Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Caesars Rewards Credit Card Ordeal (Conclusion)

Part 2: We Cancelled Your Card Per Your Request

Part 1 is here, and we pick up right where that one left off.

I was about to give up but I saw the engagement ring guy talking to the guard (it was a different guard than earlier).  BTW, in the course of this ordeal, I found out that the guards do not even work for UPS, they are contracted out. He insisted that she call someone inside the facility and she did, and someone actually did come out to speak to us (I think there were three of us left; I’m not sure who the third person was). 

That someone explained to both of us what happened.  There is a different group that handles the after hours pick up from the folks who work days.  There are three people who cover will call in the evening and not one of them showed up this night!  (I realize that it was the beginning of a holiday weekend but going zero for three doesn’t say much for UPS Human Resources Dept, assuming this guy was on the level).  The other guy asked, well isn’t there a backup?  The response was, “Well, there’s three of them, that's the backup….and again, none of them showed." They are not the same people who work during the day. So neither the call center person I talked to at around noon, nor the workers in the facility that the other folks talked to when they tried to get their packages earlier had any contact with the shift that was supposed to cover evening will calls. 


He eventually asked us, “Was your package on the truck today?”  I don’t remember the other guy's answer, but he mentioned his neighborhood and it was not the same as mine.  I said, “My package was on the truck today and they couldn’t deliver it because it didn’t have my unit number.  And my house is just down the street from here.  The driver probably has the closest route to this facility.”  


He told us our packages wouldn’t be inside anyway, they would still be on the trucks. Huh?  Can’t anybody get their story straight?  He said, “Well, maybe you can call the driver, maybe if they haven’t gotten too far from here on their way home, they will come back and find your package.  Or maybe they are still here. But you need the driver if you are going to get your package tonight.  He scrolled through the phone and gave me the cell phone number of my UPS driver.  I think he did the same for the engagement ring guy, but I’m not sure.  I think he may have had a different issue, as I’m not sure his ring was on a delivery truck that day.


What did I have to lose?  I called the number and a guy picked up, and I explained the situation.  Turned out the driver was still right there in the facility (probably doing paperwork in his truck, I imagine).  He remembered not being able to find my unit number!  But he said that it had already been processed.  Ugh, my heart sunk with that, I assumed that meant it was locked up inside and he couldn’t get to it now. But then he asked for the tracking number, which I gave him.  After a pause he said, “Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll retrieve it and bring it to you. Where are you?”  I told him I was standing between the closed Will Call door and the guard’s booth.


And sure enough, about 15 minutes later, A guy dressed like a UPS driver came out with his portable computer thingie and a UPS overnite letter/package in his hand.  But before he would give it to me, he asked, “Do you have identification?”  I said of course.  Then I joked, that would be the ultimate kicker after all that, if I had forgotten my wallet and he wouldn’t give me the damn package for lack of I.D.!  But I pulled out my driver’s license, It was really dark out by this time but he somehow was able to read my license, then he made me sign his computer thingie……And then he gave me my UPS envelope that indeed did have my Caesars Rewards credit card!  I thanked him profusely and he seemed genuinely glad to have helped me out.  There had already been a discussion about how the drivers could not accept tips (I don’t remember how that came up) so I didn’t offer him one. 


And you know, I have no idea what happened with the engagement ring guy. That will remain one of the great mysteries of my life. He was still hanging around when I was ready to leave.  He couldn’t believe I got my package, but I assume he was waiting for his driver or whoever the person he was given a number for by the guy who gave me my driver's number to show up.


It was about 8:20pm when I got back in my car with my new credit card.  Yes, I opened the package right then and there to make sure it was what I thought it was (not that I would have been able to do anything about it if it wasn’t the credit card).  So I wasted close to an hour and a half on this little adventure.


Now you might think that’s the end of the story, but you would be wrong.  That is merely the end of the UPS portion of this tale.  There is still so much more to tell.


