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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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Trusted Social Butterfly

I agree with you. Now, we're going to get late fees. Terrible customer service. 

Periodic Contributor

Sorry, I don't know another number.  However, I did discover Barclays is crediting the length of time we had our Chase card.  I received an email confirming I signed up for paperless statements and in the corner of the email was a block with my name, card ending in **** and "member since"  11/2007.  That's when I became a member of Chase.

Community Concierge

@josiebrown71 Some of Barclays’ customer-facing channels have been reported as down and/or experiencing extended hold times. We apologize for this inconvenience and recommend trying again. The best phone number we have for them is 866-677-1563.

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Regular Contributor

I waited over 2 1/2 hours, finally got someone - but in the end because of 'system problems' they could not help me.

 

Honored Social Butterfly

I used my new card today and it worked which surprised me. Never have had such problems with a credit card. Read my 2 earlier post on the problems.

What really bothers me on this is that I called the AARP 800 number Friday night after not being able to find info on Chase, and Barclays. It was evident there was going to be a disaster with this credit card launch. It was not planned well period.

The AARP 800 center was totally unprepared for the mess arriving. They had no one from the AARP implementation team present to assist them. The 800 center had no information other than what we all were sent. Talked to a supv. who had no interest in doing anything to try and head off what was coming.   All I got from her was it was after 10PM at night and she would file a report and someone would get back to me in 5 to 7 days. I told her what was going to happen and it has.

The time has come for AARP to look at its member service organization which failed just as bad as the bank, and the AARP team who put this program together. AARP should reinstate the 3% dinning discount to all, and give everyone at least a $200 credit. The money could come from the increased funds AARP is making off the new program.

Trusted Contributor

Great post

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Periodic Contributor

I started on the phone with trying to use Barclay's to activate and use the website!  What a cluster F.  The web site is horrible. Not easy to navigate and every time you do an edit and every time you log into the site, you have to not only log in with user id and password, then you have to type in the card number, DOB, 3 digit code and then they have to call your phone number to give you a secure pass code to enter.  This happened 10 times today.  And then I tried to change to this new card on a merchant's site such as Amazon.  Would not accept this card!!  I have tried to call Barclays since 9 am to 12 midnite for a total of 4 hours on hold.  Never had these problems with Chase!  Plus the hit my credit report is gonna take.  I wish I had opted out of this and stayed with Chase.  As I type this at at 12:58am, I've been on hold (again) for 33 min. waiting for a "relationship manager" to pick up.  What a joke, relationship my ***.

 

 

 

Regular Contributor

I tried phone activation twice - and never got into the system to activate... 

Community Concierge

@suzy0916 Barclays was experiencing a system outage that affected most customer-facing channels. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. Please try contacting Barclays again today. Also, 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 changing of the issuing bank will not impact your credit score. Your credit bureau report may take up to 60 days to update following the transfer.

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Periodic Contributor

What if we simply do not want the useless Barclays Card.  What is the option to cancel WITHOUT it affecting credit????

 

Moderator
Moderator

@Red1016 Thank you for reaching out to AARP. To cancel your card you will have to call them, and I advise waiting a few days. We apologize in advance for your inconvenience of the long hold times you are experiencing at Barclays.  For general account management, like to making payments, checking your transactions, and processing rewards redemptions, please visit www.BarclaysUS.com.  Thank you for your patience as Barclays works through higher than normal call volumes. 

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Contributor

To suggest that this is simply a "Long Hold time" issue is a bit of an understatement don'tcha think?  My 96 yr old mother called in tears explaining that Chase card was cancelled and she was on the phone all morning and her phone was going dead.  So afraid she had zero credit now....This is much more than a "hold problem".  We have tried for over 15 hours ON HOLD and into our 5th day.  If we try to activate online we're told they don't even have her information.  I have no idea how this was researched and put together but it wasn't done correctly.  I scrambled and found another card for her incidentals etc with CHASE. But so disappointed in all concerned.  Talking about leaving people in a bad spot.  This is the Org that is supposed to be looking out for seniors.

Community Concierge

@bobbythek We understand how frustrating this is. Barclays transferred all personal information that was available from her prior Chase account. If her information was outdated she would have experienced issues activating her card. She will need to speak with Barclays, using the number on the back of her credit card to confirm her information and finish activating her new card. We apologize for the inconvenience of long hold times currently being experienced at Barclays.  

