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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

Today is day 4 of the nightmare. They now claim that my mother's card is activated because they can see she used it for purchases. No she did not because it is sitting in the dresser drawer. She lives in assisted living and we are using my Wyndham Visa for her automatic payments. This is beyond disgraceful. I have no words to say how angry I am and what a mess we're in. I was told there was some hardships activating the card because the date of births were not matched up correctly. I fear that they have mistaken her for another person and there will be many more days of this nightmare. Again Shame Shame Shame on AARP for creating this situation and leaving their seniors blowing in the win

Community Concierge

We are currently providing support for this issue and have confirmed there is no mistaken identity. Please be patient while Barclays works to ensure your issue is resolved. Thanks!

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Periodic Contributor

@AARPAngelaC yes they indeed worked on it. Barclay called my mother and told her her card was not closed and it was activated no problem

My next visit I will be taking her out and we will be making an inexpensive purchase to make sure it works.

THE PROBLEM WE NOW HAVE IS ONE OF THE ORIGINALS - - I CANNOT CREATE AN ONLINE PROFILE FOR HER BECAUSE IT KEEPS SAYING THERE'S ERROR. I LIKE TO HAVE IT ONLINE SO I CAN MAKE SURE HER PURCHASES AND STATEMENTS AND PAYMENTS ARE CORRECT. ANYWAY YOU CAN HELP ME WITH THIS PART OF IT?

Community Concierge

I would need to have the Escalation team contact you just as they contacted your mom. Please stand by and I will have them do so. Thanks!

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Periodic Contributor

After waiting for  hours since they de-activated my Chase card, and eventually Barclays answered after 2 3/4 hours, and I held for another hour and hung up. I spoke to a Barclays rep in another department and he confirmed the nightmare of a technical snafu and the in undated phone system. I then spoke to a rep at Chase who told me it was AARP who changed companies!! If I wasn’t prepared with another credit card I would point out the IRONY that AARP is clearly abusing seniors here by not planning or intervening in behalf of their customers!!! GET ON IT AARP!!!! 

Trusted Social Butterfly

My husband was on the phone for over 2 hours, but they kept saying they'll take his call as soon as possible while playing this obnoxious music. You'd think Barclays would have been aware of the large number of AARP members. I tried online, but they said one item didn't match our records, namely his mother's maiden name. Such terrible service makes me wonder how long it's going to get through to customer in the future. At least we have 2 active credit cards, but I feel sorry for those who only have one. 

Periodic Contributor

Now it's day 4.  My card is still not activating - tried on line again.  My information doesn't match.  I refuse to make another call to anyone at Barclays and  this morning (Day 4).  It's a waste of hours waiting on the phone.

Trusted Contributor

Yes, it is a waste of your time to have to keep calling.  I now have my card and was able to activate it on the phone(I think). I am going to try to use the card today for a small purchase and see if it works.  I do have a recurring payment that I switched from Chase AARP to Barclay card. I hope it works?

Honored Social Butterfly

First I must say that finally got most of my problems worked out with the card.

It is evident the change over was and is a total mess since it was poorly planned by AARP and Barclays. Here are some of my thoughts.

1. AARP membership is older Americans. Many are well over 80 and up. That means they are different than the younger members (I am in that older group.) Age has serious effects on one. What used to be simple is now complex, medical problems are present in most, what were simple problems now are major problems, and you can even have death. Keeping track of things becomes harder. Older people function different than younger so AARP can not use the same methods other org.use when making changes. AARP must make them easy and simple.

2. I have been following the problems of the 85 year old women who had her son try and help her and the bank would not allow this, and the AARP people in here backed the bank up. This is a prime example of what I am talking about. AARP should always insist that an older person can get help with a problem due to AARP being an org. that recruits older people.

3. The results of the problems being caused by this changeover are different and can be long lasting to older members. They can even result in medical conditions, and at worst deaths. I know it has effective me a lot differently than it would have 20 years ago or when I first joined AARP. Today I took my heart problem tablets used when that problem arises. Was out of it for about 3hours. I am in good health for my age to.

