Poor Customer Service Case Study – Macy’s

Here’s a great example of what not to do if you are a business…

A few years ago, Macy’s converted my store credit card (which was probably a Visa or MasterCard) into an American Express card. I didn’t ask for this, they just did it. I of course could have cancelled the account at that time, but figure this was harmless.

When they converted the account, they fraudulently added “credit card protection” to my account. I’m not an idiot. No sane person would every authorize such a ridiculous thing.

I noticed a small charge on my account after I made a purchase. The charge was $3.34.

I called customer service and explained that I had not authorized this and politely requested that the charge be reversed.

Here’s where it gets interesting. In a normal case, if there’s a fraudulent charge, the credit card company will dispute it for you. But this charge was by a company that Macy’s is affiliated with. So, the rep said she would not reverse the charge and that I didn’t have all the facts.  After reiterating that I did not authorize this charge, she said that I didn’t have all the information and there’s proof I authorized the charge.

I’m sure there is no proof folks. How do I know this? Because I never authorized the service – Macy’s did when they converted the account over.

So, I said, “I will cancel my account if you don’t reverse the charge.” She did not, and I cancelled the account.

How stupid is Macy’s? They lost a customer over their mistake, and their mistake was only $3.34.

My only choice was to cancel on sheer principle alone.

Lesson: listen to your customers. Especially your good customers, with a good customer history who are reasonable people.

Lesson 2: Don’t offer products that are built upon false information or scams. No one needs “credit protection service”. If I told you that for 1% of your bank balance every month, I would ensure that your money was safe, would you pay that? No, you are not an idiot. But Macy’s thinks we all must be idiots.

Here’s the real twist. I called the credit protection vendor and had the charge reversed. They admitted on the phone that it was a mistake.

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