Wednesday, September 02, 2009

My email to Old Navy

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in concern to the service I receiving calling the Old Navy card customer service line. I understand that they are technically a separate organization run by GE Money, but they are still representing your company and doing a great disservice to you.

I have a busy and ever-changing schedule and I missed a payment on my card. This has happened very few times in the last several years that I have had this store card. I usually pay off my balance in full as soon as I get the notice that it has posted to my account.
On Monday, August 31 at 10:48am, I got a call from a number I did not recognize. The woman on the phone at first did not identify herself, but I was able to discern soon enough that this was a collections call from Old Navy. I apologized for losing track of my payments, I don't use it so often that I know to check my statement every month and that sometimes I get email reminders and sometimes I don't- an issue I later found is tied to using or the Old Navy site- as an aside, is not nearly as easy to use as the Old Navy website but they are the only ones that send the reminder emails. I informed her that I would be paying the balance as soon as I got home from work. She was very demanding of my debit card number or my bank information, which I told her I was not comfortable giving over the phone. She was also very demanding of my work phone number and my home phone number, both of which I declined to tell her because I am not in my office during regular business hours (I teach college so my office hours are scattered throughout the week) and my home phone has no answering machine. She continued to press for these phone numbers after I repeatedly told her that I was not going to share them with her. The same thing with the debit/bank account information. We ended the phone call tersely and I immediately placed my payment, paying the balance in full, as soon as we hung up. I have been informed that it is illegal for collections people to ask for a person's work number, because they are not allowed to harass customers in their place of business.

Yesterday, about 3pm I went into the Old Navy store in the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, TN. I did my "stuff and save" shopping and went to check out. My card was declined.
The sales person with whom I dealt, Drew, was amazing. He was very kind and did all he could to make the transaction work, and although he could not give me the 20% discount, he let me have the free bag and told me to come back after the card issue was resolved and he would see if he could retro the discount.

On my way out, I called the card service line about 3:45pm or so. I asked why my account was frozen. The woman I spoke to was polite until she saw that my account was delinquent. Then her demeanor changed. She was very disdainful to me and gave me a great deal of attitude, asking "When you don't pay your bill, what did you think would happen?"
I told her that I had paid my bill the previous morning and gotten a confirmation that Old Navy had received it. She scoffed at me and said that it took up to 48 hours for the payment to post from the back and that I would not be able to use my card again until then. I also told her that I had never been told that my account had been frozen.
There was not a point in this conversation from this point that this woman was kind or polite. She was barely civil and her attitude was incredibly nasty, I could tell with every word exactly what she thought of me and it was highly upsetting.
I ended the phone call, very upset. In the previous two days my contact with customer service people representing your company has been terrible.
And as I have said many times this week, I understand the company's position. The economy is tough, you need to make sure you get paid and that is totally fair. I messed up, I completely forgot about the purchases I had made at the end of June, I apologized and paid the bill immediately after I was notified that I was still outstanding. I did get an email about that late last week, but was waiting on Monday's paycheck to be sure I could pay the balance off in full.
But to be treated with such contempt is ridiculous, especially after I paid the bill in full. But to be treated with such scorn to begin with is just jaw-dropping. Had the positions been reversed, either of those customer service people would have been as angry as I am to be treated in such a manner.
At 4pm exactly, I called the card customer service line again to complain about my treatment. The gentleman who answered that call was kind and apologetic. He assured me that he would bring this up with the floor supervisor/manager but I haven't heard anything in reply from them, so, in light of my previous encounters, I highly doubt anything will be done about this issue.

I have loved Old Navy for 15 years, shopping there since 1994. 75% percent of my wardrobe is Old Navy clothes and at least 25% of my jewelry and accessories come from your store. I have had great service in all the stores I have ever visited, but if this is the kind of treatment I can expect to receive from the parent company, I would rather take my money elsewhere. I am at the very least going to stop using the Old Navy store card. It is paid off and it will remain unused from this point forward. I am still considering my further patronage of your company.

I am not sure what can be done about this from your side but I wanted you to be aware that your card services people are running off your customers.

~Sara Harvey

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