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Only Halfway Into The Digit-al Age

, , | Right | October 1, 2021

Caller: “I need to pay for the order I placed yesterday.”

Me: “Certainly. How did you want to pay for that?”

Caller: “With my credit card. Hold on, let me get it.”

This, unfortunately, is not unusual; people call all the time specifically to pay for something, and then have to get their card from the safe, another room, their car out in the parking lot, after they’re done going through the drive-thru, etc. It’s annoying, mainly because it drives up our call times, which then comes up in performance reviews, even though we can’t control how unprepared a caller is going to be.

After a minute or two of shuffling…

Caller: “I found it. Let me see… Gosh, the numbers are small.”

Me: “Take your time.”

Caller: “It’s a [Brand]. I think the first number is a 7?”

It can’t be; the first digits for the major consumer credit card are 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Me: “Mmm, I’m not sure that’s correct. Can you try again?”

Caller: “Let me put it under my magnifier.” *More shuffling* “That’s better, I think.” *Rattles off eight numbers* “Oh, shoot, I just can’t read the last ones.”

Me: “Well, have you maybe used it with us before? I can try to find your last order.”

Caller: “No, I’ve never placed an order with you before. Gosh, there’s a glare, and these numbers are so small… and my bigger magnifier needs batteries… Let me turn on the rest of my lights.”

A couple of minutes pass.

Caller: “Well, that’s maybe a five… Nope, still can’t see the rest.”

Me: “Is there maybe anyone else nearby who can help you read those last numbers?”

Caller: “No, it’s just me for the moment.”


Caller: “So, are we good?”

Me: *Dumbfounded* “I’m sorry, but I need the last four digits and the expiration date to process payment.”

Caller: “Oh. Well.”

He reads off the first eight numbers again, with a few of the digits different.

Caller: “I really wish I could read these last four digits!”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but I think maybe you’ll just have to call us back when someone can help you read the number or when you have another payment method you can read in full.”

It still took several more minutes to convince him the first eight digits just weren’t good enough. Honestly, I’m sympathetic, but I have to wonder, what was his plan?