Yesterday my car was repossessed.
My payment is due on the 17th, with a grace period of ten days like most. Working in customer support/service, I would expect a phone call or letter, something, within that time frame if there was an issue with my account. Yesterday, when I discovered my car gone, I checked online to see if my check had cleared the bank. It had not. I called Credit Acceptance to figure out exactly what was going on. But,, during this period of time, I never received a call or letter.
The representative started out friendly enough, but as soon as I asked if my car had been repossessed, I could immediately since a change in her voice. I was told, "Yes," due to failure of payment. I explained that the payment had been mailed (yes, I know that's a norm) and that it should have easily been received before the original payment date, definitely no later than the grace period. Long story with this call, but I was basically called a liar and was told that I would blame anyone else except myself, just because I couldn't make the payment (I did). I asked many times why I never received a call letting me know something was happening. I was told there were several calls to me (no there weren't and no VM either as I save them all) as well as letters (which I received today - 24 hours after my car was repossessed).
I did mail the payment. This morning when my bank first opened, I called to cancel the check and incurred an additional fee. But, before calling my bank I tried Credit Acceptance one more time. I explained, over, and over again, that the payment was mailed. The representative screamed at me; I was called a liar, told that I was not the controller of the call but that he controlled the call and I needed to be quiet and listen; and, that I should stop blaming everyone else and learn to blame myself for screwing up.
What? What kind of customer service is this?
It is appalling that a company would allow representatives to behave this way. I asked to speak with his Supervisor and was told that he was as high a person I was going to speak with and that no supervisor was available but I could have his supervisor's voice mail. I told him several times I wanted to speak with a person above him or someone else. At least five times I asked for a real person to speak with and he finally told me that he would transfer me - he transferred me to a voice mail and then I was hung up on.
So, after at least an hour of really thinking over the situation, I called back and finally got someone that was still very rude and cold, but at least answered my questions. I wanted to know what I needed to do to get my car back, what the fees would be, etc. I was told it would cost the monthly car payment, a late fee, and a $300 repossession fee. Again, time to really think.
And, while thinking, I checked my mail and there was a letter from Credit Acceptance - a day after my repossession and when I opened the letter up, my check fell out of the letter - the check I was told that I never sent and they never received. And, obviously in a rush of getting checks written or mail out I filled out the check completely but forgot to write out the dollar amount. It's got everything but that. What irritated me is that my phone number is on my check - could they not have called and said that this is the situation so that I could cancel the check right then and either make a web payment or over the phone - something.
No. There were no phone calls. No emails. No letters dated prior to 8/27/2010. Nothing offering a quick resolution to something that was unintentional. It is as if they set you up for failure. Another frustration - there was nothing noted on my account stating that the check had been received, but was unable to be processed. Nothing noting the situation that had really taken place. I understand that I made a stupid mistake by not writing out the dollar amount, but if a company receives documentation from a customer, it should be noted, regardless. This is the paper trail to keep both the company and consumer aware. And, knowing that this was the situation that happened, it's even more frustrating that my vehicle was repossessed.
Yes, I fully take responsibility that I didn't write out something, but repossession without the company reaching out - Come on! And the customer service was horrible. A customer representative is a company's first line of representation. The three people that I spoke with were clearly not representing their company well at all, and if Credit Acceptance condones the negativity and verbal abuse by their representative, then the company seriously needs to rethink their format and I completely understand all of the negative remarks against the company.
It's sad that decent representatives will get treated poorly because of the bitter taste in the mouth of a customer from their mistreatment from a Credit Acceptance representative or the company as a whole.
My suggestion - if you can possibly swing this, make your payments auto draft through the CA website. But, I'm sure that leads to crap as well.