Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Double-fisted customer service fail

So a few days ago I bought something online, as I do frequently.  New vendor, same credit card I use all the time for online purchases.

The other night I get an email from the vendor.  My credit card has been declined and would I please give them a call to fix this.  The email politely explains that issues other than hitting my limit could be the problem and since I know the limit isn't the problem, I assume I typed in some of the info incorrectly.

Before I call the vendor, I look up my credit card online and see that the charge for this vendor is listed as a "Pending Transaction", along with a charge from Apple for some recent iTunes purchases.  So not only did I not type in incorrect credit card info, I've seen this status before so I don't worry about it so much as I wonder why the vendor got a declination notice.  I've had a lot of charges listed as "Pending Transaction", however this is the first time a vendor ever reported it to me as a declination.

So I call Capital One and ask why the vendor would have been told the charge was declined.  Unfortunately, what I got was a roundabout explanation that Capital One hadn't actually rejected the charge, but that the vendor somehow needed to respond with more information to justify it (????)

I told her it was legit but she kept insisting the next move was by the vendor.  At one point she suggested they cancel the first transaction and do it again.  My question to her was why this would make a difference, why would it go through this time when it didn't the first time.  In fact, that's what I kept asking her: Why was this transaction a problem, why was the vendor told it was declined, and most importantly, WHY WAS IT DECLINED???  I wanted to know and she couldn't or wouldn't tell me.  Even despite the fact that I was telling her it was a legit charge and I wanted it accepted and paid.  And I don't know if Capital One has outsourced their U.S. customer service overseas, but she had a heavy accent which made her difficult to understand to begin with and that only made her additional inability to give me a straight answer that much more aggravating.

In fact I was so aggravated that when she put the onus on the vendor yet again, I hung up on her in frustration.

Then I called the vendor.  Or rather, the obviously not the vendor company that is contracted by the vendor to handle payments but answer the phone as the vendor but are awkwardly and obviously not the vendor.  Okay fine, not going to tell you how to run your business.  But the billing company you outsourced your billing to should be able to tell me what declination reason they received.  And they couldn't.  And then they next morning they call back and inform me that the reason the charge was denied was because Capital One didn't authorize the transaction.  But they didn't say why.

All together now: WHAT. THE. FUCK???

So Capital One can't or won't tell me why they declined the charge, and the vendor can't or won't give me the specific reason they were declined, their sweetly worded email about how it could have been any number of reasons that don't include me being a big fat loser over my limit notwithstanding.  Both are telling me to call the other company.

So here I sit thinking, you know what?  Fuck both of you.  Vendor, if this is an example of your customer service maybe I'm better off without you and your product.  And Capital One, I guess you need to be replaced.  I've just added this to my to-do list.

Seriously companies, I'm trying to give both of you my money and my business.  How hard is it for you to embrace that?  Guess what - I'm done with both of you.

But just to cheer me up, I received an email from Capital One (or the company they contract with to conduct customer service surveys) this morning asking me to complete a survey about my recent experience with their customer service department.  Oh boy, are they going to get an earful.

In fact the only thing I don't know at this point is if I'll ever get the item I ordered in the first place.  I think it's kind of in limbo right now.  And at this point I just don't give a crap either way.

Updated 4/25/13: Apparently Capital One and the vendor worked things out - the product arrived yesterday.

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