Ask nice, ask twice: Credit card companies still waiving fees

Even though things are getting hairy out there for credit card companies, if you are generally a good consumer you still have a little wiggle room.

I found this out last week when I noticed that I logged into Wesabe and saw that I had a late fee assessed to one of my credit cards; not just any credit card but the one that holds the entirety of my credit card debt, the one with that hard to get these days 0% interest rate! After calming down and realizing that it was indeed my fault, I switched the due dates with another card from the same company making me early for one and late for another, I set out to fix the problem.

Since I hate waiting on hold, I went to my account and fired off a secure message to my credit card company.
I just saw that I had a late fee on my account. Apparently I had confused the due date of this account with my other account which is due on the 5th.

As I am a good customer on both of my accounts could you please remove the late fee from my account as a one-time courtesy? When you do this please ensure that my interest rates do not suffer for this one time lapse.

I had tried to move the due date when I signed up but unfortunately I was told that it would be several months before that was an option.

Thank you for fixing this problem.
It took a minute of my time, and thanks to the numerous how-to guides, I knew just what buttons to push to get my money back.

When you write your letter or make your phone call make sure you give the customer service rep a reason to refund your fee, that you're a good customer, and thank them for solving or fixing your problem right away. By phrasing your thanks in this manner you'll gain a psychological edge in convincing them to actually fix it.

Two days later I heard back with good news that my interest rate would not go up but that there was no way they could refund the $39 late fee. Undeterred and still concerned about my promotional balance transfer rate I replied, hoping for a new CSR and a better answer.

<redacted>, Thanks for the response. Are you sure there is no way to waive the late fee? It was only 3 days late and it would go a long way toward keeping me at <redacted>.

Thank you for reinstating my APR. Can you confirm that my balance transfer promotional rate is still at 0% for the rest of the promotion?

Thanks,
Josh

In just a few hours I heard back from a new CSR and learned that not only was my late fee being refunded but that my 0% balance interest rate was alive and well for another six months!

Sometimes if you want something bad enough, in this case $39, you just have to keep asking until you get the answer you want to hear. This is a tactic I've long employed when dealing with Verizon Wireless and its on again off again promotional offers, and it works well with credit card companies too.

Aside from my refund I learned about a cool new service from my credit card company that lets me auto-pay my minimum every month so that I am never late. I can't tell you how happy I was to find this service since I seem to always remember to pay my credit card in the afternoon of its due date. Now I can log in and make my debt reduction payment at my convenience rather than around an arbitrary due date. Huzzah!

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