I don’t want whatever you’re trying to sell me

Earlier this week, I had to activate two credit cards that had expired. I thought this would be easy and pain-free, but boy was I wrong.

With the first one, I dial the 800 number and go through a mostly automated system. At the end, it tells me to “wait on the line for confirmation that your new card has been confirmed.” Okay, I think. It’ll only be like 30 seconds before the automated voice comes back and says everything’s good.

Oh, Anger Ball, such wishful thinking.

I’m on the line, and suddenly it starts ringing. Then some dude picks up who works for the credit card company. He asks me for information to verify my account, and then he says “What can I help you with today?”

Why don’t you tell me, asshole? Don’t worry, that’s not what I said. I know it wasn’t his fault. I told him that I was asked to stay on the line to receive confirmation that my card was activated. He pauses for a second and then says “Oh. It’s active.”

Okay, then.

So…why did it go from an automated system to a customer service rep? There was no need. You can’t tell me that they can’t program the system to verify my card. What was the fucking point of bouncing me to that guy who had no idea what I’d been bounced to him for? Shouldn’t he be handling more important things, like fraud or identity theft? And he didn’t even try to sell me anything, which makes it even MORE baffling. I just want to activate my card. The only thing that should happen is an automated voice saying “You’re card’s active. Now go spend some money!”

Then I go to activate my other card. THIS was even more of a disaster. I punch in the card number via an automated system, and then it bounces me to a real person. This woman was so hard to understand, and I’m not sure why. She didn’t have a very heavy accent of any kind. I thought maybe my reception was bad, so I danced a jig around my apartment trying to find the best place to stand in order to be able to answer her questions with anything other than “What?” It was fruitless. No matter where I stood, it was impossible to understand this woman, almost like there was static on the line. I conclude it is part of their plan to try and get me to agree to anything just to get off the fucking phone.

So while I’m trying to hold my breath to see if that helps me understand what this woman is asking me, she takes a laundry list of my information to verify my account. THEN SHE PUTS ME ON HOLD. WHAT THE HELL? You had the time to take information from me for 15 minutes, but now suddenly you have a more urgent task? I JUST WANT TO ACTIVATE MY CARD. Why is this such a time-consuming task?

She finally comes back, and of course apologizes for the unexplained delay. Then she starts asking me if I want to buy fraud protection and credit assurance and blahblahblah I couldn’t hear half of it anyway. I say “No. I don’t want anything added to my card.” She goes on to tell me that it wouldn’t cost me anything if my balance is $0! Guess what, lady? I don’t have a credit card so it can sit around unused. I have it because I need it. So when would my balance ever be $0? I DON’T WANT TO ADD THIS SHIT TO MY CARD. IT WILL COST MONEY (THAT I DON’T HAVE, WHICH IS WHY I HAVE YOUR CARD IN THE FIRST PLACE).

I have to tell her that like a million more times in thousands of different ways. It starts to feel like I’m talking to a Sphinx or something, but a dumb one that keeps asking me the same riddle over and over again. After five minutes of this, she finally thanks me for calling and says my card is activated and releases me from my personal hell.

At least for the second one, I understand it. They put you through to a real person to try and get you to buy shit. But if I wanted those services, I would call them about that. So I wish they would just let you go through an automated system to activate your card, and then at the end say “Press 1 to talk to a representative and learn about the features you can add to your card.” Sure, probably very few people would choose that option, but it would sure as hell save the rest of us a lot of frustration.


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