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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

@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.

Periodic Contributor

I actually got the Travel card when I would have preferred the Essentials card. What happened to choice? This switchover was an arrogant and unasked for imposition and the interjections from the AARP staff are inadequate to address the issues at best. "Try again?"  Really? AARP needs to try again! Trust is everything.

Moderator
Moderator

Thanks for reaching out. 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. 

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Regular Contributor

Barclays has sent many unwanted Travel Rewards cards to people who had the AARP Everyday Chase Rewards card.  I'm one.  I tried for 5 weeks to prevent them from sending the Travel Rewards card (they sent us slick advertisements for that card in advance of the cards), but Barclays said there was nothing we could do.

Periodic Contributor

@johannamarie 

Hi there, here to help. AARP and Barclays have indeed been working with members to get their issues addressed. If you are still having difficulties with your AARP Credit Card from Barclays, please either give us a call at 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277) to request an Escalation or 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:

  • Full name
  • AARP Membership # (or home address)
  • Phone # and email address to contact you
  • Description of your issue

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

I read 10 pgs on this one of many comment sites available to AARP members crying out for help! I am shocked NO top Brass has attempted an explanation. Now I think safest thing to do is cancel card if you ever get thru. Am wondering if all our accounts have been hacked & a huge FBI investigation will happen.Better cancel ASAP,  go back to Chase card offered by smartphone since you have good history. We are being made fools of & think because we old will continue trying to fix something that is not able to ever be trusted. Sign of the times, God help all those elderly & STOP this debacle especially with 700,000 Americans dead of Vivid, hospitals overrun. Shame No Leadership from AARP or Barclays has addressed any of these serious complaints. WHY????

Community Concierge

Hi there, here to help. There has not been a hack and no laws have been broken. AARP and Barclays have indeed been working with members to get their issues addressed. If you are still having difficulties with your AARP Credit Card from Barclays, please either give us a call at 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277) to request an Escalation or send me a private message in the AARP Online Community by clicking this link and entering my username, “AARPAngelaC” into the “Send to” box https://community.aarp.org/t5/notes/composepage. Please provide the following details in your message:

  • Full name
  • AARP Membership # (or home address)
  • Phone # and email address to contact you
  • Description of your issue

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

All of us here have similar but not identical problems.  My husband and I have no use for a travel card and had never charged travel expenses to the now-defunct Chase card. Nevertheless, Barclays sent us a Travel Rewards card.  After nearly five hours' hold time spread over several attempts we finally reached a live person yesterday. He told us that Barclays would not send us Essential Rewards cards to replace our unwanted, unactivated Travel Rewards cards, that if we wanted Essential Rewards cards we would have to submit an application and wait to see if we were "accepted."  We then asked him to close our account.  He said he was in the process of closing it. I asked him for a mail confirmation that the account had been closed.  He refused.  He said our "next" statement showing a zero balance will be proof that the account is closed.  My husband then spoke with him and suggested the least Barclays could do is to send a letter of confirmation that they had closed a credit card account orchestrated entirely by them for a type of card we did not want or need. The Barclays rep put us on hold for a while and then agreed that a letter will arrive to us by mail within 10 days to two weeks.  We'll see.

 

All the responses and mailings seemed to say that AARP was making a lateral move that would be of benefit to us all.  We've been AARP members for two decades and we have been harmed by this. We lost a perfectly good credit card and did not get a comparable replacement. We don't know yet how this will play out in the credit reporting agencies. We endured unreasonable and unnecessary abuse of our time and patience from the combination of Barclays incompetence and AARP's lack of support.  I hope in future when AARP decides to drag us all into some massive migration that they'll first make certain the new landing site is up to the challenge, and then set up an AARP phone bank of people ready to help manage the fallout. This time AARP just threw us under the bus.

Regular Contributor

Has anybody had any luck "escalating" their problems up thru the AARP "Community Concierges"?  I'd like to know if doing so is worth the trouble...

Contributor

Tried twice.  Never got an answer.

Regular Contributor

Thought so... I took a stroll thru facebook today, checking Barclays for their customer feedback... an eye opener... Barclays is littered with folks who had problems or still have ongoing problems reaching back years... many complaints about very long waits on hold, absolutely no help forthcoming when phones were answered, customer service people who spoke little or no English, repeated promises to fix problems, fixes that did not happen, problems that were strung out for so long that customer could no longer file a claim for resolution... etc..... some folks even filed complaints with the FDIC.  One person got a response only after he reported them to his state's BBB... even then they did not solve the problem... it was an eye opener... obviously AARP either did not check BArclays reputation of they did not care... 

 

Postscript 11/1/2021... Well I now have a Chase card... Got approved within 10 minutes of applying, with a higher credit limit... as soon as the last Barclays charges and return credits were posted at end of last week, I messaged Barclays and asked how to cancel the card and account. I got this message back:

Thank you for contacting us about your AARP® Travel Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays.
 
We’re sorry to learn that you are considering closing your account.

In order to comply with this request, we’ll need some additional information. To make sure we close the right account, please respond to this message with the last four digits of the account number you wish to close.

