Sunday, October 21, 2007

While We are Holding You Hostage - Update

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about how American Express "held me hostage" when I called to activate my new credit card. Essentially, when you dial the number to activate your card, after you key-in your new account number you hear a recording saying "While we are activating your card, we would like to let you know about the latest in inane and useless products you have absolutely no need for, that will only cost you an arm and a leg..."

A consumer hearing this message is bound to think that there will be some additional action he may need to take following the drivel, or perhaps he will receive some confirmation message saying that the card was activated. The hapless consumer listens to the meaningless crap and is essentially held hostage for the length of this commercial.

Well, I got a new American Express card in the mail (the old one was a temporary card), and this time when I called to activate I refused to be held hostage. As soon as the mindless marketing pitch started I hung up.

Guess what? Card still works. "While we are activating your card", means nothing. Your card is activated as soon as you key in your account number. You can safely and happily hang up the phone.


Patrick said...

Awesome! I have to activate my Amex card. I guess I will hang up right away - every other card I have activated was instantaneous.

beth said...

That is by far the best thing I've heard in a while. I hate it when a live voice comes on, and they act like you called specifically to get the deals! I was just waiting to hear my card had been activated!

Shadox said...

Power to the people guys, power to the people!

I was sort of guessing that they wouldn't jeoperdize income from their cards by not activating them if someone hung up on the marketing message, but I didn't know for sure. I just decided to give it a shot because it was so darn annoying.

Just hang up!