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.