Elan Financial Services: why are you so bad at this?

By | December 16, 2022

I had a Visa card issued by Elan Financial Services branded through my bank (Eastern Bank). Elan is consistently mediocre. Their web site looks and works like it was built 20 years ago. Their monthly statements tell you how much “bonus” cash back you earned but don’t tell you which transactions fall into which bonus category, so you can’t verify that their numbers are correct or identify merchants that aren’t getting the bonus you think they should be. Etc.

Here, though, is today’s rant about how mediocre they are. This is adapted from a message I just sent them through their web site (to their credit, they do support customers sending them messages through their web site, something which, amazingly, USAA does not; but that’s a rant for another day).

Why are you so bad at this?

I mean that question with all sincerity. I regularly run into problems with your online services which are just comically ridiculous. Here’s the one I’m writing to complain about today…

A few weeks ago I received a paper letter from you informing me that since you were unable to email me my eStatement notification, you were going to switch my account back to paper statements. The letter said that I should log into my account and switch eStatements back on after verifying my email address if that’s what I wanted. I did that!

Today, a week or two later, I received an email from you with the subject line “Jonathan, sign up for e-statements” and body text saying “It’s time to go paperless” with a button labeled “Switch to E-Statements”. But I already did that 1-2 weeks ago!

OK, so, I decided to log into my account on your web site to confirm that eStatements were properly enabled. I clicked the “Switch to E-Statements” button in the email and logged in, and… nowhere on the page I landed on was there any instructions for how to change my eStatements settings.

I spent several minutes browsing all over the site, clicking through every single page, trying to find the page where I could verify that I was enrolled in eStatements or turn them on/off. I was entirely unsuccessful.

Finally, back on the home page, I noticed an ad in the upper right quadrant of the page, one of three rotating ads: “Reduce the risk of identity theft. Sign up for eStatements.” It had an “Enroll Now” button. Aha! I said. I clicked that button.

That brought me to my “Online Statements” page, which I had already visited earlier while trying to figure out how to turn on/off eStatements, and guess what? There is literally nothing about eStatements visible on that page. It doesn’t say they’re turned on, doesn’t say how to turn them on or off. It doesn’t mention them at all.

So, best guess, here’s what I think:

  • I am already enrolled in eStatements. I should not have received the email you sent me this morning.
  • Your web site does not display any message about eStatements anywhere on the site if the user is already enrolled in eStatements.
  • Your web site does not give the user the ability to turn off eStatements; to do that you have to know you’re enrolled and either send a message or call customer service on the phone.

None of this is OK. It’s a comically bad user experience and comically bad customer service.
So many other credit card companies handle things like this so much better. Why are you so bad at it?

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