Call Center Operators – Bless Them, But They Drive Me Crazy.

Today in my mail, I received my new bank credit card. I went online to activate it and surprisingly the response was, “information does not correspond to what we have on file, please call our service center.”

Seriously? I’m not an idiot. I’m pretty sure I know how to type in my name and 16 number back code.

So I call the number on the little sticker on the front of the card “to activate.” Of course, it goes to an automated service, for which I am thankful. I always feel I can get more accomplished if I just do it myself. It’s like the self check out at the grocery. I can do it faster, but it usually ends up kicking my ass when the machine doesn’t understand the word “broccoli” and I have to wait for assistance.

On the phone, I type all my information in using the keypad. I am highly skeptical of the voice command option. A few minutes later a recording comes on and says, “I’m sorry but we need to connect you to our customer service representative.”

Are you kidding me? What should have taken me 2 minutes is now eating up 5 minutes. So on hold I sit and wait. Finally, Daniella comes on the line. Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

“Thank you for contacting ABC Bank. Can I have the last 4 digits of your bank card.”

– 1234 –

“Thank you, I have 1234. Can I have your zip code.”

– 77777 –

“Thank you, I have 77777. Can I have your first and last name.”

– Donna Smith –

“Thank you, Donna. How are you today?”

– Fine –

“I’m glad to hear that. Now you wanted to activate your card correct?”

– Yes –

(and then it happens)

“For all of our family here at ABC Bank, we’re offering a special deal for the next 30 days, free for you to try.”

– I’m not interested –

“The offer is for a 30 day free trial of our Silver Savings Program, in case you lose your job or become impaired…”

And she went on and on and on. I thought about interrupting her but thought, this poor thing has a suck job. It’s not her fault that she has to read this script. She probably got fired in the recession and this is the only thing she can find for work.

“….for just $0.89 a month you can have peace of mind…”

Seriously, for less than a dollar a month you say? I could have Peace of Mind? That would be great. Does that mean someone is going to come to my house to ensure I have Peace of Mind? What is Peace of Mind anyway? Not having to worry about what to cook for dinner? No stress on having to find a parking space? Worrying about driving in bad weather and the idiot behind me sliding into my car on the icy roads? Whether or not the kids are going to get all their school work done this evening? Trying to figure out how to get into that cute pair of jeans for our date night this Friday? Wondering what I’d do if I lost my job in the first place?

“So after 30 days if you aren’t happy with the program, just call and cancel it through our 800 number.”

What could I do with $0.89 a month? Buy a cotton ball. Make a pay phone call, if I could find a pay phone still in existence. In the ladies room I could buy several tampons. $0.75 would get me a few bubblegum balls. Hummm….or I could spend it on getting “Peace of Mind” from my bank. Are you kidding me with this?

– Thank you, but I am not interested in the program. –

“I can understand your hesitation for not wanting to sign up for the program, but I can send it to you free of charge. Having Peace of Mind is a great thing in today’s economy.”

– I am not interested, I just need the card activated. –

“Your card has been activated.”

Good grief. Again, what should have taken 2 minutes has now taken nearly 15 minutes. It was like a bait and switch. Or better yet, when you go into a store and at check out they ask if you want to donate $1 to the needy this or that group. No! I hate being nickeled and dimed every time I turn around. All in the name of Peace of Mind. Well, let me tell you….Peace of Mind also includes activating my card without all the hassle of a sales pitch. Thank you and have a good day.

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