I’ll admit that I have on occasion had difficulty paying certain, non-essential bills…hell, I’ve had a hard time with essentials even. But one of my goals this year is to work on becoming a better steward over my finances; rise above the poverty consciousness that has been so pervasive in my family across generations . Great grand and grand parents all property poor, mother with no savings, shitty credit, no accumulation of wealth whatsoever…
So as part of my plan for improved financial savvy, I am making sure I only purchase products and services that I can afford. Which is why it took me a couple months to have my internet service restored after I got my new gig. I couldn’t go on forever without an internet connection at home though, so as soon as I felt like I could realistically afford to be back on the grid, I payed off the old bill and had my service reconnected.
Everything was going along nicely, I paid my first two bills on time and then I got a statement this month and my balance seemed higher than it should have been. Sure enough, it contained a past due balance in the amount of the last payment I had made.
Immediately, I called customer service to have the situation worked out and was told to take a copy of my bank statement, or other proof of the transaction to the local office. I followed the instructions and was rebuffed by the manager at the local office who insisted he needed a copy of the original check. It was an electronic payment and although the bank still printed the check, they typically only gave me copies of the checks I wrote personally.
I knew it would be terribly inefficient to try to go to the bank myself and then take the optical copy of the cleared check to the local office, so I arranged to have the bank fax it. Two days later, I got a “courtesy call” saying my service was scheduled for termination due to non-payment. I chuckled to avoid going off and told the customer service agent that I was currently in dispute about the balance on my account. She quickly made a note and bid me adieu.
I called the manager at the local office, who seemed dismissive and completely uninterested in helping to resolve the issue. At this point the dispute was on its second week and I had no idea what the status was with regards to getting my account credited.
So I called the corporate office. Oh, they hate when things get escalated to the point that the corporate office.
The good news is that the customer service agents at the corporate office worked their asses off to resolve the issue; calling me daily with updates or to request more information.
And today I called again…Any word? You didn’t get any of the faxes? The proof has been faxed over at least three different times and no one has received them…Can I just fax you my transaction record? Great…
Less than an hour later, I received two calls informing me that my account was credited and everything was squared away. Terribly sorry for the inconvenience…blah blah blah…
In the past, I might have been less proactive, but for me this is a matter of making sure I start getting and keeping my house in order. That means not ignoring things until they cannot be ignored any more. And it feels wonderful to have handled it all without yelling at anyone for being incompetent.