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REPLACING OUR AARP CREDIT CARDS WITH BARCLAY BANK CARDS - SEE POSTSCRIPT WRITTEN 09/21/21 and 09-24

Has anyone else been concerned about the closing of our current AARP credit cards and its effect on our credit scores? We've had our VISA for many years and have built a lot of history with them. Now AARP is going to CLOSE those accounts and replace them with a new one that won't have any history. Just closing the account will lower our scores significantly. We, for one, don't want to use the Barclay cards, which offer significantly less rewards, so the total amount of our credit will be reduced, another factor in the building of our credit scores.

 

What do you think?

 

POST-  Postscript 09-21-21: To head off what I was sure would be a catastrophe, and after looking up references on Barclay, we created a new Chase CC account (on August 12th, received it on the 15th), set up our auto-pay bills, and set up the new account for auto-pay from our bank. We paid off the balance on the old AARP account by 09-08-21, and cashed in all our rewards. Then today, we activated the Barclay account (online) and immediately canceled it (by automated phone call). We're in the process of setting up a second Chase card to compensate for the first CC account lower credit limit. Guess we're  lucky to have managed to get through to our Barclay account. Keep trying, folks, and don't hold back on your comments to both companies. They certainly could have done a better job of planning all this. Giving their customers a voice in the choice should have been STEP NUMBER ONE.

 

AND yet another POSTSCRIPT on 09-24: Today Barlcays was daring enough to send us a 'welcome' email with a reminder to activate our card, to which we replied,

 

"Thanks, but no thanks!

 
We didn't, and don't, want your card. We have already activated and immediately cancelled our Barclay cards.
 
For those poor folks who are, to this day, still trying to activate their card or just talk to a live person at your company, we extend our sympathy. Your company has made what should have been a direct and automated process so overly labor-intensive for so many seniors that you won't soon be forgotten or forgiven.
 
Shame on AARP for choosing you and shame on you for being so ill-prepared to handle the conversion.
 
Signed, 'notsoyoung'
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Periodic Contributor

I am sorry to hear of your experience with Barclays. You can always contact AARP for help if there's an issue with an AARP provider. Please use this link (https://help.aarp.org/s/) to contact us by phone, chat or text.

  •            Description of your issue
  •            Mention that you are requesting an escalation

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Periodic Contributor

As I understand the letter AARP sent to all members on July 2, 2021, notifying us of the program in place to cancel our existing AARP/Chase credit cards to transition to a new AARP/Barclays credit card, the new Barclays Terms and Conditions Agreement will contain a binding arbitration clause, with no “opt out” option.

 

AARP has been a champion supporter of consumer rights in the past and particularly supportive of fighting against binding arbitration clauses in consumer credit card agreements.  This new program - moving members to Barclays - is contrary to that fight and support AARP has given members in the past.

 

So, I do not understand why the AARP Board of Directors, or management, has chosen to take this path and include a binding arbitration clause in the proposed new AARP Credit Card with Barclays.  I for one, will not be transitioning to it.  There are plenty of other credit card options out there which do not include a binding arbitration clause.

 

If management, or the BOD, have an explanation for members as to why it is now in support of binding arbitration in member financial agreements I’d love to hear it.

 

encourage other members to look carefully at this and let AARP know your thoughts about it. 

Regular Contributor

  • Hercus, thank you for post dated 7/30/2021!! Surprised to see that date amidst 9 pages dated in Sept re inability of MEMBERS(Not customers) to be part of the decision to change from a GREAT Chase card to Barclays who no one even knew existed, till they set up in Delaware......a big Clue, a UK company?? Why would UsA Flag waving AARP Members agree to THAT??? You mentioned you received a letter from AARP dated July 2, 2021!!! Am I the only Member that NEVER received such a letter!! Please speak up!! This came out of no where until I got a huge postcard from Barclay informing me of this change!! I was astounded!! I do not read much on line, now when I'm searching for clues see a few blips that never were in aARP newspaper or magazine!! Why?? Such big news secret?? I agree w one poster, maybe AaRP going to also change other providers not inform, be a mess, like Hartford Ins on home & auto, United Health Coverage, Consumer Cellular, on & on. I cannot bear having to worry about these important companies in my life!! While I still have my facilities, I must contact them, pay extra to stay with them, then cancel my membership of 30 yrs. It has cost me loss of 5K already on a Credit Line that was my lifeboat for maybe a roof on my 1946 cottage, instead the sewer line needs replacement first. I have carefully maintained this cottage when downsized 17 yrs ago, & I want to pass on to my kids, so I must fix sewer line before floods basement like neighbors around me experiencing. I do know my Real Provider is my Awesome God who has Promised to never leave or forsake us old people. He will make a Way, am praying for all going thru this, to give us Wisdom.Nan
Contributor

You've made some very good points here, many of which we hadn't thought about. It makes us want all the more to bow out of this 'deal'. It certainly wasn't thought out to the degree that we the customers would have liked. I think we may be coming out on the losing end of this change. AARP has another strike against it in our books.

