dad: No lectures please! ;) )

I have a Visa card with a due date on a random/weird day of the month, aka nowhere near the first. This month I completely forgot to pay. The next day, Mr. A noticed an online alert that I had a late fee. Curses!!! 

(Usually this isn't a problem, Mom, because I pay bills on or around the same day, but this one completely fell under my radar.)

So on top of the balance of $89, I got charged a late fee of $8 and a $2 finance charge. Dumb dumb dumb.

After a quick poll on Twitter, Facebook and this blog where readers voted for what I should ask, I ended up calling my card company with these two requests:

1. Can you please move my due date to the 1st, so I never forget again? ("Sure!")

2. Can you please remove one or both charges? It slipped my mind and I will be more careful now that the due date is the same as every other bill I have.

The agent said she'll try. Then she disappeared for a minute, leaving a soothing Mozart piano sonata on the line in her wake. She returned with bad news: "I took off the fee, but the computer put it back on. It showed that in August, you had a different fee reversed. I'm sorry! I really tried! You can try calling again later, it might work then!"

She was so sweet.

Gained: Nothing.

Lost: A little under 10 minutes.

Whitney Johnson, who writes a creative, practical and inspiring blog called Dare to Dream, asked me how I felt when I got rejected. 

After I ended the call, Whitney, here's how I felt: I felt like I deserved it!! I felt kind of naughty. Bad naughty, because I should not be racking up these idiotic fees in the first place. Not once but twice in a calendar year? LAMEEEEENESS.

But also I felt kind of good naughty, because at least the reason the computer said no was that I'd previously asked. I guess of all the reasons to get rejected, that's the one I should be the least unhappy about?!

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