Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Frustrated With Cable TV Customer Service: How I Turned Their Refusal to Credit my Account Into a Yes
I reset my cable box and regained the lost channels while I continued to wait to speak to a customer service representative. I explained to the rep that I had an interruption in service for three days and that I just fixed the problem. However, I still requested at least a one day credit to my account. The call center rep stated that he could not credit my account since I waited so long to report the problem.
I then stated how I had been busy and that I was asking for at least a one day credit not three days. I told him how long I waited before I got to speak to a person and cited the wait as the reason I didn't jump at the opportunity to call in when I had better things to do. The rep stuck to his guns. Meanwhile, I stated that I was interested in writing a letter to the company CEO and asked whether a case # was assigned. If not, I asked how I could reference my phone call. He said there was no case #. I then asked for his ID#.
I was very frustrated when I got off the phone. In my line of work, I have ghost written correspondence for very senior people. I was about to start writing a letter that probably would have taken me 30 minutes or more to perfect.
I then took another path and spent 15 more minutes with the same company's customer service to get a second opinion.
When I got a new rep on the phone, I asked the customer service rep to read the notes attached to my account. I then explained what my issue was and that I would like a credit for at least one day. If that couldn't be done, I asked for the rep to provide me the appropriate information for submitting a complaint.
The representative then gave me a three day credit. Honestly, I think the rep would have given me a three day credit before I ever asked for her assistance in submitting a complaint.
The company I speak of above is Cox Communications.... So, when you're at your wits end with a customer service rep and things aren't going your way:
1.) Ask for a case # or customer service rep ID #
2.) Wrap up your conversation in a manner where you're reasonably confident the rep will write notes on the account... Don't hang up mid call.
3.) Call back and get a 2nd opinion with another representative.
4.) If that doesn't work, then ask the representative on how to submit a complaint.
5.) If that rep is ignorant and can't provide verifiable information, do the research and write a letter to the CEO of the company. Keep the letter to one page and stick to the facts... I suspect you will more often than not get a positive outcome. You see, the CEO's front office knows that if you take the time to write a well thought out letter, there's a reasonable chance that you have a legitimate complaint and you may end up as a lost customer if not handled properly.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Recommended Personal Finance Articles From: TheDigeratiLife, FreeMoneyFinance, DarwinsFinance, MoneySmartLife, FinancialArmageddon and DinksFinance
Monday, May 10, 2010
Saturday, May 01, 2010
I adjusted our household net worth down $14.8k this month. The decision to do so was based on the realization that it is impractical to carry my investment properties without a built in adjustment for the capital gains tax we'll have to pay on each of them whenever we sell them. Yes, we could do a 1031 exchange and forgo the taxes; however, that assumes that at the time of sale real estate is the best investment decision and a great buy is sitting there ready for purchase.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Recommended Personal Finance Articles From: MoneyNing, FreeMoneyFinance, No-SpendZone, FundMyMutualFund, FinancialArmageddon, MyGoodCents, Etc.
Now Cash Only - Closed Three Credit Cards in Last 50 Days Due to Fraudulent Activity (Two Citibank Cards and One Discover Card)
Regrettably, I have become a PRO at handling fraudulent activity on my Citibank and Discover cards. I have two rebate cards between these companies giving 2% and 5% cash back, respectively. Nowadays, our household has transitioned to cash only at three stores.
Starting in February, I had to close and reissue a credit card due to fraudulent activity for the first time in my life. It was my Citibank card which had some unusual activity out of Paris, France. I was out about $400. I called Citibank and learned that I had to fill out an affidavit confirming that the cards were in my possession and that the activity was not mine. I also included a transaction history printout with all fraudulent activity clearly marked. The fraudulent activity was credited back to my account four days later.
I learned that the affidavit form is mailed to you in a non-descript envelope. Make sure you sift through all of your junk mail during a fraudulent claim period so that you don't experience any unnecessary delays. Also, you can get the affidavit form even faster if you contact Citibank's Security department directly. The Citibank Security department can email you the affidavit form. Once complete, the affidavit form can be either faxed or mailed back. I faxed my affidavit back and enjoyed a quicker processing time.
If you move around as much as me, you may not give serious consideration to keeping your contact information current on all your accounts. I could have caught the fraudulent activity about 24-48 hrs sooner had the Credit Card company been able to contact me directly with their concerns.
