It's a blog.
My debit card expires this month, so I just got a new one in the mail. It has a number you have to call to activate it. So I dialed, and it rang twice. (I’m used to auto-answer systems picking up on the first ring, but whatever.)
I expected something like, “Thanks for calling Visa! To activate a card, press 1…”
Instead, I got:
“November 8, 2007!!!”
[lengthy message in Spanish directing Spanish speakers to press 2]
“Here’s how I can help you.”
[To activate a card, say "Activate a card." To report a lost or stolen card...]
Me: “Activate a card.”
“Please say the last four digits of the card.”
Me: [does so]
“All cards associated with this account have been activated. Goodbye.”
It was the strangest thing. And while “normal people” may like it, I find it extremely awkward to speak to computers on the phone. I’d think it would be less error-prone if I was asked to dial the last four digits. And it would certainly feel less awkward than me sitting in the living room saying, “Activate a card! 1-2-3-4!”
The worst is the greeting. Especially when it comes to credit cards, it’s important to at least pretend you’re a real company. Shouting (excitedly) a date and then having a couple seconds go by doesn’t inspire too much confidence.