Christmas Is Cancelled, Just Like Your Card

, , , , , | Right | December 24, 2019

(I work in the security department for a credit card company. When a customer receives a new card it is blocked to all transactions until they call to activate it. This call happens about 10:00 pm on Christmas Eve.)

Me: “Good evening. Security department, [My Name] speaking. How can I help?”

Caller: “Hi. I got a new card and it’s not working. I spoke to someone earlier and they said they’d activate it but it’s still not working. I’ve tried using it a few times and it keeps declining.”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that. May I take your card number and [security details] to verify the account?”

Caller: “Yeah, it’s [details].”

Me: “Thank you. I’ve checked the notes on the account and we just need you to send some additional information to us before we can activate the card.”

Caller: “No way. The girl I spoke to earlier said she’d activate the card straight away.”

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t see any notes about any earlier calls. You will need to send the required information before we can activate this card.”

Caller: “That’s not good enough! It’s Christmas f****** Eve and I’ve brought my whole family out to dinner. I said I’d pay and now my card isn’t working. What am I supposed to f****** do?”

Me: “Do you have any other cards you can pay with or do any members of your family have cards or cash on them?”

Caller: “No! I have no other cards and no cash, and because I said I’d pay none of my family have any money with them. Do you have any idea how f****** embarrassing this is? Activate the card now!”

Me: “I suggest you speak to the restaurant to see if they can arrange something or see if you can call someone who can bring cash to you. As I’ve already said, I cannot activate this card tonight. You will need to send in the required information first.”

(The call goes round in circles for the next ten minutes as the customer gets angrier. Eventually, I end the call.)

Coworker: “Man, I could hear him screaming at you from here. How did you stay so calm and polite?”

Me: “He’s in a restaurant with his whole family and not one of them have cash or cards on them? That seems unlikely, so I looked at the transaction history. He said he’s trying to use the card, but if he tried to use it that would show as a declined transaction on the system. There are absolutely no transactions — nothing. He’s lying. It’s easy to stay calm when I know the customer is in the wrong and just trying to fluster me!”

(Sure enough, when I checked the account after Christmas, it had been closed as a fraudulent application.)

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