Saturday, August 9, 2014

You want to violate the Do Not Call List? Alrighty then...

Every day this week, the message queue on my landline included a string of messages from a company that calls itself Card Services. Note that name well, please: #CardServices.

You know this call. The one that tells you "this is your last chance to lower your credit card interest rates." Positively the LAST. Even though a few months ago you got the same series of calls. Well, maybe it's your last chance this quarter.

I try to ignore these. But when the messages keep rolling in all week, and on some days they call twice, my tolerance wears really thin. Especially seeing, as you probably inferred from the title of this post, this phone has been on the Do Not Call List from that registry's inception.

If anyone from Card Services reads that last sentence, they'd probably laugh themselves silly. My waving around a piddling little infraction like that is like a mosquito bite to a rhinoceros.

"Why so cynical," you ask. "How do you know this isn't a genuine service organization, generously trying to help me lower my credit card interest rates?" Okay, Devil's Advocate. Just because I knew you'd ask, when this morning's call came in, I didn't let it go to message. Instead:

  • I picked up the phone and pressed '1.' 
  • I was the 13th caller. In a mere 2 seconds, I was the 8th. A second later, an operator picked up my call. Either they have a customer-operator ration of nearly 1-to-1, or most calls last no longer than mind was about to. 
  • The representative identified the company as Card Services. I repeated this name to him, and it was confirmed. I asked "which cards." He answered "all of them," going on to list Visa, Master Card, etc. 
  • I asked where Card Services was located. Yes, that was all I asked. A very basic question, I would think.
  • Rather than answer, the operator queried back: "Are you responding to a call?" 
  • I said "I'm responding to the eight calls your company has left me this week. My phone is on the Do Not..."
  • And that was it. I didn't even get to complete the sentence before he hung up. 

Note that this wasn't my first attempt at getting these people off my back. Some months ago, during a similar flood of calls, I tried responding to one of the messages in my queue. The operator gave a similar description as the operator with whom I spoke today: that they served "all cards." When I pressed for more details, she stated they "are not affiliated with any one bank," and implied a kind of debt consolidation service. In that instance, when I said they were in violation of the Do Not Call List, she laughed and said smartly "Excuse me, you called us." It was only when I asked to speak with someone who would take my name off their call list that she hung up.

If Card Services was really providing a service, whether from altruism or for a big kickback from some link in the transaction chain, they would have tried to keep me on the phone and win me over. Or else, like the organizations that are exempt from observing the Do Not Call List, their operators would be taught to simple say so (politely, one hopes; I never understand why operators remotely think it'll help them get my money if the stick out a virtual tongue over this point).

You may have read my posts about a similar encounter with a company wanting to lower the power bills I don't have.  Since I made those posts, those calls have stopped.

So let's try this again. Okay #CardServices? Stop calling me and I'll stop posting about you!

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