I started using my Discover Card while waiting for a new Citibank Card to be issued. I didn't change of my credit card usage. Then, my Discover Card was hit with fraudulent activity about 35 days later. This fraudulent activity was in the amount of $180 at a Wal-Mart in Nashville, TN. This time, I caught the fraudulent activity within the first 24 hrs. Discover Card didn't require an affidavit and credited the fraudulent charge with just a phone call.
While it was disconcerting, I wasn't about to go to cash only just yet... Unfortunately, 15 days later I was hit for about $160 in fraudulent activity out of Spain on my new Citibank Card. With all of this fraudulent activity, I was able to discern a common thread across all three accounts. Each account had been used at facilities co-located withing a shopping center. I initially thought that one location was skimming and cloning my credit card information. It turns out that it wasn't a single store. It was in fact the credit card clearing house. So, next time you get hit for fraudulent activity on a credit card, understand that the problem can be bigger than credit card skimming at just one store.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Debt From These Companies Recently Traded at Lower Yields Than Comparable US Treasuries... Ominous Sign for US Debt Rating
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Recommended Personal Finance Articles From: The Digerati Life, Free Money Finance, Money Smart Life, Darwin's Finance, Financial Armageddon, etc.
The ING commercial has a guy carrying his number (amount he needs for retirement) while talking to a neighborhood guy whose number was a GAZILLION. The point was that not everybody knows what they are going to need in retirement to meet their life style expectations. The commercial goes on to announce a simple ING website that you can use to determine your number.
The site is INGYOURNUMBER. I went to the site and in less than two minutes it gave my "number" as $2,311,839. This number was based on my desire to have $58,000 a year in household income that will last from the age of 51 until 90. This $58k was in addition to the pension I expect to receive from the Navy, assuming I only get only one more promotion.
Previously, I had the expectation for my number to be somewhere between $1.7 and $2 million. So, $2.3 million is not much of a surprise. My number will drop to something closer to $1.7 million if I get two more promotions and retire as an O-6 (Navy Captain = Colonel other services).
Link to INGYOURNUMBER.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Came across a great Bloomberg article on unintended acceleration.
* Brake firmly and steadily - do not pump the brake pedal* Shift the transmission into Neutral (for vehicles with automatic transmissions and the sport option, familiarize yourself with where neutral is - the diagram may be misleading)* Steer to a safe location* Shut the engine off (for vehicles with keyless ignition, familarize yourself with how to turn the vehicle off when it is moving - this may be a different action than turning the vehicle off when it is stationary).* Call your dealer or repair shop to pick up the vehicle. Do not drive it.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Monday, March 01, 2010
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Recommended Personal Finance Articles From: FreeMoneyFinance, FundMyMutualFund, DarwinsFinance, MightyBargainHunter, FinancialArmageddon, etc.
Free Money Finance. "Saving a Bundle on Your Taxes With an Unrelated Dependent."
Fund My Mutual Fund. "Job Loss Rates Across Post WWII Recessions [Chart]."
Darwin's Finance. "Easy Ways to Find the Best Finance Blogs."
Mighty Bargain Hunter. "Three ways to find a cool deal using Google."
Financial Armageddon. "You Cannot Buy Groceries With Your House."
Dual Income No Kids. "The Deficit: How to Protect Yourself."
Papa John's will charge $10 for all large pizzas and $11.99 for an extra-large pizza with four toppings. Pizza Hut is selling any pizza for $10.
Here's some links which may also be of use as you look to score a deal:
VALPAK. You'll have to type your zip code, choose pizza/restaurant.
Dominos Pizza. Enter zip code to get local deals. Retailmenot coupons.
Papajohn's. Click on menu & specials, then enter your location. Also, retailmenot's Papajohn's coupons.
Pizzahut. Also, retailmenot's coupons.
List of 99 restaurants offering free pizza delivery today (sorted by state).
Monday, February 01, 2010
During January, two of our investment properties dropped significantly in value per Zillow.com. Additionally, we booked expenses for:
(1.) Body work for one of our cars
(2.) Bought our first flat screen TV
(3.) Made annual insurance payment on investment property
Our investments in the stock market also dropped in value, but by a small amount relative to the total $27.3k decrease. Unless the stock market tanks, our Net Worth should increase to where it was last month in 3-4 months.
On a positive note, we paid off the mortgage on one of our three investment properties this past December. We bought the house in 2005 for $86.8k.
Our next major purchase will be a new/used car to replace our '98 Acura with 141k miles. This summer we will be able to buy our next car TAX FREE. I'm looking forward to this upcoming purchase since our household operates two high mileage cars (wife's car has 86k miles) and want a low mileage car for road trips.