 

AARP and all its employees need to realize who makes up the people they serve and stop saying call back or do something on the computer. AARP needs to get more people answering phones at the bank and AARP, and have those people solve the problems they caused. Rules should be waved so an person helping an elderly person are helped not closed off.

 

This problem was caused by AARP not doing what was best for all members by allowing the Bank to have rules that hurt not help many members of AARP.

 

I would ask that the people from AARP posting answers in here take a copy of this post to the person running AARP and ask her to review it, and then answer it to all members.

My hope is she would commit to AARP never again allowing something like this to happen. Retrain the entire Staff as to who makes up the membership, and put people before money.

 

I look forward to seeing her thoughts brought forth to all members, and employees. That way AARP will survive as the biggest older American support group.

Community Concierge

Hi there, we certainly understand your concerns and frustration. To my knowledge specifically, we do not turn away anyone helping their parent or loved one who is an AARP member. Activation issues require speaking with an agent to get the card activated. While we would love to be able to help everyone who can't get through due to long hold times, there unfortunately are not enough people available to make outbound calls to handle that same volume. We here at AARP can have a Barclays rep reach out, but that can take a week or more, especially with calls still coming in. As of yesterday, call volume has decreased by more than 50% as Barclays has been working tirelessly to get things resolved. If anyone has any issues they are unable to get resolved by speaking to a Barclays agent (not with hold time), please reach out by sending me a private message. We appreciate your patience as Barclays continues to work through the high call volume. I sincerely apologize for the confusion and inconvenience. Thanks!

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Honored Social Butterfly

Lets go by the numbers;

1. If you read the series of post in here about the 85 year old member living in an Assisted living home you will see the same example I talk about, and it still goes on today by the latest post. Why has not AARP gotten involved in the problem and solved it for the member. AARP caused the problem for the member.

2. The  way you help members with something like this is through proper planing. If AARP had done that there would be enough agents available to service all calls at the Bank and AARP phone Centers.

AARP signed off on the procedures in place during the pre planing stage of the change over. That always happens with something like this. Are you telling me AARP agreed to up to a week wait for a return call? If so you prove my point of total failure in planing by both parties.

3. Barclays has been working tirelessly to operate in the mess it and AARP created by poor planing.You are correct most of the problems can be solved by speaking with an agent and the most important gateway to that is reaching the agent which the poor planing by the Bank and AARP has made just about impossible.

I called the AARP phone center Friday night after finding out neither Chase or Barclays call centers were taking calls from AARP Cardholders. The AARP call center was more worried about it being 10PM than the disaster approaching them. They had no more information than we had been mailed. There was no one from the Credit Card Team present in the center to assist with calls on the change over, as there would have been with proper planing.

4. The AARP people should have been able to have the Bank perform without a return call with proper planing, and never should it take a week. Any supplier who told AARP it would take a week to answer a person should never have been made the supplier.

5. What has happended could have been avoided with proper planing by the Bank and AARP. That is evident by both Banks refusing to service people from Friday till Monday by phone.

 

Last but not least. I hope you took my previous post to the Chief Operating Officer as I and all AARP Members await hearing from her on what is being done to prevent this from happening again, and to restore members faith in the AARP sponsored programs.

 

 

Regular Contributor

This was VERY WELL written, thank you - we can only hope that the executive teams at AARP and Barclays will see it..

Regular Contributor

I agree with Lisa, John you texted very clearly some of the huge problems, even health wise, which we older folks who used to be able to handle, which even younger people are not faced with on their credit cards...we relying on one or two, young have 30 or more, bad credit, we have handled ours responsibly. Why was Chase not kept, such a very good Provider, did AARP get bigger kickback? Will this happen to Hartford, United Health AARP contracts?? It is so frightening we elders have to be so worried about this with deaths accelerating pandemic!! Please give assurance!! Maybe best we set up our home, auto ins direct thru Hartford now, same with United Health!! Please someone give us answers!! Cannot wait to understand what another fiasco will occur. I always trusted AARP, no communications happening from Top CEO by letter, anything, PLEASE!!!!Nan

Periodic Contributor

Ok I got a human being who cleared up my issue. Best time to call is between 8 and 9 am Eastern time.  What a mess this has been!  The card works. I used it to get dog food just to make sure it would go through and it did.  

