Nov 30 2007
Before I get to the main attraction, I want to make a little sidebar rant on something that has annoyed me for a long time. I have always hated Thetruth.com commercials, and even though I’m no longer a smoker, they still annoy the crap out of me. I really don’t like the fact that a bunch of aggressive teenagers with bullhorns are on my television trying to tell me how to live. I was a teenager once, too, and I remember how it felt like you knew EVERYTHING and you were SO SMART and everything was so freaking OBVIOUS I mean MY GOD are people totally freaking RETARDED or what? And unfortunately, that’s exactly how these commercials come off: a bunch of superior, smug, condescending teenagers walking around all cocky and trying to make the adults see how moronic they really are. However, since we got our DVR I’ve had to see much less of this because we skip past all of the commercials. Whee! The other night, I happened to be watching live TV and a Truth commercial came on. I noticed their new slogan is “Whudafxup?” And my question is, how did they get that one past the FCC? Is it just because they’re not spelling out the word “fuck’s”? Is it because they never say their slogan, but rather just display it? Normally, I wouldn’t care because I have a rather salty vocabulary myself, and I’m certainly not going to begrudge anyone else the use of profanity, but I really don’t like this organization already, and to see them skirting the line of standards on the airwaves with no one even mentioning the profanity really twists my shorts. We can’t say “shit” in programming clearly intended for and marketed to adults, but we can hide the word “fuck” in commercials seen by all ages in all kinds of programming. Just because who wants to come down on the earnest (cocky), do-gooding (superior) young people? Blech.
Anyhow, that’s really not what I intended to write about when I opened up this page. What I really intend to write about is canceling my credit card. One of my credit card companies has been slowly pissing me off for years. I recently decided enough was enough, and started using a different card as my “main” card. I wanted to cancel the annoying card, so I called them up today. First problem: no toll-free number. I had to call long distance to talk to these people. And once I called, I had to listen to the longest, slowest, list of things in the world. My account information. My balance. My credit limit. Who to call if my card was stolen. What to do if I wanted to request a new card. Procedures to take if I needed to file for assistance getting rid of garden slugs. Finally: press 0 to speak to an account representative. I press 0.
Lady: Hello, and thank you for calling Account Services. May I have your account number, please?
Now, when I was listening to the Longest List In The World, one of the things I heard was that they had identified my account number based on my telephone number. So, I know she had the account number in front of her. What was all this about? But, I told her my account number, my first and last name, and my mother’s maiden name. Just to roll things along. Oh, did I mention this lady had a very quiet voice and a thick accent? Woo!
Lady: How can I help you today, Miss Jas?
Me: I need to close my account.
Lady: I’m so sorry to hear that. Can I ask you why you would like to close your account today?
Me: There are a lot of reasons. I just need to close it.
Lady: All right, Miss Jas. Please wait while I connect you to an Account Manager.
More time on hold. Did I mention I was paying for this call? Good.
Account Manager: Hello Miss Jas. I am Alissa. (um, sure you are. Your accent is thicker than the last lady’s.) How may I assist you today?
Me: I want to close my account.
Alissa: I’m so sorry to hear that, Miss Jas. May I ask why you would like to close your account today?
Me: *sighs* Well, there’s an annual fee on the card. And you kept raising the credit limit even though I asked you not to. And, you called me all the time with offers that I’ve already said “no” to multiple times.
Alissa: I’m so sorry, Miss Jas. You paid the annual fee on the card in…um…August, so it will not be charged again until next August. I’m so sorry you…um…were disturbed by our constant calling. We make these offers to…um…make your service better, Miss Jas. Can you tell me, Miss Jas, what…um…is more important to you in a card: low interest rates or no annual fee?
Me: I don’t really want to talk about this. As far as I know, I’m paying for this call. I didn’t dial a toll-free number. I would like to just get this closed and get off the phone as soon as possible.
Alissa: I’m so sorry, Miss Jas. As you know, this card will help your credit rating because you do not…um…carry a balance and -
Me: Ma’am, I know all that. I don’t care. I would like to close this account, please.
Alissa: Are you sure you would not…um…like to keep this card for holiday spending, Miss Jas? As you know–
Me: MA’AM. Close. This. Account. Now.
Alissa: I’m so sorry, Miss Jas. This account is now officially closed. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Me: No, thank you.
Alissa: You have a good day, Miss Jas.
Me: You too.
I hate talking to customer service at any time, but when you are canceling something it is like annoyance in triplicate. They don’t want to believe that you have actual, valid reasons for stopping service. I realize it’s these people’s jobs to try to stop people from canceling, because it used to be MY job to do that. But when it was my job, I also realized that when someone said they were in a hurry, or really didn’t want to talk about options, that they MEANT it. More often than not, if I ignored that warning and tried to go on with my “please don’t leave” spiel, it resulted in someone yelling at me and demanding a supervisor.
Bottom line is: I feel like the only time anyone in the service industry actually LISTENS anymore is when someone is about to cancel, and by then it’s usually too late. I asked my credit card company multiple times to stop calling with offers and to stop raising my credit limit. I asked if there was any way to get rid of the annual fee. And all I ever got was an elaborate list of excuses that boiled down to: NO. And they’re surprised when I don’t want their card anymore?