You see, I knew that just having the card in my possession wouldn’t be quite good enough.  In order to get my tier status upgraded, I need to actually use the card.  And this was Friday night and I was headed to Vegas in about 36 hours.  


I already had a plan for how to use the card fast.  I’d buy something from Amazon with it.  But I couldn’t be something they would ship me right away, I wouldn’t want a package delivered while I was in Vegas.  I suppose I could have bought a Kindle book or rented a movie to stream, but I had a better idea.  I’d add to my gift card balance, a trick I’d used for similar reasons in the past.  You don’t actually need to have ever gotten an Amazon gift card, or even have any kind of balance on it, to do this.  So I put $50 on my gift card balance knowing that it wouldn’t take me very long to buy something I could use the money for. But the charge to my card would go thru immediately.


Not so fast. Yes the charge went thru, I could see it on the online account I had already set up for the new credit card.  But it was only “pending.”  Of course, the charge was authorized but it was not a completed transaction.  That takes a day, or two, or three.  I think it depends on the bank the vendor is using, and is maybe affected by the timing of the transaction.  In this case, it went thru late Friday night (possibly Saturday morning for the bank they were using), and this was, again, a holiday weekend.  I checked, but there was no change on the status of my Caesars Rewards card online.  I’d just have to wait for that charge to be completed. 


Well, it didn’t go through Saturday as I packed for my trip.  And I woke up Sunday and checked before hitting the road.  Nope, that damn Amazon charge was still only pending.  Well, I could use the card that day, but it didn’t look like anything would likely go through until maybe Tuesday, after the holiday?  Damn.


I wondered if showing up at a Caesars Rewards desk at one of their casinos could expedite things.  I figured I was going to find out.  I mean I could show them my new CR Visa card, shouldn’t that be good enough?


I used the card for lunch on the road and got a receipt, but it was almost illegible (they needed to replace the toner).  Nonetheless, I thought maybe a receipt would help my case.


After checking into the hotel and unpacking, I again went online to find that my status hadn’t changed and neither of my authorized transactions had completed.   I decided to head over to Caesars Palace.  I figured worst case scenario, I would find out within an hour that I couldn’t get my status upgraded until the transactions actually went through.  As I recalled, I could park at Caesars for one hour without paying, if things didn’t work out.


On the way to Caesars, I stopped to get gas.  I of course wanted to use my new Caesars Visa to pay for the gas.  The first station I went to, when I put my card in at the pump, it gave me a message, “see cashier.”  WTF?  Did this mean there was a problem at the station or was there a problem with the card?  I didn’t want to waste any time, so I just got back in the car and found another station.  Same brand of gas, and this time my card worked.  But when I pressed the button for a receipt, nothing came out.  Shit.  Even if I didn’t think the receipt might come in handy to prove I used the card, I have gotten in the habit of keeping all my receipts, especially when I travel.  So I would have wanted that receipt anyway.  


I went into the convenience store that was part of the gas station and told the guy I didn’t get a receipt.  I had no idea if he could actually get me a receipt or not.  But he punched a few buttons on his computer and produced a duplicate receipt for me, which was readable and clearly showed the last four digits of my Visa card.


I stuck the receipt in my shirt pocket, next to the unreadable lunch receipt and headed to Caesars.  I pulled a ticket to enter, wondering if I would be able to escape without incident, having just heard that very morning my pal Don’s tale of woe trying to get out of there just the previous night. Gulp.



Entering Caesars for the first time in at least three years, I had trouble locating the Rewards Center.  For my convenience, they moved it to the other side of the floor.  Then I had to wait, it was a holiday weekend and quite busy.  Plus Caesars has a caste system and there are separate lines for each status level of your card.  If you are the lowest level like I was (for now), you are considered an “untouchable” and you get helped last.  I dunno how many times I was “next” only to be cut in front of (legally) by someone with a higher status than me.


But finally they had no one left to call to the desk and I got to a customer service rep.  I showed them my Rewards Card which only had “Gold” Status and then showed them my newly minted Visa credit card.  The lady asked, “But have you used it?


