Posted on : 13-06-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Business, Customer Service
Tags: Customer Service, USAA
Those that have read my blog know my passion for excellent Customer Service. Most companies strive to provide good Customer Service but it does not always go as intended. This can be due to so many factors, including: policy, personnel, systems or believe it or not, the perception of the person calling. I have 2 major pet peeves when I call a company I deal with: overdoing security on the account and selling when not appropriate.
In the past I have mentioned companies I really look up to regarding service, like USAA and Vanguard Investments. I used to work for Vanguard, so I have heard calls that were not up to par, but we would coach the person immediately. My most recent calls to USAA have not been at the level I have been used to. As an example I logged into my accounts on Friday and I noticed pending charges that were not mine. I wanted to call immediately so they could take the necessary action. It was 7:30 in the morning, and I really needed to be out the door, but this would only take a few minutes so I called. I went through the phone system entering my member ID and pin number. I then get through to the agent. She asks me to verify name, address, credit limit, credit card number number on back of the card, and something else, but to be honest I lost track. She also asks me to set up a password, which I do. I explain that the authorization that were pending and the card is compromised. I am asked something like “are you sure you are not in Argentina.” The attempted transactions were at Cheap Tickets and a hotel in Argentina. Since I worked in the credit card industry I knew Cheap Tickets was a way to test credit card number validity used by many unscrupulous individuals because they do not check all aspects, such as the CID number. She verifies with me that I have the card, of course this is silly since she can check the transactions and see they are probably not swiped. At this point she begins the process then says she will need to transfer me. Before transferring me she begins to “sell” me on using the mobile web. Well at least she did not try to sell me on using the website since she knows that is what prompted the call. My issue with this is my reason for calling was not even fully cared for yet. Also if they tracked such things, they would know I have used the mobile website too. In fact my feedback for that is way too many clicks to get to information, but hey that is for a different time.
I am transferred (and I should say it was quick and so was getting to the original agent, no queue!) to the fraud department. He begins the conversation with verifying security on the account. I immediately asked if he knew this was done already. He explains that he has to make sure it is me because people sometime try to manipulate the system. I respond that USAA has gone down in their focus on the Customer. He then asks me for the password on the account. I immediately laugh and explain that was just placed on the account with the other representative. Of course this causes him to ask all the other information too. He then also asks to verify the work phone number. Of course I have no clue which number is there, so I rattle off old work numbers and cell numbers and offer to log into the website to look. Believe it or not, I actually understand the reason for security, especially when canceling a credit card number, which can create havoc. At the same time it is important to look at risk factors. I am not asking them to mail the new card to a different address and I am reporting common fraud transactions.
Oh well, I guess every company can have bad interactions at some point.