Regular Contributor

Interesting thing - Today I am getting offers from Chase to open a new card! LOL - Hmmm- are the leveraging the AARP/Barclays problems??

 

Periodic Contributor

I did too, and I took advantage of them! I have never had a problem with Chase and they were good offers.

Who needs an AARP on their card anyway?

Periodic Contributor

I was totally satisfied with my AARP Chase Card, the cashback benefits and APR it offered - neither BARCLAYS cards come close to fulfilling all that.  We eat out often, get gas etc. We don't shop drug stores a lot nor do we travel extensively so neither card has me excited.  I'm just going to try and cancel this credit card  (although I haven't even attempted to activate it).  I already went to my local Chase bank and received the Freedom Unlimited which is more aligned to our needs. Personally at this point I'm not worrying too much about my credit score. I believe I'll have to quit AARP once my membership expires --- so disappointed in the organization - I do not believe they had the consumer in mind!

Periodic Contributor

This is the third day that I can't get access to my Barclay's account.   Let's keep up the comments of displeasure.   The AARP VP should be fired for this mess.  Keep filing those BBB complaints on both parties.  

Periodic Contributor

There is no customer service answer and the attempts are flagged as fraud. I was fine with Chase. Barclay is incompetent to the point of lunacy 

Periodic Contributor

Finally talked to someone after 4 hours yesterday.  The rep said that my account is partially there, but not completely built.  She cannot build it.  I have to wait till the system receives all of the information.  The only thing I can do is keep trying on line.  I tried this morning and still no account set up.  The rep said that the 20th was just the date that Chase closed our accounts, but our accounts will begin to be built on the 20th.  She could not give me a date when all accounts will be built. 

So, I'm to keep trying till activation works on line.  My guess is that the batch process of loading all of the data coming from the AARP records was too large for the Barclay system to handle.  Chase must have a much larger database to handle the large volume of AARP members than Barclays.  

We will get our account activated pay it off and then cancel the card.  Then shop around for a better card with a larger company. 

Though, I hate to, I'll keep trying 

Periodic Contributor

I just attempted to add this new Barclay card to my cable and PayPal accounts again and - it worked! I will give it a chance at this point, but any more screw-ups and it's history. While I am keeping this one I think I will pick up another one too, just in case. I plan on being prepared!

 

Periodic Contributor

It took me 30 seconds at the most to get a Chase Freedom card online this morning. Just saying...

I will keep them both for now, just because I don't want to affect my credit score by closing Barclays. I won't hesitate to close it if I have problems though.

Periodic Contributor

I already hate Barclays. Their customer service number does not work.  They lagged two purchases as fraud. They were not. Nobody answers the customer service number. I hear Muzak and am then disconnected.  

Moderator
Moderator

@as25323663 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

Hi. I've not posted here before so I'm not sure how to make a post for the first time. And I do need the escalation team involved in my Chase / Barkley transfer as they accidentally CLOSED my account rather than activating so now have no major credit card and really not sure of the true status of my Barclay card. I've spent six and a half hours on the phone trying to get through again and it just is not working out. Please help thank you so much

Moderator
Moderator

@tiberious 

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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Regular Contributor

Thank you - I will

 

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Trusted Social Butterfly

I tried the above link and it says access denied.

Periodic Contributor

Here to Help, Barclays experienced unexpected errors yesterday, are aware if the errors and are actively working to correct them as quickly as possible. We appreciate you bringing your concerns to AARP's attention as we work with Barclays to get everything straightened out. Regarding the 24 hour wait to use your card, it sounds like there is incorrect information being passed around and for that I sincerely apologize. We have confirmed with Barclays that under normal circumstances where everything is operating normally, there is no wait to use the card after activation.

 

Your existing Chase trade line on your credit bureau report will be updated to reflect Barclays as the issuing bank. This will not appear as a new or secondary trade line, but will simply update the existing one. The history associated with your prior Chase trade line, including account open date and recent payment history, will still remain visible. The changing of the issuing bank will not impact your credit score, although your credit bureau report may take up to 60 days to update following the transfer. I hope this information is helpful!

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Periodic Contributor

Well they are still having problems.  I am furious and want to close this account. I don’t trust Barclay.

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