“Yes!  I used it Friday night on Amazon, and today for lunch and I just paid for gas with this card.”


“Well, do you have a receipt?”


I mean that’s what I was hoping for but I didn’t really expect that to work.  But of course I said, “Yes!  Here it is.”  And pulled the receipt from the gas station out, and showed it to her, showed her the last four digits matched my card.  She looked it over.


“OK, let me show this to my supervisor.”  She took my rewards card, my credit card, and my gas station receipt, and went over to the next window, where her supervisor was helping someone else.  But after they talked, and after I saw the lady helping me show the supervisor my cards and receipts, she soon came back to me and said, “OK, you’re all set.”


And she handed me back my receipt, my credit card and the newly printed Caesars Rewards card that showed I was Platinum status!  I thanked her profusely and then I asked if that meant I could exit the parking garage today without paying.  She assured me that I could.


A few hours later, after having an extremely lackluster “meal” at the food court and a really boring poker session, I departed and indeed my card got me out of there without having to pay.  I had achieved my goal.  But look what I went through!


End of story, right?  Not so fast.  There’s another kicker.  I used the credit card as much as I could throughout my stay, no problem.  On Wednesday, I checked out of my hotel.  I had given them my new credit card when I checked in and as is their policy, they had the bill for my entire stay authorized, plus an additional $100 for incidentals.  But the actual charge was put through when I checked out.  There was no problem with that. I went to top off my tank before hitting the road to L.A. and when I tried to use the credit card at the gas station, the same gas station I successfully filled up at just a few days before, I got the mysterious “see cashier” message.  I had no idea what that was about but I was in a hurry, so I just used another card, which went through fine.  I didn’t think much of it.


But on the way home I stopped in beautiful Baker, Ca. (gateway to Death Valley) to grab some lunch at the Burger King there (do I know how to dine well or what?)  I used the Caesars credit card and saw the little computer gizmo said, “Declined.”  WTF?  I hadn’t had the card long enough to have a delinquent payment!  And I hadn’t come anywhere close to using up my credit limit.  I wondered if maybe they had put some kind of red flag on my card since I had used it so much in such a short period of time, and it was such a new card.  I paid for lunch with another credit card.


When I got settled back in at home that night, I went online to look at my credit card account.  Oddly enough, I was locked out of it!  I could not access my account.  I don’t recall what it was telling me, but it did not give me the impression they were having technical problems, it definitely looked like there was something specifically wrong with my account!


So, even though it was late, I called them.  The first person I talked to explained to me that my card had been cancelled.


Again, WTF?  Why was my account closed?  No, my account wasn’t closed, it was just that card that was cancelled, per my request.  Huh?  “I didn’t cancel the card, do you have any idea what I went through to get that card?  Why was my card cancelled?”


She looked it up and repeated that it showed that I had requested a new card, so that was cancelled and a new card with a new card number was on its way. I couldn’t believe this, that I was going to have to wait to get another card from them, for no reason. Would I have to go to Fed-Ex this time to pick it up?


I asked for a better explanation, and all she could tell me was that it showed that I had requested a replacement card, and to cancel the card I had been using for all of five days.  I said that explanation wasn’t good enough and so she transferred me to their security department.


The new person from the security department said that my card came back to them via returned mail.  I said, “Then how come I have it right here in my hand?”  But I soon figured it out.  Remember, that card I had was the replacement card.  They had sent me one earlier via regular mail, which I never received.  Why?  Most likely because they didn’t put my unit number on it, same as with the UPS package.  So when that came back to the bank as undeliverable, they foolishly cancelled the card that was good and had been delivered properly and was where it belonged.


The clowns cancelled the good card (and maybe the returned card) for no reason.  If anyone had given it a thought, they would have realized they already sent me a replacement card and that I was using it and everything was fine.  Now I had a useless card and had to wait for yet another replacement?


