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TESS VIGELAND: Time for a break from all this serious credit card business. Here are our friends from Portland’s sketch comedy troupe Live Wire with their imagined take on a phone call that could happen starting Monday.
Sound of someone dialing a phone, then phone ringing
Customer service agent: Infinity Premiere Credit, customer service. What can I do for you today?
Customer: Hi, yeah, I have some issues with my credit card statement.
Customer service agent: OK. What’s your name?
Customer: Linda Olcott.
Customer service agent: O-T-T. All right there Linda, I have your account right here in front of me. Ah, hm. What is the problem?
Customer: Well, first of all, it looks like you increased my interest rate from 12 to 23 percent.
Customer service agent: Well, yeah, we went ahead and did that. What is your problem?
Customer: I was under the impression that because of new regulations, you had to send me notice 45 days in advance of any rate or fee increase.
Customer service agent: Uh, yeah we did.
Customer: No, no, you didn’t.
Customer service agent: Yes we did. I see right here: a carrier pigeon was sent out over three months ago.
Customer: Excuse me, did you say “carrier pigeon”?
Customer service agent: Yes ma’am, Mookie the carrier pigeon was sent to your residence with notification that we were doubling your rates.
Customer: I never got a carrier pigeon.
Customer service agent: You didn’t. Ah, that’s too bad. I guess he never made it. Boy, I sure loved that little Mookie.
Customer: Well, I don’t think that it’s very fair that…
Customer service agent: OK, what about the telegraph ma’am.
Customer: What telegraph?
Customer service agent: Are you telling me that you did not receive the telegraph that we sent?
Customer: No. I don’t have a telegraph machine!
Customer service agent: Well, I really would have to insist that it is your problem there, ma’am.
Customer: My problem?! That technology is over a 100 years old! Come on! This is absurd!
Customer service agent: Ma’am, please calm down. I won’t have you disrespecting the telegraph or the good name of Samuel Morse.
Customer: Why didn’t you just call me or send me a letter in the mail? The real mail.
Customer service agent: Well, ma’am, if we had sent you a letter, would you have read it?
Customer: Of course!
Customer service agent: Well, there you go. So can I help you with anything else today?
Customer: Fine! I’m not sure if you can help with this one, but my son’s in college, and he just signed up for one of your credit cards.
Customer service agent: Oh, excellent!
Customer: Well, you gave him a $20,000 credit limit, and I’m not sure at 18, he’s really ready to handle that kind of responsibility, plus, aren’t you prohibited from signing up students within 1,000 yards of campus?
Customer service agent: Yes, that is true. However, thanks to the small print, we can designate any college we want. So, we went ahead and chose to be 1,000 yards away from Oxford University.
Customer: Oxford, you mean in England?!
Customer service agent: Yup, we’re way more than 1,000 yards away from that campus. You can even go ahead and check it if you’d like. I’ll wait.
Customer: Wow. OK, well, how about this one: My statement was supposed to include information on how long it would take me to pay off my balance if I’m only making minimum payments. Where’s that?
Customer service agent: Ah, yeah, it should be right there on the top.
Customer: It says, “When the moon and Jupiter align and all the children of the world unite in song atop the mountains of harmony”?
Customer service agent: Exactly, ma’am. I’m not sure how much more specific we can be on that one.
Customer: OK, you know what, I would like to cancel my credit card with this company.
Customer service agent: All right ma’am, fair enough. That’s your option if you choose to do so. All I need from you is your full cancellation request in the form of airplane skywriting above any one of our branch offices.
Customer: You can’t be serious.
Customer service agent: Just make sure it’s a clear day, so we’ll be able to see it.
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