. . . for the hearing-impaired, dealing with customer service is bizarro. . .
I have had a crazy day from finding out that we accidentally took home a throw pillow from our vacation rental to trying to buy a computer online with my premium visa cc. The hours we have spent with Visa’s customer service. . .
The problem started because I didn’t have the right telephone number. You see we have a branded Citibank Visa and they have their own customer service. I got Citibank’s regular customer service and from there it turned surreal.
I have a lot of trouble hearing customer service agents because I need to use speakerphone to hear and they are in call centers where they work in a large room with little cubicles and they wear headphones. Headphones and speakerphones don’t mix. I told them several times and they weren’t getting it.
Finally, I decided on my last resort – I called Angelo down to hear for me. Well, it seems that they can’t tell the difference between a hearing problem and Alzheimer’s. After a lot of shouting on the phone by Angelo, they began to demand all kinds of things, like proof of who he was and how old he was, and asking for his credit card. Then they wanted to put the charge on his credit card.
Well, it went on and on like one side of a Laurel and Hardy routine, with Hardy getting madder and madder talking to the bank. They were supposed to give us some kind of confirmation number but said we had to talk to one more person. It turned out that they were running a special promotion which included a cash card and the possibility of winning a trip to the Bahamas. Hardy was screaming into the phone: What is this? I don’t want a cash card, I don’t want a trip to the Bahamas. all I want is for my wife to buy a computer with her credit card.
Then they gave him a telephone number to call to get the confirmation number. He called the number and it turned out to be AT&T’s telephone number information service (a la the old 411). Hardy hung up and then called the visa number back and we had another nonsensical go around.
Then Laurel, in typical Laurel fashion, discovered the number for the branded citicard visa customer service. After an interval of Laurel being subjected to Hardy’s outrage, we settled into a very civilized customer service call. The problem has yet to be resolved but due to vendor computer to citicard computer communications problems, which the company selling me the computer has to solve.
So Laurel and Hardy have been in a state of outrage with citibank and each other all day. I am tired.
I hope this gives you a laugh.
Of course, this was just the first credit card. I gave up on visa and turned to my American Express Card. That was rejected the first time as well, but I called American Express right away. They were running a promotion as well, but when I told them I wasn’t interested they passed me on to a Customer Service agent. She was a woman with a lovely Jamaican accent who arranged the approval and said: “Would you like me to stay on the line while you run it through again, dear?”
She did, and the payment was instantaneously accepted.
I've always liked American Express. They have such wonderfully efficient and calming people.