Have you seen the Discover Card commercial where the guy misses a payment, calls the credit card company and whines, “This is bad, isn’t it?”
But the rep tells him “we’re good” since he’s never been late and has Discover’s new “itâ€ card – and the company won’t charge him a fee or hike up his APR.
Yeah, that happened to me. Really.
And I have the same old Discover card I’ve used for years, not the newfangled one.
My husband and I arrived home from vacation on New Year’s Day, the day before our Discover payment was due. I meant to make a payment before I left, but between Christmas craziness and readying for vacation, I didn’t get around to it.
Plus, the card was paid off prior to November, when we charged our flights and then a bunch of Christmas gifts for the cash-back bonus.
But thanks to the food poisoning we both came down with at various points on New Year’s Eve, our homecoming wasn’t nearly as organized as I’d planned.
I finally logged onto Discover’s website on Jan. 2, the due date, at about 4:55 p.m., in case our payment was due before 5 p.m.
And it was. Only Eastern time, and I live in the Central time zone.
Actually, I might have used stronger language than that.
Less than a week later, an email from Discover Card landed in my inbox, informing me that I had a message waiting at Discover.com.
I had a feeling the news wasn’t good before I logged on – and, sure enough, that 45-minute late payment had triggered the default annual percentage rate on my account.
Drats times two.
OK, this time I definitely used stronger language.
I took a few deep breaths, called Discover and gave the the customer service representative our string of legitimate excuses. I was even ready to fax the doctor’s order from the farmacia my husband visited.
But, I kid you not, in just two minutes, the rep had canceled the APR hike and refunded the late charge of $25.
And she was nice. Really nice.
I honestly think she felt bad about the food poisoning, even though the excuse wasn’t necessary. My good payment history was all I needed.
To think I was about put my Discover card through the shredder. Instead it’s back in my wallet. In the front.
The lesson here: It doesn’t hurt to ask to have a fee reversed, particularly if you regularly pay your bill on time. Your credit card company (it doesn’t have to be Discover) isn’t required to drop the charge, but asking nicely can help.