Credit Cards 101

“I don’t care if you have a credit card, I’m not selling you 100 pounds of dog food.”

I’ve noticed that I help ESP customers with more than just their TV service. I mean, I help them with life in general. ESP’s need a little more assistance with pretty much everything. Like walking ten feet, eating a bowl of Wheaties, or simply using a credit card.

Winston: “I’m sorry sir, but the credit card is still saying ‘declined’ in our system.”

Customer: “Well Hell, it’s brand spankin’ new, I have no idea why it won’t work.”

Winston: “Have you used it yet?”

Customer: “Well, no. I told ya, it’s brand new.”

Winston: “That might be the problem.”

Customer: “What, do I have to do something with a new card?”

Winston: “Yes, you have to activate it.”

Customer: “Activate it? I have to activate a credit card? How in Hell’s name do I do that?”

I won’t go into detail on how to activate a card, gentle reader. I know you’re intelligent and can figure out that the giant sticker on the card saying “Call to Activate” isn’t there for decoration.


3 thoughts on “Credit Cards 101

  1. And here we go again with mutual pain. Have you received any of those calls from someone losing their damn minds about how “there’s money on the card right now, damn it!”, and it turns out that they (or, in the case of half of my calls, Daddy) made the deposit to their bank account maybe five minutes earlier? I got a lot of those, where the ditz was five minutes away from having the phone/power cut off, Daddy sent a last-minute check, and Ditz deposited it without reading the ATM notice that said “Funds may not be available for immediate withdrawal.” Of course, it’s our fault that the payment can’t go through, and that Ditz will have to pay an additional fee to reconnect the power when the funds are available.

    (With my old company, we had a lot of people who also figured that they were going to game the system. One of our client utility companies had a standing policy: if your power was disconnected, make the payment by 3:00 p.m. to reconnect it on the same day. This was related over and over to customers, and it was part of the message left when going through the power company’s phone tree. After 3:00, you were going to wait until sometime the next day. Without fail, that meant that we got calls from people who were told “3:00 or else,” made their payments through my company at ten minutes to 7 in the evening, wanted the power turned back on right then, and called us when the power company said “No dice.” I had one guy call up at just short of 8:00, our call center closing time, with a massive sob story about how he had no idea how his power was cut off, but he had to have it back on because his asthmatic daughter wouldn’t be able to breathe otherwise. I set up a conference call with the power company to see what we could do, and I rapidly found he only wanted me there so he had another voice to back him up as he threatened to go to the papers if he didn’t get satisfaction right then. Then he decided to play the “I wanna talk to your manager” routine all the way up to the end, demanding that the power company rep get the CEO on the line right then. He then started screaming abuse when she wouldn’t do that, and that’s when I figured out that his asthmatic daughter lived in the same room as his sanity and his humility. Oh, I don’t miss those days at all.)

  2. Do you guys ever think to yourselves, “You know, I could work here in this abysmal pit of misery, or I could live in a dumpster and spend my days drinking my own urine, mumbling to myself and hallucinating?” And does the latter ever seem like the better option?

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