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Periodic Contributor

I finally was able to get my 85 year old mom's card activated yesterday after 4 hours and 20 minutes on hold (I don't give up easily) - and Mom had already spent hours on hold earlier in the day - but she could not take the muzak - it was driving her crazy. Today I was finally able to set up an online log in with Barclays, but they had to send me a security code SIX times before they would recognize one of their own codes and allow me to access the account online.  Looked at the pending Barclays statement showing charges which remained since the last Chase card statement had been paid earlier this month. Found one charge from Caremark which in fact had been paid on the last statement with Chase. Sent Barclays an email, and checked again. the duplicate charge appears to have been removed!  Hallelujah!  But word to the wise - absolutely check that first Barclays statement carefully to make sure charges you already paid to Chase in September are not being double billed by Barclays! I set up auto pays (again!) for mom's internet and newspaper providers. She is dealing with changing her cc with her local pharmacy. Set up Barclays so we can pay the AARP cc online with her checking account.  Still have a few more merchants to deal with - including Caremark. But it appears some progress was made today. But not everyone has the hours and days required to take care of this. The transfer from Chase to Barclays was so very very  poorly executed by AARP. Disappointing. 

Contributor

Waited on hold 90 minutes and 30 minutes this morning (9/21) and now 16 minutes this afternoon to address a defect in their 2 factor authentication that is blocking the online access from any phone other than my spouse's. Is it possible for AARP and/or Barclays to own this problem and share a time frame to resolve?

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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Periodic Contributor

It's 7:30PM ET  I spent all day trying to get a SecurPass id to get into the new Barclay's account. I still can't get through.

1. I don't care the Chase contract expired. AARP should have tried harder to keep Chase. Why would Chase dump a whole lot of AARP members? 

2. I think the AARP vp in charge should be fired for this big mess.  Just look at the comments before and after me.

3.  It's probably all about costs and illegal kickbacks.  FBI, if you can hear me,  start the RICO investigation.  Follow the money 😎 

 

--- Update ---

Regarding my suspician, I  hear the kickback "is that Barclays is paying AARP Foundation 1% of our purchases while our benefits are being cut.  " ... FBI/ BBB follow the money!

Trusted Contributor

Great post - AARP never does anything unless it is to their advantage not their members.

Contributor

Well it’s 09/20 & my husband, who is not a very patient person, has been on hold for many hours today trying to activate our new cards. He tried to do it online but got referred to the phone activation route. Can’t believe they “planned” to do all-of these activations on one day. Sure hope this is not an example of the customer service we can expect going forward. 

Community Concierge

@c126841b Some of Barclays’ customer-facing channels have been reported as down and/or experiencing extended hold times. Some customers cannot service any of their requests online or via telephony, including AARP Credit Card activation requests. We apologize for the inconvenience, please try again today.

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Periodic Contributor

It's the 20th of September and I can't even activate my card. I was literally on a phone call with Barclays for 2 hours and 4 minutes and spoke to a human for maybe 5 minutes. this is horrible. my aarp visa was declined and I can't activate the barclays card.

 

Community Concierge

@RonH688410 We sincerely apologize for the frustration this has caused. Barclays was experiencing an outage with their systems and we recommend trying again today. 

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Periodic Contributor

Wow, you actually got to speak to a person?!!  I made 6 calls (9am through Midnite) for a total of 4 hours on hold.  Never spoke to a human. The website is a horror and so is signing in.  I'm supposedly activated, but merchant's like Amazon and PayPal would not accept the card when I tried to enter it.  I am so mad, I could spit nails!

Contributor

My wife and I were able to activate our cards this morning but it didn't do much good. As other people have found out when you try to put the new card into your existing accounts as a method of payment it doesn't work. The card cannot be verified. I had a couple of accounts with small businesses that were so small their on-line systems did not verify the card - only recorded the information so it could be used the next time an order was placed. My wife spent three hours on hold with Barclays and finally gave up. I have read in one other post on a person that did get through after a 4.5 hour hold only to be told the card can not be used for 24 hours after activation - this was NEVER mentioned any place that I read. Always it was "use right away after activation". We will be amoungst the many that will not be using our NEW AARP card but will be cancelling it ASAP. The question will be what impact this will have on our credit score as having heard many times that cancelling a card has a negative impact. In this case we have over 20 years of history that was tied to the old Chase card and will now transfer to the new Barclays card. Wll all that get lost when we cancel?

