Sunday, July 25, 2010

Discover Card is Slightly Less Crap Than Previously Indicated

You may remember a little
rant I posted to the blog a month ago. Long story short, we were having a problem with our Discover card. We had been told we could use our card in Thailand. It wasn't true. We were told we could use our card at Western Union. It wasn't true. We were told we could do cash advance transfers to checking. It sort of wasn't true (we hadn't made three "qualifying" payments).

Earlier this week Cale received an email from Dawn at Discover card. She had been made aware of our blog entry and wanted to apologize for the situation. Apparently, we could have accessed Emergency Cash while in Cambodia. However, in order to access this cash, we needed to know the secret code. Though we repeatedly told the customer service representatives we were in a foreign country and that we really wanted to get money from our Discover card, none of them seemed to know any way (well, any real way, they offered plenty of false ways) for us to use our card. According to Dawn, we needed to tell the customer service rep on the phone to transfer us to Global Traveler’s Assistance, From there that person would have been able to get us the Emergency Cash. Unfortunately, because we didn't know the code words (Global Traveler's Assistance) we weren't able to get our multiple customer service reps to transfer us to the people who could help us.

To Dawn's credit, from her email I get the impression that she was prepared at that time to do whatever it took to assist us. She did not know we were already back in the States by then (since we had told Discover we were going to be overseas from April to August), so she provided us with this information in the hopes that we would use it if necessary. She also credited $75 to our account for our troubles, which was appreciated. Furthermore, when we were back in the States Cale made a transfer from Discover to our bank account. After seeing this transfer and knowing that we were supposed to be overseas still, Discover put a hold on our account (though, now that I think about it, I don't think they notified us about this hold). When the card wouldn't work any more, Cale called them, told them we were back in America and that these were authorized transactions. I appreciate Discover cards quick action to prevent our card from being misused when they had reason to suspect that it was not us making the transactions.

So, long story short. Discover card could definitely do a better job in educating their customer service reps on what options are available to card users overseas, otherwise they are less crappy than previously indicated. Dawn, we appreciate your efforts on our behalf.

— Sara

1 comment:

Roderick Fitts said...

Your troubles with Western Union have been very informative for me.

I have a question: Does Western Union work with the Discover Miles card at all?

Or does Western Union really not work with Discover cards?

My girlfriend has tried to use it several times, but the transactions aren't going through. I just tried myself, and it doesn't work with my card, either.