When is a deadline not a deadline?

I understand deadlines – I’ve been working with them for over 20 years.  And I’m proud to say that I have never in my professional career missed a deadline.  Not once.

But apparently not everyone feels the same way.  Case in point, the gentleman I just spoke with from the customer service department of a major financial services company.

I happened to be checking my bill online this morning when I noticed that the due date had been moved forward by two weeks – in this instance, from early July to late June. Problem is, for as long as I’ve been doing business with this company I have budgeted to pay the bill early in the month.  So I called customer service:

“Oh,” the rep said, cheerfully. “You don’t have to worry about that.  I know it says ‘due by June 28th’ on the bill, but it’s not actually due until mid-July.”

Then why doesn’t it say mid-July?

Apparently, this company treats its customers like college students who require an automatic extension on the term paper.  I mean, if they don’t think I’m responsible enough to understand a deadline, then why are they doing business with me in the first place?

For me, good customer service is honest and transparent.  Say what you need and I’ll deliver on it.  I really can’t imagine doing business any other way.