New! Ultimate Hassle Card (Phone Transcript)

AUTOMATED ANSWER: This call will be monitored or recorded.

Me: [chuckle, as I am also recording the call.]

JO: Hi, thank you for calling card services, my name is Jo. May I get your card number?

Me: Sure. [Silenced: yeah, right. Like I'd give that out here.]

Jo: Thank you, give me a moment here, ok? And your first and last name?

Me: [Silenced.]

Jo: For security purposes, may I have your mother's maiden name?

Me: [Silenced.]

Jo: Alright, give me a moment. I'd like to thank you for calling today to confirm receipt of your **** Freedom Ultimate Card.

It's now good to go and ready for immediate use, just please don't forget to remove the activation sticker and sign the back of your card for the added security of your account.

We would like to thank you for the continued loyalty that you have with ****. Can I also...

Me: Well, you know - I'm a little disappointed this doesn't feel like "Freedom" to me.

This feels like a downgrade - [I] used to get 5% on the gas, groceries... [I trail off because I couldn't remember the third thing.]

Now, it's only for 4 months? I'm actively looking for another card unless you offer a stable card that I don't have to sign in quarterly to sign up for specials.

Jo: I understand your point of view, ma'am. We're trying to have all the rewards systems uniform, so... that's what happened, and every three months, you're correct, you have to call it or you have to reactivate the 5% cash back because categories change each month.

[small awkward silence]

Me: How is that freedom?

[longer awkward silence]

Me: [begins, since she wasn't responding] I just - just don't understand the choice in word[ing] there. I think I'd maybe call it "Check-up Quarterly" or "Quarterly 5%" not "Freedom" but, hey...

Jo: Uh...

Husband: Hassle Card.

Me: Hassle Card! [I laugh as I repeat it for Jo's benefit. I didn't realize he was listening.]

Jo: Oh, I'm really sorry... [This is the point in which she's sorry... that her company policy doesn't allow her to simply disconnect the call.]

Me: I'm just frustrated. This is the card that I have and the card that I'm using but I'm not happy with the update.

[small awkward silence]

Jo: I'd like to apologize for any inconvenience. But what I'll do, ma'am - I'll go ahead and submit a suggestion to our suggestion box, right away because we want to hear from our card members and see what we can do about it.

Now, since you've mentioned about the 5% cash back just to also compensate for any inconvenience, would you like me to go and visit the website for you and activate the 5% for this quarter?

Me: [cuts her off] No, I already did that, thank you. I got an email, so... [I was disappointed in her offer - though - in hindsight, I am sorry I didn't ask her to go ahead and do that for me - for every quarter. You know - to compensate for the inconvenience!]

Jo: Oh, ok - that's good. Uh hm! [I can tell she's still smiling. Or maybe, she's wincing.] Ok, and again ma'am, I'd like to apologize for any inconvenience. Will there be anything else today? [she wants to get off this call, and I don't blame her.]

Me: [I realized this would be good ZUG material, and felt a little guilty about recording the call] Hey, you know, this is very humorous to me to me, honestly. This call may be recorded for humorous purposes!

[awkward silence]

Jo: All calls are recorded, ma'am. And, I'll go ahead and submit a comment about what you have said ...and send it to the upper-management.

Me: That's great. [Now I was worried she meant she would report my recording the call and not that I'm unhappy about the new card. I try to patch things up by being congenial again.] Thank you very much for activating my card - and for listening to me. [after all, it is torture!]

Jo: You're very welcome, and I'll make sure that I'll go ahead and submit this comment right away. [chuckles]

Me: Thank you, take care -- bye-bye!

Jo: You're welcome, you take care, ma'am. Good bye! [She was still patient and smiling at the end of the call! She was probably smiling because she was finally getting off this call.]