Wednesday, July 01, 2009


An Actual Letter from a Long Time Customer

Dear Kind Folks of my credit card company:

Earlier today, I tried to pay my account by your easy to use automated phone system. As you can see from your records, I have used this payment process every month for the last several years. When I dialed the number, I was greeted with a new recording reminding me of a recent email from you changing my payment due date, and that due to these emails to all your card users that you were experiencing an unusually large call volume, and that I would get better service online.

When I elected to remain on hold because my payment due date was tomorrow instead of next week, which you unilaterally changed without adequate notice. I heard a second message stating that I would be on hold for four to six minutes. I thought that this was a reasonable amount of time, so I continued to hold. At this point I heard a phone ringing sound and I was transferred to a new area, the area I wanted in the first place, the area to pay by phone. Once I went through all the familiar prompts I got to the final phase of making the payment, confirmation by inputting my zip code. I entered my zip code and heard “we did not recognize your input. To confirm your payment please enter your zip code.” I reentered my zip code and got the same message again, reentered my zip code and received the same message yet again. The phone rang again and I was told by an electronic voice to please hold for an operator.

At this point I was put on hold and trapped by music that could have only been devised to induce coma, or possibly to encourage the listener to down a fistful of Valium and chase it with a quart of bourbon. This Purgatory lasted eighteen minutes, whereupon I heard a loud click and blessed silence. Imagine my feelings when, after two minutes of silence, the next thing I heard was a familiar phone company message of “If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and dial again…” I was cut off.

I need to know if my payment went through. Call me immediately. If I am given a late charge due to this situation I will pay down my balance as soon as possible and end our relationship, which will no doubt spare hundreds of trees due to the reduction of junk mail you send me weekly stuffed with checks you want me to write at the highest 'cash advance' interest rate. This will also undoubtedly spare my postal carrier dozens of physical therapy visits due to his decreased load.


Robert Bronstein
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