A couple of months ago, I bought a sports watch at Zellers.* The clerk at the store convinced me to get an in store credit card, so that I could get a twenty-five per cent discount.
Against my better judgment, I agreed.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, when the bill arrives. Knowing that store credit cards have usurious interest rates, I pay off the balance in full immediately.
Fast forward to a few weeks after that, when I get another credit card bill, showing that I still owe the full amount plus interest.
Annoyed, I call the credit card company to complain. The woman on the other end of the phone was polite and helpful. She quickly identified the error, fixed it and told me to have a nice day.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks later when I start getting calls phone calls from “credit services.”
Now I'm downright irate. I call the credit card company again. The person with whom I speak this time has no record of my previous phone conversation. When I ask to have my card credited with the amount that I have already paid. He informs that's “not how things work.”
This is how Zellers proposes to resolve the problem:
They will send me a cheque covering the amount that I have paid them. And I will send them a cheque to cover my bill.
Allow me to restate this – Zellers is sending me a cheque for sixty dollars. And I'm expected to mail them a cheque for sixty dollars.
They can't just credit me with the money I've paid. I can't pay them online or over the phone.
Zellers and I have to send each other cheques for the exact same amount, so that they can cross in the mail.
At this point, I inform the agent on the other end of the phone that I want to cancel my card. He says that I have to call another number to do that and that he can't transfer me.
I place that call, cancel my card (“No, I say firmly, I do not want to give the company another chance”) and am then told that I have to call a third number to cancel the insurance on the card.
Nearing hysterics, I call the insurance people and am bluntly told (after being on hold for a while) that the insurance is cancelled automatically when you cancel the card.
My spouse will tell you that I am extremely tolerant (to the point of ridiculousness) of bad service, generally speaking. But this experience left me feeling that someone at Zellers needs to give some thought to getting it's act together.
*For readers out side Canada: Zellers is a large chain (like Walmart or Kmart). The Hudson's Bay Company just sold it to Target.