Friday, October 12, 2007

Credit Cards. Again.

The saga continues as I activate my replacement credit cards with my new last name.

I know that from a marketing standpoint, making a sales pitch while you have a consumer on the line is a smart decision. From a normal human standpoint, it's farking annoying.

I carefully enter all that the automated system requests: my account number, the last 4 of my social, my birth date, my billing zip code, and which party I voted with during the last Presidential election, spelled out using the number keys. Just as I think I'm home free, my call is being transferred to the next available representative. Who happens to be Indian. And bored.

He starts by asking me, in heavily accented English, to verify my account information. Which, note, I already did through the automated system. As we know = huge pet peeve.

"Unfortunately, ma'am, there is a minor discrepancy between the information you have provided and the information in our system. Could you please verify your last name again as it is written on your card?" he reads, monotone.

I say and then spell my new last name.

"Unfortunately, ma'am, there is a minor discrepancy between the information you have provided and the information in our system," he launches into again. I take my eyeballs out of my head, roll them around, and put them back. As it turns out, although all of my information is displayed accurately under My Account online, Punjab here can't locate any of it. As far as he knows, I stole this card.

It doesn't appear to concern him, though, because he wants (and I realize that "wants" is a strong word) to enroll me in fraud protection and disability coverage. He reads a long spiel about the benefits of enrolling, goes back and rereads half of it after he loses his place, and finishes by adding that it only costs $0.79 a day. "That's only 7-9 cents a day," he reiterates with a complete lack of passion. "Do I have your permission to enroll you in this program?"

"No," I reply, just as flatly.

"Ma'am, I understand what you are saying." Not much to understand, really. He goes over the benefits with me again, just in case I wasn't clear. "Can you tell me why you wouldn't be interested in protecting yourself in these ways?" Whoever wrote this was pretty good.

"Sure." I feel badly for what I'm about to say because it's not his fault, and I've been there before. I get over it and go on. "Because all I was trying to do was activate my card. You can't locate any of my information, which is totally the company's fault because it's all correct online, and then I have to listen to this lengthy sales pitch, which is annoying because do you know how much my time is worth?" I finish.

Since I'm unemployed until next week, it's actually worth nothing. But something I said must have triggered the Point of No Return script.

"Don't forget to sign the back of your card." He hangs up.


Kyle said...

I love, when talking to the heavily accented English speakers (not to make sweeping generalizations, but typically Indian accents) working for help desks, credit card companies, etc., when they proudly answer the call "Hello, this is Mike, how can I help you?"

dana said...

People like you are why I "resigned" from Sprint after not meeting my required sales quotas at the inbound customer service call center... Thank God for you.