This morning I woke from a bizarre dream that seemed so real. In my dream, my husband Darryl and I went to go play miniature golf. I was given a pink ball, but the outer coating of the golf ball was peeling away rendering the ball unusable. When I asked for another ball, the woman at the counter gave me a telephone number and told me I had to call this number to get another one.
Reluctantly, I called the number, only to have someone answer the phone, “Hello Zappos– How may I help you?” Obviously I was taken aback, but explained the situation. The woman at Zappos was very helpful, telling me that even though they don’t sell golf balls, she’s happy to find a pink one and FedEx it to me for use the next day. I thanked her, rescheduled our game and promptly woke up. (I know, very strange. I imagine Freud would have fun with this!)
Although it was just a dream, I woke extremely impressed by the level of customer service on which Zappos has built their entire company. To me, Zappos and Virgin Group share the rank as the ultimate in customer service. (I’m not getting paid for this endorsement- but LOVE both of these companies!) If only the world were full of companies that understand customer service like Virgin and Zappos do….
And just how we have to reward the companies who do things right, I want to blog today about a most UNinspiring one as well- CitiBank.
I canceled my CitiBank credit card this morning. After years of banking with them, I received a letter yesterday telling me that my interest rate was being increased from 13.24% to 29.99% APR!
That’s a whopping 226% increase in my rate!
I called CitiBank this morning and was told by Cheryl, my operator, that 100% of her calls lately are from irate customers who’ve received the same letter. She explained that it’s an “across the board decision that affects hundreds of thousands of customers”.
I use this card primarily for business and it won’t be a problem for me, but what about the other folks that can’t pay it off or don’t have another card? Does CitiBank care how they’re affecting real people?
To add insult to injury, as I was on hold waiting for a representative to pick up the call, I was listening to a nice CitiBank ad- encouraging people to “transfer your balance from your ‘high rate’ cards, to one of CitiBanks’ low rate’ cards”. Not only is this dumping salt in the wound, but CitiBank, just what do you call “high rates” if not 29.99% APR? (Are those rates even legal??)
CitiBank recently announced that if you don’t use your card, don’t carry a balance and don’t spend more than $750/month on the card that rates would increase. I’ve never been delinquent, carry a balance and use the card for more than $1k/month so I thought I would be spared. I was wrong. This credit crunch is affecting everyone.
I voiced my outrage at their 226% increase in my rate. When I told the operator “I can’t believe you’re increasing the rate to 30%”, she was quick to point out that it’s actually only going up to 29.99%, not 30%. Ah, sigh of relief- it’s not as bad as I thought. 🙂
CitiBank, I have canceled my card with you. If a credit card company can’t be there for us when we need them, what’s the point in being there at all? Because of your blatant disregard for your loyal customers, you have lost one, for good.
So Zappos and Virgin… here’s the opportunity. Please open a credit card company that provides quality customer service. I’ll switch all of my remaining accounts right now. The need is great and you have the ability to shake up this industry!
To our loyal readers, I invite you to share your stories of companies doing good things in the world. Do you know a great credit card company that provides amazing customer service? After all, every day we “vote” for which companies succeed and which ones fail- with our dollars. I’d rather support the good ones and weed out the bad ones. Goodbye CitiBank. hello inspired companies!
Let’s find a way to welcome a world of Virgin and Zappos type companies where customer service is the foundation of the business. That’s an inspired world that I’m willing to invest in any day!
Your comments are welcomed and appreciated.