I received one of those hateful automated calls today from Discover Cards, advising me of possible fraud in those mechanical tones that are so irritating and depersonalizing, and demanding that we call as soon as possible. I didn’t know we had a Discover Card, so I called my wife who was out shopping, and found that she had just purchased something for $99, and hadn’t used the Discover Card for ages before that. (She pulled it out by accident. Everyone sends us credit cards.)
So Discover is spending I’d guess over a thousand dollars, once we call and put up with the bureaucratic nonsense, to assure themselves that we really spent $99 because some computer program assembled a profile saying this was suspicious.
Meanwhile, my Bentley dealer sent back my wife’s car, which was serviced and needed a couple of tires, costing about $3,000. They picked up mine while they were here and took it back for its servicing. I tossed the driver my keys from the balcony, where I was drinking an ’04 Paolo Scavino Barolo, reading a couple of books, and smoking a Cohiba. Nothing was signed, I have no bill, and Bentley will settle up with me later. I trust them. They trust me.
I remember once storming at Amex from London that, with my history of world travel, if they grew suspicious with UK transactions and caused me to interrupt my trip because of their paranoia, I could easily switch to MasterCard. They said they’d make a note and haven’t called since. That was ten years ago.
Dumb-Ass Stupid Management is rampant. That’s why good consultants are needed. Common sense is endangered in many operations, threatened by fear, avoidance of even minimal risk, surrender to computers, and DASM. But the economy is recovering nicely and competition abounds. I can live without Discover. But they can’t live with this kind of idiotic customer interaction.
By the way, see my Saks experience elsewhere here. No response yet. I’ve written to the CEO, regular mail. Let’s see if he’s on the ball.
© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.