Well, there's good news on the America Online front. Oh, not from AOL, but from Wells Fargo Bank.
Having given up on the fax, Mom waited a few extra days to see if the letter would be delivered. When it wasn't, she decided to go for the jugular: the credit card. In a matter of minutes, it was put to rest.
The Wells Fargo customer service representative was patient and a good listener. She asked Mom when the first call was made to AOL, when subsequent calls were made and, most importantly, what AOL did.
I imagine credit card companies get these kinds of calls all the time from cranky customers — and I imagine many of the calls are received with little support and enthusiasm. Being in customer service, I have heard some great stories myself. If this woman has been on the job longer than a week, she's heard some doozies: sad stories of people who don't want to pay and will make up any story to get out of it. She also knows when a story rings true, as Mom's did.
This attentive rep was indignant on Mom's behalf. "The first customer service rep wouldn't take the death certificate? Oh, that's unacceptable," she exclaimed. "And when was that call?"
"May," Mom said, "and I spent an hour and a half trying to figure out the passwords."
"Well, that's when the payments stop," she explained. "We will credit your account for those months, and we will write them a letter telling them that. And the next payment — well, you won't have another payment."
My call from Mom came literally minutes after she decided to call the card company. "Chrissy, it's done. Can you believe it?"
That is customer service, and that is how I expect my mom to be treated.
Take that, AOL!