You called the 1-800 number on the back of the credit card to check the balance on your account. You have done it many times before today, so why are they transferring you to an account manager? I know that this has happened to many of you. What is even more irritating is that you now have to wait on the line for the next available account manager. Five, ten, fifteen minutes have gone by and you decided I will just hand up and call back. The cycle then begins all over again.
Why do the credit card companies do this when you have dealt with an automated machine before? Is it because they want to sell you something? The answer is quite simple, YES! Hanging up will not keep you from talking to the dreaded account manager/salesperson. So what can you do? Well there isn’t much that you can do. At least now you will know why you are being transferred though.
The most common reason that a person is transferred to the account manager is simply because you have outstanding debt outside the particular company. You can deny it, listen to the person, or just lie and say you paid it off. Unfortunately, the companies teach these account managers to be intrusive and sometimes it may seem like an interrogation. So now the account manager has asked you your name, account number, date of birth, last four digits of your social security number, and for your first born child. You finally can ask for your account balance. Fast and easy is all you should expect, right? Not quite.
The account manager now turns into a salesperson and starts throwing all these numbers at you. “I see you carry approximately $5,000 dollars worth of balances outside our company, what interest rates do you pay on those balances?” You either want to talk about this because you have played this game before, or you really don’t want to talk about it because its nobodies business! Regardless, they will ask. This is what they are trained to do. Why is it you ask? Well it is simple, they want your money.
The company believes that if you carry this balance elsewhere, they can entice you to transfer that balance at a low promotional rate to their company where you can pay it down easier. What they are “banking” on is that you won’t pay it off. This way they can start making higher interest off of you. If you take advantage and pay the balances off or transfer them to another card before you lose the promotion, they track you. Once you have done this a few times, they will no longer offer these low rates on your account because they have now lost too much money to you because you have figured out the game. Of course the sales don’t stop here.
Once they have either sold you on the promotional rates, they want you to take a product. The account manager has a screen that tells them several different “products” to offer you and is suppose to use the clues they heard during the phone conversation. “Are you worried you may lose your job?” or “Do you have your own business or business expenses?” or “Are you looking to refinance your home?” may be several questions you have heard on these calls. These may help you or not, it is up to you to decide.
Finally, I will let you in on one secret next time you are faced with this situation. First, be nice to the person on the phone. They are monitored and must ask these questions, it is their job. The more politely I was spoken to by a account holder, the easier it made my job. I waved fees though company policy said I shouldn’t, based on the way the person spoke to me on the phone. I figured out ways to reverse default rates and saved people tons of interest just because they understood I did not cause this to happen. So next time you get transferred, take the time to be polite, and ask for contract rates while your at it!