By: Revanche

February: It never hurts to ask

March 3, 2010

As always, every little bit counts! And as always, you’re welcome to share!  

From the readers

eemusings: I just called my phone/internet company to get a late fee waived (Post office effed up and didn’t process my payment till after the bill due date…), which I assumed I would get slapped with. But apparently it’s all gravy. Woohoo!

@Tabitha2cute: My son went on class field trip to the library and needed a replacement card. He couldn’t get one w/o an ID (which he didn’t have) so his teacher had to check books out for him. I went after school to the same library. Unhappily so–and it was visible on my face. I told the librarian what happened and that I wanted to purchase a replacement card. When I asked how much it was, he said he wanted me to leave much happier than I got there so he was waiving the fee. I then took my card out to pay the late fees.  When I asked how much they were, he said “you no longer have late fees.” I smiled and thanked him. I left MUCH happier.

Mike, our own Personal Finance Ninja: shared his own Step by Step Directions on How to Get a Bank Fee or Charge Waived

Personal victories

No sooner did Frugal Zeitgeist ask about our Stupid Tax payments did I discover where I’d gone awry.

Credit limit goof:  I’d switched out credit cards for regular use some time ago.  Well, I feel especially inept and dumb about this little screw-up. I knew this least-used card only had a $500 limit, as opposed to the $20K limit of my other Citi cards. BUT, since I wasn’t using the cards much and in the midst of dealing with one malady after the other, I completely forgot to call and request for a transfer of a credit limit from a retired card. Three swipes at the dentist and pharmacy later — $39 over credit limit fee.  Because I went $5 over.  AUGH.

The second I discovered the charge, I was on the phone. No love. Was cut off by the system twice after holding for 20 minutes. Sighed.  Resolved to take my lumps because really, that was my own stupidity in forgetting to call and forgetting to monitor the spending.

Tried again the next day. The very nice CSR noted that I’d had a medical issue, waived the fee, and requested a credit limit change which went through in two business days. Whew. I felt particularly idiotic after that gaffe.

6 Responses to “February: It never hurts to ask”

  1. 444 says:

    Good for you, that you asked, and that you revealed the truth: a medical issue. Sometimes there are human beings on the other end of the phone. You have to go to bat for yourself and you might get excused for making a human error now and then.

  2. How true. I constantly try to teach my kids, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

  3. eemusings says:

    Thanks for the love!

    I feel like I’m definitely getting the courage to just ASK more often, not just for things like getting fees waived, but in other areas of my life. You’ll never know otherwise, and the worst you can hear is no, right?

  4. Mike says:

    Thanks for including us as a Reader Win!

    I didn’t think readers would like the flow chart that much because it was kind of nerdy but the article has received a good reception so far.

    You have a wonderful story – I’ll be sticking around.

  5. I start by asking, but then I usually get angry (at the fact that I’m in whatever situation in the first place) and I end up never leaving with what I want. I have to be better about being patient, and asking politely.

  6. Revanche says:

    @444: I feel like a fool sometimes, but it IS nice that humans are on the other line. I’m always sure to thank them profusely for being pleasant, professional and helpful too.

    @Jersey Mom: It takes a while for that lesson to sink in, that’s why I run the series. I hope that seeing various stories helps people internalize that it’s ok to ask, as long as you’re polite.

    @eemusings: Absolutely! That’s precisely the effect I was hoping for.

    @Mike: You’re welcome! The flow chart was fun, but little cartoon ninjas are always fun.

    Glad to have you as a reader.

    @Investing Newbie: It’s definitely a work in progress. There are a few times that being angry (and discernibly so) works for you, but it’s rare. Maybe we should share scripts next time?

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