My Not Sexy Phone Call to Visa

My new Visa card arrived in the mail today. This is a good thing, since my previous Visa expired on the last day of January. My all-new ultra-secure card arrived with a chip, a PIN, and a purse sized doberman to tear out the throat of any loser who threatens me with credit card fraud or anything resembling identity theft. Or something like that.

First order of business with a new credit card, as I’m sure you know, is to call Visa and request the card be activated. I dialed the number and waited to be connected while I opened a can of crushed tomatoes and immediately gouged myself with my own thumbnail.

I heard a soft click and a woman began speaking French. “Speaking” may not be the best word for it really, since she had a velvet voice and a seductive tone. So this woman starts purring at me in French, welcoming me to the Such and Sucha Bank Visa 24 hour customer service line. She invited me to press “1” for service en Français like she was offering a glass of champagne and a massage.

Then this dude started speaking at me in English. He sounded like the star of a teen movie. I anticipated a fart joke at any moment. Frat boy let me know that pressing “2” would connect me to service in English.

Hmmmm. Clearly, there was a choice to be made. I could speak with Mr. Alpha Theta Knucklehead or Mademoiselle Fishnet Stockings. I pressed “2” because, while I can still skim the gist of a conversation if I listen to people speaking French, but I know I can’t bring up enough words from my French 10 class to actually join in the conversation.

I listened to some kind of tinkly music while I waited to be helped, with Frat Boy interrupting to remind me my call was important every twenty three seconds in the same tone someone might have used to offer me a wedgie. During my wait–which was briefish, to be fair–I kept thinking about the French holding pattern, which I imagine must feature saxophone-laden jazz and the same purring woman who tempted me to choose “1”.

Finally, I got to speak to a (real) woman with a perfectly normal voice. She asked me some rather stupid questions, then told me my card would take several minutes to complete the activation process. In the meantime, I had several offers from Visa she needed to share with me while we waited for confirmation my new card was active.

You know, I am certain there was no “waiting” required. Those Visa people just wanted to hit me with the upsell. Visa must be an acronym: Vultures Insisting Spending (is) Appropriate. Guess what? The credit card people wanted to up my card limit: actually, they wanted to double my limit. How ridiculous. The last thing I want is the opportunity to spend more money I don’t have. Can’t the Visa people see I don’t really use much credit? Damn vultures.

“Carrion my wayward sons.” Officially the worst pun I’ve made this week.

Then, and this is the really ridiculous part, the second offer was balance insurance for my Visa card. According to Judy, the motherly-sounding woman who activated my card, Visa was prepared to offer insurance at a very reasonable rate to cover the balance on my card in case of my accidental death or dismemberment. This was the point where I started laughing. Judy didn’t seem to get the joke. I kept giggling because the idea was so ridiculous to me.

“Um, are you okay” she asked, sounding puzzled.

Snort. Guffaw. “I don’t need insurance, thanks. I think if I am dead or dismembered my Visa card will be the least of my worries. Especially dismembered. People who are in pieces generally don’t care about their credit scores.”

“Maybe ‘dismemberment’ is the wrong word,” Judy admitted.

“Yeah, it is. Who wants to think about being torn apart. This is not a cheerful phone call.”

Now, I know that conversation was recorded for quality assurance. Some guy at Visa will hear what I think about their stinkin’ “Death and Dismemberment” insurance. For only 1.20 per month on each 100 dollars of balance: you must be kidding me.

Vultures aren’t sexy, Visa. Go circle over someone else waiting to be dead or dismembered. I am going to stay alive and intact, thank you ever so much.

copyright 2012:

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Cinderella says:

    Yeah, the banks are disgusting. Such misleading ads and so much fine print designed to gouge.

    We’d all be a lot better off if credit cards had never be invented. If you can’t pay – you don’t buy. No debt issues.

  2. Dalya Moon says:

    Erg, I spent 15 lousy minutes on hold with them yesterday to find out they really didn’t want to do what I wanted them to do. (I was double-charged by a business and they told me I had to track down the clearly-incompetent people at the business and get them to refund my money.)

    1. You mean Visa won’t go to bat for you over a fraudulent charge? Those creeps.
      If I didn’t need to maintain a decent credit rating, I’d just cut up my plastic and be done with it.

  3. I just love your writing. The “purse sized Doberman” part cracked me up!

    1. Awww, thanks. They’re fantastic little critters to have as a means of self-defense. The only thing is, if you think you’ve found a stray chocolate covered almond in the bottom of your purse, chances are very good you haven’t.

  4. I love this Kay!! You totally remind me of Seinfeld……how they make an ordinary every day situation sound totally hilarious by adding great writing and wit. You are such a wonderful writer!

    1. Seinfeld, huh? That’s such a fantastic compliment, Madeline: thank you. I suppose my life isn’t exciting enough to write about my tremendous exploits, so I have to write about the trivial bits.

  5. FL Liz says:

    I don’t have a blog but once in a while I email an account of an event to my sister and brother. I shared this story with them yesterday. They both thought it was great and my sister added that it sounded like something I would write. That was a huge compliment!!
    I love your writing, don’t comment often, but read you daily. Thanks for starting my mornings, and yesterday, that of my siblings. I’ve sent your link along to them.

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