It Pays to Discover (How to Ask for Grace)

Walmart Discover CardI got a call from an unknown number yesterday, twice. It was one of those calls where you immediately get a recording on the other end asking you to wait for your caller to pick up the phone. It’s one of the most annoying inventions ever created. I hung up the first time I got the call.

The second time, I waited. I waited until the recorded voice told me whoever I was waiting on to answer wasn’t going to answer. All this time I still didn’t have any idea what the call was about. The recorded voice said, “Good bye,” and I screamed in the phone, “Do not call this number again!” Silence. Then I heard a click. “Hello. Is this Mr. Hagler?” I confirmed that it was and found I had forgotten to pay my Walmart Discover bill last month. it was for $49.

Strange, a new bill just arrived in the mail today.

I told the live voice I was looking for my wallet, but I was really looking for the bill I had just that evening brought in from the mailbox. I opened the bill and sure enough, I had forgotten to pay. Also, as expected, there was a $20 late fee charged to my account. I was charged $20 for not paying $49 dollars, plus interest.

I made arrangements to pay the bill, this months charge included, and asked, “Is there any way I can have that $20 fee dropped?”

It was as if the woman on the other end of the call was waiting for me to say the magic words. “Yes! I’d be happy to do that for you Mr. Hagler. We value you as a customer and I see that you have never been late paying your bill before. I will remove that charge for you right away. Have a good evening.”

I was late paying the bill. Walmart Discover should have made me pay the $20, but they didn’t, and that’s the very definition of grace. I’m glad I asked.

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