Let's start with the fact that it was all my fault.
I knew I had online payments to make on the 15th. It was a Monday, I got busy, and next thing ya know, I'd missed the cut-off time (3:00 p.m. ET, which is, unfortunately, noon for me on the west coast).
So I was looking at late payment fees on three credit cards that ranged from $22 to $39.
I lamented the loss to a co-worker who said "Call them up and ask them to rescind the charges. Be nice."
I was fine with the calling up piece, but I am not known for always being nice. However, it was worth a try.
I only called two places. The third was handled entirely by e-mail. I was so nice, and so apologetic, it's lucky I didn't go into a diabetic coma
Dang if it didn't work.
I told everyone who responded, including "Robert" with the suspiciously heavy Indian accent, that I knew I was in the wrong and that I had, in fact, made a late payment. Since I was only one day late, and it hadn't happened in the past, and I was a good customer (here, I had my fingers crossed that they looked only at my balances and payment history without noticing that I hadn't charged anything in almost a year), could they please just this once help me out.
When they did help me out, I thanked them profusely.
I saved myself $78.
Of course, I wouldn't have had those charges in the first place if I'd been a tad more prompt with my payments