When I added a comment to old colleague Sia Chong Yew’s website which posted about the habit of banks debiting the annual fee of a credit card and then waiving it after (irate? bemused? tired?) customer calls to complain, I didn’t expect I would have to go thru the charade so soon myself.
But that’s exactly what happened today. After I received my latest credit card statement from a bank whose name I’ve sworn not to mention again, I saw red initially on discovering that 2,400 loyalty $ had been deducted from my account besides adding $90 to my bill for the month, to cover the annual fee.
Then I sighed. Call the 1800-hotline lah, I told myself and request for a waiver. Get it over with! Why fight these people when I’m too lazy to take my business away once and for all.
Which i did straight away — call the bank, I mean, instead like in previous years, wait till the bill is due, and fume in the meantime.
The person who answered the phone was sacchrinely polite. The deducted points would be restored. The $90 would be removed and I needn’t pay that amount in the bill. Hurray!
When I asked, equally politely why have the annual charade, she first told me it’s because the system couldn’t track which card could enjoy waiver.
I thought that sounded patently nonsensical but locked that word in my mind while out of my mouth came a polite suggestion that she should tell her bosses to program their system to be capable of such tracking.
Then she told me that if I called the 1800-hotline three months be4 the fee is due, and ask for a waiver, it would be given.
When I sighed that means I’ve to do the tracking, she became more helpful. If you have a One Card (whatever that is), and “swiped” it 36 times during the year, you could get an auto fee waiver. Or if you have a Singtel Visa card and use it to pay your Singtel bills, there will be no fees for the card.
Which leaves me wondering what sort of a bottom of the drawer platinum credit card I’ve been issued with that every year I’ve got to go, cap in hand, to say: “Waiver, please!” Tsk, tsk!