Friday, April 13, 2007

Another Interesting Conversation

This time, from the lender servicing our home loan.

Initially, I had gone with a different lender, Big Bank #1. Big Bank #1 had quoted me 6.125% on a 30-year-fixed, a very reasonable rate considering the current market conditions. Since my company has a deal with Big Bank #1, this very competitive rate was possible. An encouraging sign.

An agent from Big Bank #2, that also has a deal with my company, was much more proactive and communicative. Unlike BB #1, that didn't even bother to respond to an email from me, the agent from BB #2 was emailing me consistently, calling me on a regular basis, and generally providing better-than-expected service. However, her intial rate quote was that of 6.275%.

I asked her if she would be able to match BB #1's quote of 6.125%. No problem ! Of course, she would have to ask her manager, but she gave me all but complete assurrance that she would be able to match the rate.

She called me yesterday, happily reporting she had locked in our rate.

At 6.375%.

You have got to be kidding me.

I purposely did not lock into BB #1 because she had stated very convincingly that she would be able to match their rate. Granted, the rates have gone up slightly since BB #1 gave me their quote. But in that case, BB #2 should never have made promises that they could not keep. And I'm sorry, but when it comes to money out of our pockets, I'm not going to accept an increased rate without a fight.

She tried to tell me that she had negotiated so we would not have to pay the $700 bank fees. Really ? So, because I don't pay a $700 bank fee, it's ok for me to pay $64 a month more in interest than the original promise ? Does she think I'm stupid ?

I told her, very tersely, that if she did not meet the 6.125% rate quoted by BB #1, I would go back to them and give them my business. I'm sorry, but I do not accept being bait-and-switched, and I will not take this kind of treatment lying down.

She came back to me, at 9:30 that night, with the news that we had been approved at 6.125%. Of course, we'll have to pay the $700 bank fees, but that's much more desirable than a higher monthly payment.

I hate having to be curt with people like that. I fully believe that being nice and respectful is the most effective way to achieve the best possible results of any conversation or vendor relationship. But in this case, I had to bare my teeth, and set limits to how I was going to be treated. If I hadn't, it would have affected our bottom line, and that just was not acceptable.

My inner bitch is being put away now. Hopefully for a long time.


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