Thursday, January 20, 2011

someone pour me a drink

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.


sassymonkey said...

I love that you used "usurious" in this post. lol

laurie said...

Thank you. ;-)

Dee said...

I still need to look up usurious as I haven't seen the word before. But it is based on "usury", I guess? Anyway, good for you to cancel. More trouble than it is worth! How convoluted can it get!

Alli said...

Aww good old Zellers flogging their credit cards. No matter soon all Zellers Stores will be part of the US Chain stores Target!

I just found you blog... I will be back, check out mine if you like :)

Take care Alli ...xo

laurie said...

Welcome Alli! And yes Deanna it's from usury. It's a word I love, actually.

FlippyO said...

Have they done any damage to your credit rating? You should probably get a free copy of your credit report and make sure, so you can demand that they fix it asap.

Man, what stupidity though, making you send another check because they're returning your payment. Whose dumb idea was that??? Not a very clever accounting move, making a single payment require so much extra work for everyone involved.

Apparently the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line in the Fuzzy Z(o)eller accounting world.