Can you believe it?  I really must say that the customer service by this bank is less than stellar, to say the least.  How could they just cancel my card without notifying me?  An email, a text, or a phone call was in order, no?  To leave me hanging just cancelling my card without telling me?  That’s unacceptable.  I could have still been traveling and my replacement card could have been held somewhere for weeks.  What if I needed that card for my expenses?  As it was, I was home and didn’t need it, but they didn’t know that.  I really can’t believe they decided to cancel my good card, which obviously was in the right hands or they would have asked me if those charges were legitimate.  To do it without contacting me is really bad.  A simple phone call to me could have straightened out the whole mess.  Why would they cancel the card that was not returned to them???


The good news is it didn’t affect my Platinum status.  It took almost a week for the new card to show up.  I activated it and have used it, and everything right now is fine.


But what an ordeal.


I shouldn’t have to work that hard to park my damn car in a Vegas Casino’s parking garage.


Postscript: This story is about my brief end of May trip to Vegas. I used my free parking privileges only once that trip, making it all somewhat pointless, right? But I did return to Vegas for a longer trip just this month! A planned 10-day trip would give me plenty of opportunity to park at Caesars properties and take advantage of my new status. But in fact, I only used it twice, once at Caesars and once at the WSOP venue. Sadly, my casino hopping was dramatically terminated when I contracted COVID midway through my trip. That also helps explain why I took longer to publish this part 2 than I planned.


I guess I'll discuss that in a future post.


22 comments:

  1. too much work for too little why bother

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    1. Spoken by someone who doesn't qualify for a credit card, doesn't have a car to park, and doesn't even drive.

      The thing is, it had to take a whole bunch of people being extremely incompetent for this story to be so bad. This whole thing should have been a piece of cake.

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  2. I've had the Caesars rewards card for years. It's administered by Comenity Bank. Let's just say I've been unimpressed by them. But color me shocked by UPS. Then again, customer service doesn't mean shit to a lot of companies. I sure hope that guy got his ring.

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    1. Thanks, Neo. Yes, I am extremely unimpressed with Comenity Bank to say the least. Horrific customer service. Agree about the guy's engagement ring. I'm hoping it all worked out and years from now the couple will have a great story to tell their grandkids.

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    2. Comenity Bank sucks dick. I had that card years ago and had a poor experience over a late payment.

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    3. Well, why did you make a late payment? :-)

      I am not impressed. I see our mutual friend Mrs. L is also having issues with them. But in general, customer service today sucks everywhere you turn.

      Once again, I didn't see your comment to approve for like a week. I dunno what's wrong with your comments that I don't get notified. In the future, if you comment, please text me to look for it, so it gets posted right away.

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  3. Hey Rob, now that you have the Platinum CR card, you can get matching status at MGM just by asking and showing them your card. Free parking is worth the effort!

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    1. i would think this would only be for new signups instead of for Rob

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    2. Thanks, Lance. I have been unable to confirm that. Someone told me that only takes place at the higher tier levels, not at just one above basic. But I could never get a definitive answer from someone in the know.

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    3. Tony, that's another possibility. Dunno.

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    4. MGM has their own co-branded credit card also. Gives you pearl status, which gives you free parking. No fee for credit card.

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    5. That is certainly an option, Doufous, thanks. But let's just say after this experience, I'm not really looking for yet another credit card to carry!

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    6. They start matching at Caesars Diamond level, not Platinum.

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    7. Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Damn. Thanks for the confirmation.

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  4. Rob you are a fantastic writer. Thanks for your post .

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    1. That's very nice of you to say, Seth. Thank you.

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  5. Through hell and back, as they say. What a story! Please see cashier - at a gas station usually means a connection problem (internet) between the pump card reader and the processing system. The cashier has a back-up connection to the processing system so the gas station can keep accepting card payments.

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    1. Thanks for that info Ace, good to know. Wouldn't have guessed that.

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  6. how are you after the covid rob?

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    1. I'm fine now, thanks for asking. Had one day that was pretty bad, then like a week to 10 days where it felt like a nagging cold that just wouldn't go away. No issues now.

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