So I just got off the phone with American Express and got my Blue converted to the Blue Cash.  Although I was routed to an oversea call center, the total call time including wait time was a relatively short 6 minutes and 23 seconds.  Not too shabby.

After the painless customer service call center experience, I realized that the experience I just received was rather rare and uncommon.  Most calls to custom service call centers are plagued with incredibly long wait time with a mix of service reps who can’t help, won’t escalate your problem, or can’t resolve the issue you’re calling about within one phone call.

Here are three financial companies that I don’t dread calling:

1. American Express

I’m not sure if I’m just lucky or if American Express customer service personnel are just a cut above the rest, but I’ve consistently received top notch service from each of the time I called American Express.  In fact, just two years ago when my friends and I went to Hawaii and had questions regarding the car rental collision service coverage benefits, a friendly rep spent the lengthy time on the phone with us, going through the card benefit and breaking down the pros and cons for us.

This isn’t to say that American Express is a perfect company, as with any such large corporation, I’m quite sure there was instances where customers have received bad customer service, but overall I’ve received great service and thus American Express easily made this short list.

2. TradeKing

TradeKing, the discount broker that consistently received high marks for customer service and satisfaction, is one of the company I’d have no trouble calling.  Whether its the online chat service or a call to their customer service line (1-877-495-5464), TradeKing was always available to provide me with friendly and timely customer service.  This probably reads like a gigantic corny customer service testimonial, but it honestly is nice to be able to not dread calling a customer service phone line.

3. ING Direct

From the first time I forgot my customer login number to the few times I’ve had trouble with my account, ING Direct phone reps were always able to help me.  This is a reason why I continue to have my account and a relationship with the online bank, despite the fact that their savings APY rate is not as competitive to their competitors.  When it comes to high-yield savings account, I’d always refer first-timers to ING Direct, as their speedy service and transfer makes ING Direct an ideal recommendation for online banking novices.

Got other companies (even non-financial ones) that you don’t dread calling?  Got ones that you hate to the very bone of your being?  I personally hate calling T-Mobile and Time Warner.  Feel free to praise or rant with me.