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Why You Should Skip Toll-Free Support Numbers

Gary North

Feb. 11, 2012

This tip does not come from me. It comes from a subscriber. (This is a big advantage of having a lot of subscribers.)

"On the back of major credit cards is a customer service number that is toll free, usually 1-800-etc. This number most likely reaches a call center located in the Philippines (or elsewhere not in the US,) staffed by agents with American accents (the "supervisors" are almost always speak an unintelligible patois.) Any problems such as errant late fees, or other problems with charges are routinely denied when a credit is requested -- I suspect that their metrics are based on how many "refusals" they get to stick.

"What is not commonly known is that also on the back of your card is a conventional phone number, not toll free, that is touted to be the "international call collect" number. This number rings in to a US-based customer service center where the agents and supervisors are much more likely to be reasonable and have the latitude to reverse fees and give credits when due.

"In this day where cell phones can call across the US without long distance charges, calling the local number may be of more benefit to persons with credit card problems when a long-term customer may still have some clout to get the issue resolved in their favor."

This makes sense to me. Phone calls are cheap.

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