Feel My Wrath

March 31, 2010 at 11:35 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

I am not a happy camper.  I had big plans for today’s post, as I’ve found another writing job that I’m more than a bit excited about.  It’s a non-paying gig but it should be fun anyway.  I also found out something incredibly interesting (to me) about a famous ancestor of mine.  I was looking forward to getting on here and talking all about it, but it’s going to have to wait.

Because I’m pissed.

I’ve been dealing with ignorant, incompetent people all morning.  This is no different from many other mornings, however today all of these people worked for the same company – Sallie Mae.  Last Friday, I made my regular monthly student loan payment to this institution.  I made the payment online, like I’ve been doing for years.  However, I accidentally wrote an incorrect account number for the online check.  As soon as I hit ‘submit’ I realized my error, and I immediately called customer service.  After waiting for a while and being redirected numerous times (shocker), I was finally placed on the line with some guy.  I foolishly didn’t get his name (though I doubt it would’ve helped things even if I had) but you can bet that I’ll be getting the names of everyone I talk to within that company from here on out.

Anyway, Customer Service Guy said that it was an easy fix.  He told me that he would cancel the payment and all I would need to do would be to resubmit it later that day.  So I placed my trust in this anonymous guy in India and went ahead and made another payment.

Bet you can see where this is going.

Yup, they charged me twice.  I found this out this morning, when I happened to overdraw my account.  Can I tell you how happy that made me?  I’m fairly responsible financially and I can’t even remember the last time I’ve come close to overdrawing.  In addition to the money that was automatically transferred from my savings account to cover my ass, I was also charged a $10 overdraft protection fee.  Awesome.  So I called customer service back again this morning, and this is where my rage comes in.

First off, I’d like to say how utterly annoying it is to have to sit and listen to a recording ask for my social security number, name, account number, date of birth and reason for calling.  I wouldn’t mind giving that all out if it meant I wouldn’t have to do it when an actual person finally picked up, but that’s not the case.  In the 30 minutes I sat on hold, the recording also mentioned that my records showed another recent call I’d made to customer service.  The recording wanted to know if this call was in relation to the first one, and I said it was.  Eventually, I was placed on the line with a human being, who, after listening to my 30 second summary of my problem, put me right back on hold.  After another 10 minutes, I was finally speaking to someone in the billing department.

This woman (Amy – I started with the name writing though it’s pretty much pointless) made it sound like I could try to contest the charges by sending in a bank statement and waiting about a week.  Once she realized that this whole thing was a result of a coworker giving me wrong information and me following it, she changed her story.  She then said that I would have to go through my debit card company to get the charge removed and even then it wouldn’t likely happen.  I asked for her supervisor, and was redirected to Ash (who was probably another cubicle rat that just plays the role of supervisor for shits and giggles).  Ash told me that there was absolutely no record of any conversation between myself and a Sallie Mae employee on March 26th, and that since I had submitted the payments it was my fault and I would have to deal with it.  Enter anger.

A couple of things about this entire situation that don’t make any sense: 1) How did that first payment go through, when the account number was invalid?  I guess that’s a mystery of the universe.  2) How did the damned recording know I had spoken to someone recently if no records exist?  3) Who did I actually speak to on Friday – was it a ghost of some representative who died a slow death while trying to get through the red tape of Sallie Mae policies?

The world may never know.  I do know, however, that everyone I spoke to was unable to help me.  It’s especially frustrating because I’ve never missed a loan payment and frequently pay more than the minimum amount.  I’m a good customer and have never given them any problems, until today.  I had a few choice words for the woman named Ash (if that is her real name) before I finally gave up.  Sometimes you rule the world, and other times the world rules you.

I did send a not-so-friendly email to the customer service department.  In it, I mentioned that I doubted any living person would ever actually read it, but I felt it had to be written nonetheless.  I basically rehashed the situation and expressed my disgust and contempt over the fact that I got screwed financially because I followed their directions.  I’m no Rockefeller, and this double payment makes things difficult. While I don’t have to resort to turning tricks (yet) it’s not exactly roses and rainbows in my bank account.  I concluded my email by saying that I’m sure the people who answer the phones for Sallie Mae have bits and pieces of their souls sucked out of them on a constant basis, and I do empathize.  I know it’s no one persons fault (well, besides the original Customer Service Guy) but that doesn’t make it any easier to bend over and let them insert their foot up my ass.

In conclusion, all student loans suck.  They suck even more when the company you’re paying to is run by a group of people who could be stationed on Pluto, for the amount of help they can offer.  Does anyone else have similar horror stories or is this the type of thing that only happens to me?

Also – if you made it this far I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this whole rant.  I feel better, and promise tomorrow’s post will take on a slightly perkier tone.

1 Comment

  1. 2ordinary said,

    Ahhh that stinks. I hope you shook your fist at them. But, looking forward to hearing more about this celebrity ancestor!

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