Newbie

I was disappointed with the AARP switch.  The Barclays card rewards are useless to me so I will opt out.  I never received the opt out mailing so I guess I have to wait for the actual credit cards.  Instead of the Barclays card, I applied for a Chase freedom unlimited.  It is a better credit card, plus it is with Chase.  I don't need another bank to deal with.

Contributor

I'm not going to be forced to take the new card. Don't want it and won't use it and won't renew my AARP membership.

 

Regular Contributor

Agree.   After they cancelled Silver Sneakers from their health insurance, I thought I would not renew my membership.  This fiasco has made up my mind.

 

For an organization that is supposed support seniors, they are failing miserably in making things easy to understand and live with.  

Newbie

Absolutely agree!  AARP is switching to Barclays because they are going to get higher royalties compared to CHASE.  We opted to get a CHASE Freedom Unlimited card which offers better rewards than the Barclay's card.  Applying was a piece of cake, and we didi it all on line in less than one day.  As soon as the new card is activated we're dropping Barclays like a hot potato.  I'm for cancelling our AARP membership, but my spouse is resisting.  Stay tuned.

Periodic Contributor

Ditto!

Newbie

The new card is a colossal pain in the ass. I'm 70. Not a tech wizard. It was an effort for me to set up automatic payments on the Chase Card, now I have to do it all over again. No, I won't be switching to the new AARP card. I have to haul my ass to Chase and have them  walk me through auto-pay setup for a regular Chase VISA.

Regular Contributor

I absolutely agree. The designers building the application in NO WAY took into account the demographics of the new customer base. I DO NOT HAVE A CELL PHONE - borrow one when I really need it... IT IS MY BET that as this implementation was discussed - the statement was made that the online system would have no problem handling the conversion.

 

Once they dig themselves out of this mess - I trust they will look back and learn.

Newbie

I agree completely, I only just discovered the switch over from an email on Sep 1st, I have a lot of automatic payments on my Chase card which are going to be a pain to switch in time. Considering whether I want to continue my AARP membership...

I'm certainly not going to switch them to the new AARP card!

Periodic Contributor

I tried to cancel the new Barclay credit card but there is no way to opt out without a number that I lost. I am angry AARP switched me without my consent. 

Retired Moderator

@andreamae Hi there, here to help. To reject the card, you are supposed to call Barclays at 866-211-9133 before September 7, 2021. Even though you have missed the deadline however, you can still call them to cancel using the number on the back of the card once it arrives. I hope this helps!

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Contributor

You can't get a person on the phone unless you wait for 3 hours and then they have to transfer you, and you wait another 2 hours and then they tell you they can't find an account with the card # I'm holding in my hand. Then they look by birthdate and ss # and tell me that goes to another person that doesn't have my name....so now it's transfer to security dept. and wait on hold for another 2 hours and finally hang up in frustration. Next I'm calling AARP to fix my identity problem since you FORCED people to switch to this inept company. Contacting a real person at this bank is IMPOSSIBLE. You have 13 pages of customers telling you that....so when does AARP jump in and take over these matters?

Moderator
Moderator

AARP Member Benefits Team here to help. We certainly understand your concern regarding the service provided by Barclays. We’d be happy to forward your concern to the Escalation team we work with at Barclays for their thorough review and investigation if you’d like. To do this, we will need more information. Please send me a private message in the AARP Online Community by clicking this link and entering my username, “AARPLakeisha” into the “Send to” box https://community.aarp.org/t5/notes/composepage. Please provide the following details in your message:

  • Your first & last name
  • AARP membership number (or home address)
  • Best contact phone number

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate you informing us of your concern. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Newbie

I was on hold for 1 hour and 55 minutes to cancel my UNWANTED credit cards.

I do not believe that the person that I spoke to knew how to do that.  RIDICULOUS!  Shame on AARP!

 

Info Seeker

YOUR error filled explanation shows the level of incompetence of AARP - what the hec has happened to them.  You wrote: "Even though you have missed the deadline however, you can still call them to cancel using the number on the back of the card once it arrives."  How horribly a grossly incompetent grossly inaccurate sentence.  YES once the card arrives but only till Sept. 20 after that one can no longer call for you Chase account and all your online info is no longer available which this is a CHASE and AARP error.  Our data should have remained available for at least 30 days; AARP should have dictated a minimum set of criteria before agreeing to all this and/or demanded from Chase to be reasonable.  As to being able to call cancel what an massive un-excusable misstatement that was as all AARP would have had to do is do a five minute google of Barclay's super consistent over time horrible reputation for horrid customer service and unacceptably too long wait times.
AARP - do what's right honest as admirable come completely clean and totally admit your gross incompetence and provide some sort of meaningful "fix" to your increasingly disappointed customers. 

