If I had been thinking I would have recorded EVERY telephone call to Providian since the very beginning. After all, they record all of MY calls. So after seeing the charges of $39.90 put back on my October statement I decide to give them a call to try to determine why reporting this criminal, fraudulent activity on my charge card has been ignored seven times. (You will need to install RealPlayer on your PC to hear the recordings.)
NOTE: These recordings are continuous except for the fast-forwarding of sensitive information like credit card number and Last 4 SS# touch-tones and one quick break to switch tapes. No other modifying, editing or tampering has been done what-so-ever.
First I talk to Lisa at Customer Service. This call took a long time to navigate through the menu system, then being on hold then when I finally get to talk to Lisa 5 minutes, 50 seconds have elapsed.
Lisas main problem seems to be that she either cant read very fast or that her computer is so slow that there are exceptionally long periods of silence while she looks everything up. This being the seventh or eighth call I have made to them you can see why I sometimes exhibit tones of frustration with the rep. She continually blames her computer for the incredibly long periods of silence. She asks me several times if I have filled out the form. I told her I had done so. Then I get put on eternal hold. Im having my lovely wife whom I adore digging up statements so I can be prepared for each question.
I advise her I would like to close my account but not with the bogus charges on it. She transfers me to the fraud department. (Oh boy!! More hold music.) After more eternal hold I am told by Lisa that she cannot do anything to help me. She cannot find a supervisor and suggests that I leave my number so one of them can call me back. I insist to speak with the department that closes accounts. She transfers me to Ben (Employee ID: 035062). Ben Ben tells me that since the bogus charges were not taken off of my account I would have to pay them.
After several minutes of him making excuses instead of transferring me to his supervisor he finally puts Mr. Louden on the line. This guy has an attitude from the word Go. Then he actually has the nerve to accuse ME of being condescending. After what Ive been through it seems to me like I must be talking to fast or something. I mean, how else could these people not get it after a year? Mr. Louden is pretty argumentative with me throughout the call.
(Click Mr. Louden
to hear next part
of phone call)
Then my tape runs out and I have to ask him to hold while I switch tapes. He actually acts surprised to find out that the telephone call is being recorded. I remind him that 45 minutes ago when this call began it was Providian that announced the call could be recorded. He appeared to remember that Providian records their calls after I reminded him. He then announced that he started an additional recorder he referred to as his personal recorder. With multiple tape recorders recording in tandem our call resumed. Mr. Louden did actually do something productive. He lowered my rate and then re submitted my disputes to the dispute department. (Yeah right!) He promised to follow up within a few days.
A couple days go by and he leaves a message on my answering machine. He said that the Executive Office would be calling me within 48 hours. Of course the news was bad news. The dispute department has unfortunately denied credit back to my account. (I cant say I am surprised in the least. Ive got to give this company credit for consistency. He closed by promising that I would hear from Providian no later than close of business Wednesday.
Lo and behold, before Wednesday is through, I get a call from Debbie Roberts from the Executive Office. Im so thrilled to talk to someone with at least a high school education (maybe even college) that I dont quite know how to act. After all. She actually used the word obtuse correctly in a sentence. Its just so refreshing to be able to be my normal, cheerful self during a telephone call with Providian. Equally refreshing to actually have someone listen to my problem and understand the problem. After speaking with countless idiots she is the first person to actually understand the problem and assure me that there will be a resolution! (Perhaps registering ProvidianFinancialSucks.com was premature?) We will see. (I dont want to get my hopes up too high)
(Click Debbie to
hear phone call)
After a fairly pleasant telephone conversation with Debbie she promised to call me back by Monday, October 21, 2002. The only thing that really has me concerned about Debbie is that she has to call Visa International to sort this out. She references Visa International about half a dozen times or so in the call. What bothers me about this is the fact that I have a Providian MasterCard. (More accurately I have several pieces of a Providian MasterCard.) Seems like she should be calling MasterCard. Oh well, shes in the executive office so I am sure she knows what she is doing.
The only thing I know for a fact that she is wrong about is having to ship back items that I did not order.
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