After mentally rehearsing how I wanted to frame the conversation, I dialed the 1-800 number with determination.
I had a $18 balance on the credit card of a retail store. They had slapped a $15 late fee for making my payment two days late. While I had already made the payment and as much as I accept that some late fee was in order, this figure seemed outrageous. How could I let it go without a fight? If not anything, I had to express my displeasure.
With all this frustration bottled up, I waited for the “next available customer service agent”. As soon as I heard a human voice, I explained the situation as is, and asked him if the late fee could be waived. And guess what? No arguments, no back and forth explanation. Just a polite, “Let me handle that for you today. Your $15 fee has been waived and your new balance is… kindly make your payment on time the next time, which is due mid of next month.” I had to pinch myself to make sure that this was real and that all it took was a 10-minute call to get back my $15.
Da told me he is not surprised and that this is more common than what I think. I did some digging and turns out he is spot on. Check this article out, the story is not very different from mine.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, remember to just ask!