Periodic Contributor

@RichardN254662 

AARP Member Benefits Team here to help. We certainly understand your concern regarding the service provided by Barclays. We’d be happy to forward your concern to the Escalation team we work with at Barclays for their thorough review and investigation if you’d like. To do this, we will need more information. Please send me a private message in the AARP Online Community by clicking this link and entering my username, “AARPLakeisha” into the “Send to” box https://community.aarp.org/t5/notes/composepage. Please provide the following details in your message:

  • Your first & last name
  • AARP membership number (or home address)
  • Best contact phone number

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate you informing us of your concern. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Periodic Contributor

 

We sincerely apologize for the extended hold times being experienced today with Barclays. Please try calling them again later. 

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Regular Contributor

There is a serious problem here for AARP that is being ignored.  Why were all AARP members shifted to the Essentials Card, and not given the option to shift to the Travel card instead?? - The implementation of this shift was poorly planned and executed, and in the end has left a very bitter taste in the consumers’ mouth. Barclays let AARP down on this one, and AARP cannot / should not ignore it. Their call center staff was understaffed, their support systems were untested, and my hunch is that executives figured that the online would handle it all, not thinking about the demographics of the membership. It amazed me that there seemed to be no other prep on Barclay’s behalf to make the first impression of AARP members a good one!

The suggestion that AARP thought this through from a membership perspective is crazy. I get higher reward on almost any other card that I carry today over the Essentials card. I guess AARP thought that the Medical reward was what we were looking for, but many of us are traveling and enjoying life which the Essentials card is not good for.

 Yesterday, my setup was OK, complicated, and took quite a bit of time online. But in calling them for support to change to a Travel Card - I waited on music hold for over 2 1/2 hours. SO YOU SUGGESTION TO CALL THEM IS NUTTS! - AARP should save me time, not waste time.

 The funniest part in the call is that in the end they told me they could not help me as they were having system problems that prevented them from helping me at all...

For AARP, in the end, I hope the change is worth it, although I suspect will will not be.. In the end, AARP and Barclays owe us at a minimum one heck of an apology.

Community Concierge

@lisaonthegoco Thanks for reaching out. All AARP members were not shifted to the Essentials card. Members who had the AARP Chase Everyday Rewards card were converted to the AARP Essential Rewards card from Barclays and members who had the AARP Chase Travel Rewards card received the AARP Travel Rewards card from Barclays. Barclays experienced an outage that affected some of their customer-facing channels and caused extended hold times. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this has caused. 

Regular Contributor

Sorry, this was not what happened! We were told that to get the travel card, we had to wait until Sept.20 to call and request the change from Essentials to Travel. Our Essentials cards arrived which we do not want as they are inferior to other cards we already have. We were told we could have the Travel card but WE would have to REQUEST the travel card. Kind of hard to do right now…

Regular Contributor

Thank you for this explanation - now - take a look at the rewards and percentages for rewards with the old and new card - and then let me know that the change to Essentials made sense? - Just saying..

 

Contributor

Extended hold times persist. On hold then hung up on by Barclay's twice without talking to a live person. 3 hours wasted. AARP, Barclay's, and MasterCard all get a blackeye for this nightmare and service meltdown.

Trusted Contributor

I agree

Community Concierge

@WayneJ906531 I'm so sorry to hear that, Wayne. We recommend trying to call Barclays again tomorrow while they work to correct their outage. 

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Regular Contributor

Well, good news for you - I am dropping off this chain. This implementation is basically in a non-recoverable state.   If it were mine, I would call for implementation of the pre-prepared fall back plan - which I doubt anyone in this instance developed.

 

Thank you for trying to help with the tools and support you have been given - I would hate putting my employees in the middle of this one.

 

Tomorrow tomorrow I love you tomorrow - YOUR ONLY A DAY AWAY...

Info Seeker

What an unacceptable reply AARP made so this customer should waste another multiple hour wait that will most likely occur.  NO what AARP should have told this customer that AARP management will call Barclay's on his behalf.  Next AARP should immediately file a damage suit against Barclay's to compensate for AARP's loss of reputation - AND AND - create some sort of "in-kind" compensation/discounts etc for AARP-Chase customers.

Trusted Contributor

You recommend trying again.  How much time do you expect someone to wait for something that they never asked you to do. Do you want to pay me for my time??  AARP should be compensating all of us.

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