Do you have a charge card for Lane Bryant clothing store? If you do, you should check your statement carefully. They seem to have recently made an agreement for a company called Account Assure to offer “protection” for your account. You know the way it works: Some plan offers to cover your payments if you get fired or disabled or whatnot, for the nominal sum of only $12-$15 a year. Seems reasonable, right? Except that once you enroll, they charge you automatically, year after year, and you almost certainly will never need it. Multiply that by thousands of customers, and it’s a pretty sweet deal. The one or two percent of people who really need it will be more than covered by the people who won’t.
But see, the operative word here is enroll. I did not enroll in Account Assure. Lane Bryant decided to enroll me, it seems. One day last month, I received a letter that Account Assure was going to be added to my Lane Bryant account, unless I called to opt out. As soon as I received that letter, I wasted no time calling to opt out, and fussing that I do not like getting charged for something I did not order. The man was nice enough and assured me that I would not be charged.
Wouldn’t you know it, here comes my Lane Bryant statement with a charge from Account Assure on it. The charge was minimal, only 15 cents, but the point was that I did not order the coverage in the first place, and I furthermore went to the trouble to ensure it would not commence. And yet here was that charge. I called customer service for Lane Bryant and forged my way through their hellish phone tree, upon which I spoke to a person who did not wish to help me. She refused to delete the charge from my account, stating that it was Account Assure’s charge and that I would have to call them to take it off. I explained that I had not authorized the charge and that I had called Account Assure already to make sure that I was not enrolled in their program. The Lane Bryant rep steadfastly refused to take off the charge.
Look, the charge was small. No, it was tiny. It was nothing to them to charge back 15 cents to keep a customer happy, was it not? Apparently it wasn’t. Figuring she just wasn’t authorized to help me, I asked to speak to her supervisor, and she told me the supervisor would say the same thing. At that point, I realized my business was not worth fifteen pennies to Lane Bryant, and I told her to close my account. She made no attempt to save the situation whatsoever; I was treated to dead silence on the phone as she apparently closed the account without addressing me further. I finally asked if she needed more information, and she said, “No, I’m just closing your account.” Well, that was that. No apology, no explanation, not a hint of friendliness or even understanding, and although angry, I had not been abusive. She just did not care, and honestly, that was the most disturbing part.
I think Lane Bryant’s clothing is attractive and comfortable, although I have no idea why it is so expensive. I have always had fun shopping there. However, horrible customer service and ripoff credit “coverage” that I didn’t request has ruined our 20-plus-year relationship and ensured I will not darken the door of a Lane Bryant store again. I will be happy to take my business elsewhere, since it means nothing to them. If you do have a Lane Bryant charge and you find an unasked-for Account Assure charge on it, you should probably just close your account. After all, I already called Account Assure not to charge me, and Lane Bryant obviously didn’t want to help me. You might find the only way to delete the charge is to delete the card!