 

This whole process does not speak well of the AARP administration or for the future of AARP when they place a 1% contribution to the AARP Foundation as more important than their members.

Regular Contributor

David, I am 80 & learning bit by bit from all "MEMBERS" (Surprise!! We never allowed to have any vote on this HUGE financial decision made by AARP who did not want to renew portfolio with our Awesome Provider who never made one error in 30 yrs, gave me a Credit Line that I felt secure with if unplanned things might occur, I doing my part paying on time, enjoying càsh back easy anytime to apply to balance, it was a "Marriage made in Heaven" that felt like a Divorce when tried my very best to activate, attacking my birth date as WRONG!! & Telling me every time I did any move, be patient!! My main question to anyone: please share if you received the same amount on your new credit line w Barclay. I did apply to Chase who I had 30 yrs, Visa which I prefer, was approved very quickly when applied for Freedom Plus was thankful for line given to me, but it was half what I had a few days before sold to Barclays. I have to put new sewer line in, was only card I had with a credit line, used to be $20K about yr ago dropped to $10K guess since didn't use, so now only have 5K to put toward most expensive repair came day I could not activate my new card, see my old credit line in tact. I just need some responses if credit lines dropped or stayed same, this not discussed by folks who gained entrance to Barclays portals....there were many, sort of like Raiders of the Lost Ark. Maybe I gave up too soon, but couldn't stand the trap doors that kept me on edge, hardly slept. Thanks to all who bravely shared, since we're all in this,too, together. Nan

Community Concierge

Hi @DavidH690168, 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

David, I totally agree with you.

Barclays card activation is a total fiasco. I tried 4 times on the 9/20 spending over 3 hours on hold, what a joke. Finally on 9/21 and was able to activate the card online. Then I tried to update Amazon and PayPal auto pay accounts and kept on getting card declined..

Barclays should have rolled this out in stages to avoid the mass confusion of everyone trying to do this on 9/20.

If this is a indication of how Barclays Customer Service is going to be I'll will cancel the card, there are many other cards out there with better perks.

 

Shame on AARP and Barclays this is very frustrating for seniors.

Community Concierge

Hi @pmara1, here to help. We sincerely apologize for this less than ideal situation. We understand how this can be frustrating for members which is also frustrating for AARP. Barclays unfortunately experienced unexpected activation errors yesterday, but are aware of the errors and are actively working to correct them as quickly as possible. An influx of calls due to this has caused extremely high volume and long wait times. Please try waiting another few hours or a day to use the card, or you can try calling later today or tomorrow after volume has died down a bit. While we understand this isn't the fastest resolution, we appreciate you bringing these concerns to our attention as we work with Barclays to get everything resolved. Thanks!

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Honored Social Butterfly

Could it be the activation errors came about due to the poor planing on the part of the Bank and AARP? It was evident Friday that this activation effort was headed for disaster. 

Chase had closed all records on cardholders and was not taking phone calls. People were referred to Barclays bank and given their phone number. When you called that number you were told Barclays was not taking calls till Monday as Chase still handled the cards.

Now do you think that was good planing, and who at AARP signed off on it? I called the AARP 800 center about what was going on. They said they would open a file and someone would get back to me in about 5 days. I asked if they had people from the AARP Team that handled the Credit Card program on site so I could talk to them. The answer was no. They were more concerned it was 10PM at night. I told them that to me it looked like disaster was approaching but they had no understanding of what was happening.

Well it happended and AARP owes an explanation to its members why it happended, and what changes will be made in AARP to prevent it from ever happening again.

I hope you realize that this has damaged every program AARP sponsors as members will always have to answer the question are they as messed up as the Credit Card program.

Periodic Contributor

David, same experience here. I am so disgusted with this whole thing!  So you take a credit hit because Chase got closed on us, then another credit hit if you close Barclays. I never had a problem with Chase and all their features were easy to navigate and a joy to use.

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