I got a call from PC Financial last week saying that one of their merchants had had a security breach, and they were sending me a new credit card. I'd signed up only a month earlier, so I was slightly annoyed, but identity theft would have been more annoying. I said thank you and checked the mail every day looking for the new card.
In a furious attempt to show my body who's boss, I haven't been eating the last few days until after I go to the gym in the evening. Dysfunctional but effective: I've lost 3.5 pounds already. As a result, I was starving yesterday on the way back from a marathon gym session, when I finally found the card waiting in our mailbox. I decided to do the card activation while microwaving my supper, since it should be quick. This is what happened (the caps are me yelling...):
Automated system: "Welcome to PC Financial. Stay on the line for service in English." (Pause). "Enter the 16-digit number on your card."
I type in the number.
Automated system: "Enter the month of your birth, followed by the last two digits of your birth year."
Me: "What?" (Pause while my food-deprived brain slowly figures this out). I type in the number.
Automated system: "Enter the security code on the back of your card."
The card is still glued to the paper it came on, so I quickly pull it off and flip it over. As I type the first number...
Automated system: "You have not entered the correct security code."
Me: "For fuck's sakes, give me a second!" I finish typing in the number.
Automated system: "Enter your access code and then select a PIN."
I type in the number.
Automated system: "Type in your PIN again to verify."
I type in the number.
Automated system: "Invalid PIN entry." Me: "What the hell?" Phone begins ringing and is answered by a call centre rep, who blitzes through his name and several identity verification questions.
Rep: "While your card is activating, let me tell you about the insurance products we have available with this card."
Me: "I'm not interested." Rep ignores me and continues talking.
Me: "This is a replacement card and I just heard this information. I'm not interested."
Rep: "I know this is a replacement card, but why wouldn't you want this product?" Starts rhyming off sales pitch again.
Me: "I.am.not.interested. Is my card activated or not?"
Rep: "Why don't you want this insurance? You need it to protect yourself and have peace of mind. Here are the benefits..."
Me: "I am an accountant who works at an insurance company. I have adequate insurance already. Is my card activated?"
Rep: "Disability and job loss happen to everyone, ma'am. I don't understand why you don't want this product. The features are outstanding!"
Me: "All I want to know is whether my card is activated or not, and whether my PIN went through properly. Can..." Rep interrupts me to start telling me about the insurance again.
I hold the phone out to my husband and ask if the rep is still talking. When he finally stops five minutes later and there is blessed silence, I say hello again.
Rep: "So I'm going to send you the contract and you can sign it and send it back."
Me: "I haven't heard anything you said, because I wasn't listening. I told you I wasn't interested, and you kept talking, so I put the phone down. I just need to know whether my card is activated and..." Rep interrupts me to start telling me about the insurance again.
Me: "STOP TALKING! Do NOT interrupt me..." Rep starts talking. Me: "I said, STOP TALKING! Is my card activated?"
Rep (sulkily): "Well, you wouldn't let me talk, so I couldn't tell you. And I don't know anything about your PIN."
Me: "I'm done talking to you. Transfer me to your supervisor." Rep starts talking about the insurance again.
Me: "I SAID, TRANSFER ME TO YOUR SUPERVISOR! THIS INSTANT!" Rep continues babbling.
Me: "TRANSFER! TRANSFER! TRANSFER! TRANSFER! TRANSFER!"
I'll spare you the play-by-play of the next 20 minutes. The supervisor told me my card was activated, but she didn't know about my PIN and she would transfer me to customer service. After going through the log in process above for the second time, the automated system told me in great detail all about my credit limit, current balance and date of last payment, down to the pennies and seconds. At the end of the message, the system told me, "Thank you for calling PC Financial. Unfortunately the offer you were calling about has expired. Goodbye!" and disconnected.
My reheated food was now cold, so I re-started the microwave, before searching for the customer service phone number. After going through the log in process for the third time, the system began telling me about the latest PC Financial products until I freaked out and began pressing "0" and "*" over and over, while beating the cordless phone against the counter in helpless rage.
Automated system: "Transferring you to a customer service representative. Please hold."
Approximately 40 minutes after I called the activation line, I was finally told that 1) the card was successfully activated, and 2) the PIN I picked was successfully activated as well. I have not yet used the card to find out whether or not this is true.
If it was painful for you to read this, think how much worse it was for me to actually experience it. Gah.