Thursday, August 23, 2012

“Credit Card Complaint”

c. 2012 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

My friend Ezekiel Byler-Gregg of the Burton Daily Bugle endured a period of financial difficulty between 2007-2009, just as the national economy was in dire straits. His mood had brightened a bit as personal discipline and sacrifice put him on solid ground, once again. But a recent offer of credit sent him careening back into citizen protest.

What follows here is a transcript of his latest rant-by-wire:

OPERATOR: “Welcome to Defender Card, where it pays to have a defender in your corner! May I help you?”

EZEKIEL: “This is Ezekiel Byler-Gregg of Burton, Ohio. I would like to register a dang complaint, please.”

OPERATOR: “I’m sorry, did you want to sign up for a Defender Card today?”

EZEKIEL: “No, did you hear me? I want to complain.”

OPERATOR: “Is there a problem with your account, sir?”

EZEKIEL: “I don’t have an account.”

OPERATOR: “Then I don’t understand…”

EZEKIEL: “I want to complain because you recently sent me a credit card application via old-fashioned, postal mail.”

OPERATOR: (After a long pause) “I’m sorry, sir. What was the nature of your complaint if you are not a Defender Card member?”

EZEKIEL: “During the economic meltdown, a few years ago, I had financial problems at my newspaper in Geauga County. Your institution was the first to press legal action against me when I missed a couple of payments. At the time, our federal government was busy rescuing the banking system. I pointed out that the whole bunch of you would have been living under a bridge without this intervention. So it seemed logical that since my taxpayer dollars were literally saving your hide, some sort of bailout for myself was in order.”

OPERATOR: (After another long pause) “Sir, could you repeat that, please?”

EZEKIEL: “In plain language, you got a free ride from the government, and I got mule-kicked in the teeth!”

OPERATOR: “Sir, I still don’t understand your complaint…”

EZEKIEL: “I’ve been a working man since helping out on my Mennonite Grandfather’s farm as a kid. I always took care with money and always paid my bills on time. But when the economy got bad a few years ago, I started to struggle with my newspaper. You showered me with horse dung while I was down on my luck. And now that things are a little better, you start sending me credit card offers. Well, you know what? I don’t want them. That’s my last word. Keep those foolish offers to yourself.”

OPERATOR: “Sir, nearly every banking institution sends out promotional material.”

EZEKIEL: “I don’t care! Keep them out of my mailbox!”

OPERATOR: “This is a for-profit business, sir. We operate to make money for our investors.”

EZEKIEL: “You operate to keep people hooked on credit. Like a pusher roaming the neighborhood for addicts.”

OPERATOR: “That is characterization is completely unfair.”

EZEKIEL: “Unfair? Nope, I say it is accurate.”

OPERATOR: “We offer lines of credit to customers in good standing.”

EZEKIEL: “Miss, I am the same person you tried to sue in 2009. With the same habits and sense of self-discipline. The only thing that changed was I found my way out of the financial meltdown. So, how can you say I am in good standing today, when I was a bum three years ago?”

OPERATOR: “Those determinations are made by people above my pay grade.”

EZEKIEL: “So, you are just a lady who answers the telephones.”

OPERATOR: “That is correct.”

EZEKIEL: “Therefore, you have no knowledge of how our government talks out of both sides of its mouth by claiming to support Main Street over Wall Street, while bailing out a privileged class of bankers.”

OPERATOR: “I don’t work for the government, sir.”

EZEKIEL: “No, but you owe your very existence to them, right?”

OPERATOR: “That is your opinion.”

EZEKIEL: “Dang right it is!”

OPERATOR: “This conversation is going nowhere. Have a good day…”

EZEKIEL: “No, no, no! Don’t hang up!”

OPERATOR: “Did you have another issue to address?”

EZEKIEL: “I want to be taken off your mailing list.”

OPERATOR: “You have stated that desire, already.”

EZEKIEL: “Then do it!”

OPERATOR: “I don’t control our advertising department, sir.”

EZEKIEL: “Fine. Then put me in touch with the turkey who does!”

OPERATOR: “Your terminology is offensive.”

EZEKIEL: “Whaaat, did I hurt your feelings?”

OPERATOR: “Sarcasm is unnecessary, sir.”

EZEKIEL: “I wouldn’t call it unnecessary. I would call it indispensable…”

OPERATOR: “Good day to you, sir.”

EZEKIEL: “Wait, wait, wait! Don’t hang up!”

OPERATOR: “Sir, this call is pointless.”

EZEKIEL: “Not at all. I am trying to get you to understand that the banking system in America is broken. You are exacerbating the problem, not helping to cure it.”
OPERATOR: “Goodbye, sir.”

EZEKIEL: “No dang it, no!!”

OPERATOR: “Most people would be grateful for an offer of credit in these difficult times…”

EZEKIEL: “I would be grateful if you hadn’t kicked me in the tail three years ago!”

OPERATOR: “I don’t set Defender Card policy, sir.”

EZEKIEL: “No, you just get a paycheck from a bunch of hooligans who looted the national treasury without facing any consequences!”

OPERATOR: “That is a baseless accusation.”

EZEKIEL: “I think it’s a statement of fact.”

OPERATOR: “What you think is not relevant to this discussion, sir.”

EZEKIEL: “I think you should remove me from your mailing list!”

OPERATOR: “Your request has been noted.”

EZEKIEL: “In my opinion, your employer should be in a jail cell right now!”

OPERATOR: “I do not deal with opinions, sir. As we discussed before, I answer telephones.”

EZEKIEL: “And apparently, not much else…”

OPERATOR: “Thank you from Defender Card. Have a good day!”

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