Sometimes Begging Works For Fees

in Bank, Bank Fees, Case Study


I have talked previously about if you have a good track record with a service company they may be willing to wave certain charges should they arise, and yet another example arose this past week.

One of my daughter’s tuition bill showed up and had to be paid, by a certain date, so I had set up a scheduled payment on line, to only pay on the day the bill was due. I thought I had set it up the way I had every time previously except I made one mistake, and chose the wrong account the payment was to be withdrawn from, and then hilarity ensued.

I checked on line and saw the payment go out of the account, come back and then a $42.50 NSF Bill Payment charge on my account was thrown on top of this. Needless to say I was concerned, because not only was I out a large penalty, my daughter’s tuition was not paid on time either (and I was afraid I might get a late fee penalty from the school as well).

After a period of time where I calmed down, because initially I was mad and upset, and that is never the time to call a service agency, you should always calm down, figure out how you want to deal with them and have a plan on how this might happen. The first thing I did was pay my daughter’s tuition (late) from the correct account, that solved the first issue, which was payment of the bill (I am still trying to figure out what penalties (if any) the school may inflict upon me).

If you remember I learned in the bank ate my bill payment that it is possible to throw yourself on the mercy of your bank and ask for a penalty fee to be refunded, so maybe that magic can be done for an overdraft fee (or is that idiot fee)? I decided the worst response I could get was No, and I was already at that point so I called up my bank.

My modus operandi was simple, be very self-depricating (call myself an idiot and repeat that I know it is my own stupid mistake) and see if the nice person on the phone feels like refunding me the money. Sure enough I spoke to a nice young man (who didn’t sound like he was from Quebec or Alberta) and explained what I had done, asked a few questions about whether the University would see a Payment and then a Reversal, which the young man didn’t really answer, but I thanked him any how for his response. Finally I got around to the NSF Bill Payment charge and asked might it be possible to waive that fee given I am a good Bank Customer.

The young man on the line looked around at my account and then went off to talk to his supervisor (he may have just gone to the bathroom, I don’t know) came back and said that he could in fact refund that fee for me, so now all I have left to worry about is if the University hits me for any late fees or the like (and trust me I will call them about waiving that fee as well).

Just remember the answer is always No unless you ask and this is true again with NSF fees and your bank.

{ 3 comments }

  • nancy (aka moneycoach) August 29, 2011, 4:09 PM

    A friend of a friend taught me this mantra: Let *them* say no. In other words, don’t do their No for them. Since then, I ask a lot. Sometimes I feel self-conscious and sometimes I get a nasty answer (in which case I don’t do any more business – No is one thing; nasty is another) but the majority of the time I’ve been pleasantly surprised. This includes big corporations like Bell and banks, who I usually associate with “no” but who in fact gave great service and a $ break.

    Reply
  • krantcents August 29, 2011, 9:35 AM

    In most cases, banks will reverse fees unless you have a history of incurring the fees. It is just a matter of asking for the reversal.

    Reply

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