Concierge 'Epic Fails'

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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CarefulBuilder14
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Concierge 'Epic Fails'

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:52 pm

I am curious to hear about some of the worst experiences people have had with concierge services - requests that should have been easy that weren't completed, or ones that were somehow completely misunderstood. Stories about a service being unable to, say, get you restaurant reservations an hour before eating are welcome, but reservations for the right time at the wrong restaurant is more what I'm going for.

Bonus points if the services were through a card with a huge annual fee. :)

No stories for me to report - yet.
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Postby onion » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:54 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I am curious to hear about some of the worst experiences people have had with concierge services - requests that should have been easy that weren't completed, or ones that were somehow completely misunderstood. Stories about a service being unable to, say, get you restaurant reservations an hour before eating are welcome, but reservations for the right time at the wrong restaurant is more what I'm going for.

Bonus points if the services were through a card with a huge annual fee. :)

No stories for me to report - yet.


I tried to use my Barclaycard Arrival Plus concierge three times today.

First time - 5 minute hold time, gave up.

Second time - 10 minute hold time, then it started ringing as if it dialed someone's extension and it hung up.

Third time - 15 minute hold time, got frustrated and gave up.

Honestly, for a card that costs almost $100 a year, this is unacceptable. I didn't even call at peak hours. I should get my Platinum in the mail tomorrow, I sure hope the Platinum concierge is an improvement. I did give them a test call today because I really wanted to see how they compare to World Elite Concierge and there are so many menus that I gave up before even getting to where it would ask for my card number (which I didn't have yet anyways).
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Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:41 am

When I went to Vegas, I called the concierge and said can you help me with hookers, I would like two at the same time. They were like Sir we can't help you with illegal things. I said it's in Vegas, it's legal. What goes in Vegas stays in Vegas. No dice. Epic fail there.

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Postby thom02099 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:08 am

Concierge service may or may not actually be provided by the bank issuing the card. My guess is that, in many cases, the call is going to a major call center that has nothing to do with the issuing bank other than provide concierge service, or some other service.

As an example of what I'm talking about, Center Partners is a call center in this local area that was recently bought out by Qualfon, a leading provider of call center customer service. On their website, and at the former Center Partners call center, they currently have a job posting for "Concierge Customer Service Representative for prestigious bank card client" that pays $12/hour. My guess is, since they are not employed directly by this "prestigious bank card client" that they will more than likely be script readers.

When calling a concierge service, it would be an interesting question to ask if they are employed directly by the issuing bank, or via a 3rd party call center. I have no idea how many concierge services actually are bank card employees or 3rd party employees; my guess is probably more outsourced than actual bank employees.

As a 3rd party provider, my guess would also be that they don't have any sort of brand loyalty or real motivation to provide superior service as a representative of the issuing bank. Turnover is likely very high, and at $12/hour, that's not enough of a motivation to provide superior customer service.
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Postby onion » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:08 pm

thom02099 wrote:Concierge service may or may not actually be provided by the bank issuing the card. My guess is that, in many cases, the call is going to a major call center that has nothing to do with the issuing bank other than provide concierge service, or some other service.

As an example of what I'm talking about, Center Partners is a call center in this local area that was recently bought out by Qualfon, a leading provider of call center customer service. On their website, and at the former Center Partners call center, they currently have a job posting for "Concierge Customer Service Representative for prestigious bank card client" that pays $12/hour. My guess is, since they are not employed directly by this "prestigious bank card client" that they will more than likely be script readers.

When calling a concierge service, it would be an interesting question to ask if they are employed directly by the issuing bank, or via a 3rd party call center. I have no idea how many concierge services actually are bank card employees or 3rd party employees; my guess is probably more outsourced than actual bank employees.

As a 3rd party provider, my guess would also be that they don't have any sort of brand loyalty or real motivation to provide superior service as a representative of the issuing bank. Turnover is likely very high, and at $12/hour, that's not enough of a motivation to provide superior customer service.


Someone on Reddit did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) about his experiences working as a Platinum Concierge for AmEx, and stated that he got hired at $14/h and got a raise to $16/h, and this was a couple years ago. It was also verified that he indeed worked as a concierge.
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Bank of America Cash Rewards - $2,400

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American Express Blue Cash Everyday - $8,000

American Express Everyday - $10,000

Discover It Chrome - $500 (AU on fiancée's card, helping her build credit)

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Barclaycard Arrival+ - $3,000

Capital One Yamacard - $11,000

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Postby djrez4 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:31 pm

None of the banks provide their own concierge services.

Amex uses a company called Circles. Visa Signature uses a company called VIPdesk. Not sure who WEMC uses.
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:38 pm

MemberSince99 wrote:When I went to Vegas, I called the concierge and said can you help me with hookers, I would like two at the same time. They were like Sir we can't help you with illegal things. I said it's in Vegas, it's legal. What goes in Vegas stays in Vegas. No dice. Epic fail there.


Sort of like how you can't buy marijuana in Colorado with a credit card because it involves a federal or interstate payment system?
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Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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Postby kcm7 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:17 pm

So many fails, that I've pretty much given up with the WMC concierge service.

Couple recent examples:

(1) Was trying to help my mom find a cabin/motel/inn in that accepted pets in an area she wanted to visit. Figured I'd see if my WMC concierge was up to the challenge. They were not. After exchanging a few follow-up emails, they finally came back with, "We're sorry, but there are no accommodations in that area that meet your specifications of 'dog friendly'." I Googled "dog friendly accommodations in X" and the first two properties I found met my specifications. Called one of them and booked. Done in 5 minutes.

(2) Again with my WMC. Booking a complicated trip and figured I could put the concierge to work for the most simple part -- finding a hotel for under $150 a night for our first night. Asked them to find one near the city's major train station. Person on the phone promised to email me. And they did -- with a response saying, "We are sorry, but there are no accommodations that fit your specifications for the dates you requested." Again, Googled "hotels near X station." Tons of results for under $150 and several for under $100. Booked online. Done in about 15 minutes.

Lesson learned: If you want something done, do it yourself.
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Postby nismoZtuner » Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:34 pm

Does Concierge verify the customer? - Wonder if I can have someone troll-prank them
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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:41 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Sort of like how you can't buy marijuana in Colorado with a credit card because it involves a federal or interstate payment system?


There are other issues with that - it's tough to get a merchant account when no bank will give you an account.
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