Excellent Customer Service From Fidelity Investments

Because I am in China, I want my new credit card sent here. After 45 minutes arranging this, my credit-card company asked me one last security question: What were the last four digits of the bank account used to pay my most recent bill? I told them. They said my answer was wrong. Huh?

I pay my credit card bills through Fidelity Investments (which is not a bank). I contacted them. I was routed to their BillPay department. The person who helped me, whose name I wish I had written down, said that he was as puzzled as I was. It was not clear at all why my answer was wrong. He suggested a conference call. He started a conference call with my credit-card company. Within a few minutes, he and the credit-card company representative figured out that there was a mistake in the number listed by the credit-card company. Their software had lost the last digit of my account number, so that if my account number had ended in 12345, their records would have showed 1234. (Yet the payment still went through.)

I was greatly relieved. “At least the problem had a solution!” I told the credit-card-company representative. Imagine not being able to control one’s money because of a software error. I was/am grateful to the Fidelity representative for quickly solving a problem that had nothing to do with Fidelity.

You might think that such heavily-used software would by now be free of bugs. But it wasn’t.

6 Replies to “Excellent Customer Service From Fidelity Investments”

  1. My dad, who is a very good long term saver, told me that if you are serious about saving your money and investing (the right way, i.e. buy low cost index funds and hold), you either put your account with Vanguard or Fidelity. Everybody else is out to suck you dry with “management” fees.

  2. So was it the check digit that was the problem? I can see how software might either conclude that the ‘last digit’ was the last digit of the account number or the check digit they tack on the end. It suggests organizational incompetence if they can’t agree and standardize on these simple things.

  3. “You might think that such heavily-used software would by now be free of bugs. But it wasn’t.”

    Oh very sharp. You do intend it as an analogy, don’t you?

  4. You might think that such heavily-used software would by now be free of bugs. But it wasn’t.

    No, I wouldn’t think that. Not for nanosecond.

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