Friday, June 25, 2010

A public service message

Every once in a while, I like to impart some wisdom on the masses. Something that maybe you didn't know, but would find useful in your everyday life. Such is the case today.
I got a new ATM card from my bank yesterday. You have all gotten new credit cards in the mail, and with them, you have received a sticker on the card that includes a phone number that you are told to call to "activate your new card." My sick mind has always wondered if the activation process was worthwhile.
When I received the new ATM card, I wondered (quietly to myself) if the phone number to activate the card was legitimate, as I do when I receive a new card from any of my creditors. But, like the zombie that I am, I call the number and allow "Suresh" to activate my card, even though I have the feeling that he is typing imaginary numbers on an air-keyboard in India that allegedly activates my card, while attempting to sell me expensive balance insurance or other such credit-induced fees that I would not otherwise accept.
When I received my new ATM card from TD Bank (friend of Regis and Kelly) I immediately thought, "What would happen if I didn't call the 888-number on the card?" So, I went to the ATM on Friday morning, armed with the new card and the old one, and attempted to withdraw "Fast cash $50" from my account using the new "un-activated" card. Guess what? I got the fifty bucks. No kidding.
So, in order to streamline your lives a little, the next time you get a new credit card in the mail (especially one that you didn't ask for, like my new ATM card) don't bother to call the activation number. Just use it like you always would. Ask yourself, "Why would they send me a card with a set of numbers that hasn't already been activated?" Don't fall for the phone-induced questions about whether or not you would like credit protection or if you would like any other service that incurs a fee. It's all bullshit - plain and simple. Or, if you feel like you have to call (lest evil befall you) then, just hang up after you enter the card number. Don't wait around for the "representive" to speak to you. It's all bullshit, including the "activation" process. It's the biggest scam in retail.
They wouldn't send you a credit or debit card that wasn't already active in their system. Think about it.
I did.


Anonymous said...

you actually activated it by entering your pin in the atm. That is explained on your little sticker also. :) But not with such wit.

Anthony said...

Sadly, no it was not explained either on the sticker or on the accompanying letter. All the sticker said was to call the 800 number to activate the card. Likewise on the letter. The only mention of my PIN was that it would stay the same.

Thanks for the "wit" mention. :-)