I almost never lose my temper with customer service reps, and it usually gets me what I want or at the very least closer to my goal.  Whether we are talking about the cable company, cell phone companies, and most financial/credit card companies – I usually get what I want.

Before I get the comments about how stupid my actions were today (described below) – I am well aware that part of my credit score is made up of my debt to credit available.  But for those who aren’t obsessed with this world, there are some great articles by HUGE personal Finance Bloggers like My Money Blog and The Simple and Dollar who have delved deep into this world, but the main points can be found on How Stuff Works,

  • 35 percent of the score is based on your payment history. This makes sense since one of the primary reasons a lender wants to see the score is to find out if (and how promptly) you pay your bills. The score is affected by how many bills have been paid late, how many were sent out for collection and any bankruptcies. When these things happened also comes into play. The more recent, the worse it will be for your overall score.
  • 30 percent of the score is based on outstanding debt. How much do you owe on car or home loans? How many credit cards do you have that are at their credit limits? The more cards you have at their limits, the lower your score will be. The rule of thumb is to keep your card balances at 25 percent or less of their limits.
  • 15 percent of the score is based on the length of time you’ve had credit. The longer you’ve had established credit, the better it is for your overall credit score. Why? Because more information about your past payment history gives a more accurate prediction of your future actions.
  • 10 percent of the score is based on new credit. Opening new credit accounts will negatively affect your score for a short time. This category also penalizes hard inquiries on your credit in the past year. Hard inquiries are those you’ve given lenders permission for, as opposed to soft inquiries, which include looking at your own score and have no effect on the score. However, the score interprets several hard inquiries within a short amount of time as one to account for the way people shop around for the best deals on a loan.
  • 10 percent of the score is based on the types of credit you currently have. It will help your score to show that you have had experience with several different kinds of credit accounts, such as revolving credit accounts and installment loans.

With all that being said here is what I did yesterday.  I went to update my debt snowball (which has been put off because I got annoyed) and found a $50/annual fee on one of the cards that is set at 1% which had $1,500 on it with a credit limit of $5,000 that I had for a couple years and never missed a payment (so a GREAT card according to the above criteria).

I couldn’t fathom paying a $50 yearly fee on a card I didn’t use and wasn’t getting points on (since The Wife and I stopped using CCs).  So I first contacted a Rep via LiveChat, and then at the same time contacted them on the phone since I wasn’t happy.

In the end I canceled the card to avoid the $50 charge…did I cut my nose off to spite my face? Probably but sometimes you have to say “screw the establishment.”  I really lost my temper, below is a part of the actual transcript from the conversation,

you: i’d rather shut down my account today
you: then pay a fee
Mel: I’m sorry to hear that’s how you feel. Would you like help with anything else?
Mel: Unfortunately, due to the elapsed time since we received your last message, we are exiting the chat session. If you wish to chat with a Bank of America associate again, please click “Chat Online Now.” Thank you.
you: how I feel? wow you are idiot already got refunded
you: on the phone
you: and shut the account
you: way to go
Mel: We understand situations like the one you are experiencing can cause a great deal of frustration and anxiety. We are more than willing to assist you with reaching an appropriate resolution. However, we are going to have to ask you to please refrain from engaging in such inappropriate behavior. If you do not refrain from engaging in such inappropriate behavior we will be forced to terminate this Live Chat session.
you: terminate away
you: bye
Mel: We can definitely understand the frustration you are experiencing. We have asked you to please refrain from utilizing such vulgar and inappropriate language. You have chosen not to refrain from using vulgar and inappropriate language. Therefore, this Live Chat session will now be closed

It was at the point where there was a delay that I called Bank of America.  Am I happy to see any company go down the drain? You betcha! Bank of America (BAC) is down 85% for the past year, 63% YTD, 77% 3 months, and 28% for the day (Jan. 20, 2009).

Anyone else have a similar story about cutting off their nose to spite their face? Did it make you feel better or worse?  Was I being an idiot?

It should be noted that I do not have to pay off the $1,500 at once, I just can’t use the card to purchase – which I wasn’t anyway!