Once the account is closed, we will not be able to reopen it. Although we would hate to lose your business, an email response is enough for us to complete your request. You may also contact our Customer Care Department to close your account. Our representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at <<Insert Number>>.

After we close the account, we’ll send a confirmation letter to the address on file, which should arrive within 7-10 business days. You’ll continue to have online access to our website, including viewing your statements, for up to six months from the date your account is closed and has a zero balance.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please reply to this message. 
 
Sincerely,

Customer Care
success!!!    (silly me!)
 
Then, this AM I got the following message:
Thank you for contacting us about your AARP® Travel Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays.

We apologize as we have provided misdirection on how to assist you of your request to close your account.
 
In order to provide you with the most individualized service possible, we ask that these requests be made through our Customer Care Department. Please contact us at 866-677-1563. Our agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to discuss what options are available on your account. We apologize for the confusion, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please reply to this message. 
 
Sincerely,

Customer Care
 
So I'll be hanging out with my phone for however long it takes to get thru to a person in their call center in whatever country... just hope they speak and understand english since I'm fluent in only that one language.

  

Regular Contributor

Bob, I thot first reply did not go thru to you, now I see it under my 2nd reply. Very hard to find which site of many on Community since so many similarly topic titled. Well I've said more than enuf, I apologize for repeats. You Bob & others, keep that Drum Beat going, I know this too shall pass keep encouraging others, Bless you all. nan

Regular Contributor

Bob, thanks for your letting Members know complaints on Barclays transition showing up on Facebook, I heard also on Twitter. Some of us are not on these sites but good to hear people speaking up. Everyone be sure to read your September AARP Bulletin, huge cover story about how older folks can handle problems with company's who think we will put up with unfair practices, including what had just happened to AARP Chase cards we have had for decades portfolio sold to Barclays, accounts not able to be accessed. I suggest contacting legal advice, some free for low income. I was able to close my Barclay card because acted quickly to pay off balance, rewards I claimed every few most so only small amt lost, moved 5 electronics to my ckg acct. Suggest others apply for new Chase on their smartphone, good history w them, their Programers fabulous, no run around, stop using Barclay card, request only paper statements avoid trying to fix garbled Barclay online set up, keeps customers in Limbo.pay legitimate charges on Barclays paper stmts with new Chase card, refuse to pay any charges that happened in transition thru no fault of your own. Get Barclay card to zero, call # on back close acct. Get family to help you. Do not continue to be held hostage to Barclays transition problems, your mental, physical health must be your prominate concern. Let's support those caught in this Web of Confusion, it needs to STOP NOW, surely there is an army rising up to take up the cause of financial difficulties of our older generation, please take on this burden, we will be forever grateful!! Nan

Regular Contributor

Hi Bob, really appreciate you sharing re info on Facebook re Barclays. Wonder what all saying on Twitter, I older am not on these sites but Valued Members must speak up, help one another. Read your most recent AARP Sept issue, as some other Members have pointed out, "Beat the System" (Get the fair treatment & good service you deserve) Insider tips for getting HEARD, Speedy Responses, etc., Pg11: Your GUIDE to getting too customer care from retailers, Government agencies & OTHER Modern Bureaucracies", by Allan Roth, read just the opening paragraphs ... "with age you Do Need to Assert yourself more...older consumers are generally kinder but less competent, may lead to lower grade care from service providers...they tend to not file consumer complaints than younger adults...suggests might be more willing to let overcharges slide, accept less than great products, services...Allan, bless his heart, states "I'm here to help".pg 12, big print "How much does Loyalty Matter?, Prevent Problems...Check Reputations....Wow!! exactly what Bob is doing for us...he cked Facebook comments for past problems w Barclays!! I ckd every page this Sept bulletin for any info of big Chase-Barclay transition, nothing from AARP CEO, anyone on the chain of command, but, on pg 9, half pg ad: "The New AARP Credit Cards from Barclays" lots of very tiny print at bottom hard for older folks to read. It will soon be a month since our financial well being took such a hit. It was unnecessary, especially during a PANDEMIC!!! The brakes should have been put on this terrible idea to change Vulnerable older people's trusted Chase cards to a bank we never heard of, from UK, set up in Delaware!!  I feel so sorry for all dealing with multiple problems when we needed STABILITY. I've said enuf, I pray our Members can find a way thru this by perhaps the great number of AARP Volunteers CEO Jenkins thanks on pg 42. We really are in this all together. I confess I closed Barclay acct, went back to Chase, I thanked God when quickly approved, rec'd card 5 days, could use immediately, did, no problems. Chase had excellent service to me for 30 yrs, can't thank them enuf, recommend them to my friends. 

Contributor

Thank you Nancy, do you know why does my money market account reject payment to Barclays?  I use that account for all my other bills but it will not pay to Barclays.  Is Barclays in violation of US banking regulations, or what is wrong with Barclays that money market accounts won't work with them?   That would be really helpful to know!  Thank you if you have any information.

Nina

Periodic Contributor

Great points, Nancy.  I received the September Issue of the AARP Bulletin today and read with interest the article on consumer protections for seniors.  It basically described what AARP has done to its members with the credit card forced changeover as one that we should beware of.  As the article advised, I will be changing to a new card (and seniors organization) soon.  Shame on AARP.  

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