During the previously mentioned check card fraud fiasco, I went into a process of unlinking the compromised checking account to online bill pays. Unfortunately I missed changing one of the bill pay, or rather I thought I changed it but didn’t. So when you try to pay a $1,500 credit card bill with an empty checking account, you get a big fat red number:

I really, really didn’t feel like paying for a $19 insufficient fund fee, even though its my fault. So I decided to email Bank of America and ask them to waive the fee. I kept the email as short as possible. I asked if they could waive the fee, that I believe it was my first instance of insufficient fund, explained to them the fraudulent charge issue, and asked politely again if they could waive the fee. Five points for Bank of America’s customer service with the fast reply (within 6 hours):

The $19 credit posted the next day without issue. Thanks Craig!

As mentioned before by Ramit Sethi from IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com, customer acquisition cost is pricey. This fact is even more evident today, as banks are now constantly offering account sign-up bonuses. So if something doesn’t go the way you want, just ask them to fix it! Most banks would rather keep you as a customer than squabble over a fee or two.

Welcome to the age of relationship marketing — where even though the customer isn’t always right, most companies will still try their best (pretending you’re right) to retain you as their customer.

A few years ago I would have just ignored the fee. Thanks to the many PF blogs out there that changed my mindset!