Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Strange customer service interaction

A while ago, I started my own business--a copywriting and marketing consulting firm. I would still run it as a sideline, if the tiny start-up that I worked for didn't have very strict, very clear rules about this sort of thing.

The business had its own credit card -- an Amex Blue for Business Rewards card -- on which I had charged up quite a bit over the last few years of operations, but which now I felt that I should cancel.

I called up to close the account and was surprised to have all sorts of goodies thrown at me, among them cash rebates, 5,000 rewards points and a $25 credit (which surprised me -- $25? Seriously? Is $25 really going to make or break anyone?).

When I told the rep -- again and again -- that I really really wanted to close the account, he actually sounded angry. "I just don't understand why you would want a personal card for business spending," he said.

I felt like I was scraping off a clingy ex. Maybe that's why I bothered to stay on the phone for so long instead of just cutting the conversation short. I actually felt kind of bad for the guy.

But in the end, it went the way all things must, and I signed up for an Amex Cash card instead. 5% annual return versus a .7% annual return from my member rewards card. What business person wouldn't make the switch?

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