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Lessons Learned from Confessions of a Chase Representative

I love the Consumerist’s Confessions articles and recently they had one from a Chase representative [3], which taught me quite a bit about the inner workings of a bank and credit card company. The Confessions articles are fantastic because you get actionable information from an insider willing to tell you how things really work. In this case, it’s a customer representative and they validate a lot of ideas people have had about how to work with them. Here are the lessons I’ve learned and distilled from the confessions article.

Be Civil

First off, you should be civil and courteous to anyone you ever deal with. There’s simply no reason to be a prick about anything, even if you are having the worst day of your life. Everyone you deal with is a human being and everyone, deep down inside, wouldn’t mind helping someone out if that person is being nice to them. No one likes being talked down to, insulted, berated, or any of the other things you’d be doing if you flipped out on them. So be civil, courteous, polite, nice, whatever, and you’re more likely to get the results you like.

Get To The Point

Stores are great for books and movies, they’re not good for resolving problems unless the solver needs them. Get to the point of your call ASAP and then let the representative ask pointed questions to dig down deeper. They know the root cause, let them ask questions to find the answer and you won’t waste both of your times giving useless information over the phone.

Three Strata of Credit Card Users

This was interesting and not unexpected, there are three strata of customers (Best, Valuable, and Non-Profit) and I’d guess that every financial institution as at least three categories. What you should take away from this is that you should try to be in the least valuable category (Non-Profit) and learn from the mistakes of the other categories. One interesting point to make is that they don’t consider spending patterns in the calculation (or the confessor just didn’t mention it) because even if you get 1% cash back, the credit card is still earning money on transaction fees. I also disagree with the idea that they won’t waive fees for Non-Profit customers, I’m pretty non-profit and I get fees waived.

Six Months Time Limit

Very valuable to learn, you can get fees waived about once every six months – especially if you’re nice. I would try to get them waived even if you do get hit more often than every six months and then I’d try to fix my behavior so I stop getting dinged all the freaking time.

Those are the things I learned reading that article, did you get anything else out of it?