Before my marathon session with Citi today, I had a long conversation with Citi about a month ago, during which they let me know that my identification had been stolen by someone who went on a spending spree at Walgreens and Pollo Tropical. I don't know how this person got my information, but I think it's sad that he or she only spent four dollars at Pollo Tropical before being caught. The amount he or she spent suggests that he or she purchased a five-piece grilled tropical wings, which makes me even sadder. If you're going to rob me and commit a felony, you should at least get eight pieces and two sides, or eight pieces with rice and beans. He or she spent quite a bit more at Walgreens, presumably on ingredients for crystal meth.
Citi refunded me that money and sent me a new card. That should have been the end of the story, but when I logged in to see if everything was okay, I could no longer access my account. I pressed a bunch of links and entered a bunch of information into a bunch of different rectangles--I can only hope the burglar tropical wasn't watching--and sometimes it seemed like I was really getting somewhere. Ultimately, though, nothing worked, and I was forced to do what nobody wants to do: call the credit card and talk to a robot, hoping against reason that the robot will help.
The first robot assured me that I simply had to activate my card--something I'd done weeks ago--and that now that we'd spoken, everything would be fine. The robot was wrong, and I knew that it was wrong as I was hanging up, but something about the self-satisfaction in its electronic voice made me hate the robot deeply, and I could not bear to be on the phone with it a second longer. The second robot had me do all of the things I'd done before, only now there were new options because the second robot was making things happen on its end. I was grateful for the second robot's help, and had I spoken to merely two robots on this evening, there would be no post. But access to my account gave me access to the following information, which had me on the phone with a third robot in no time.
|EXPEDITED CARD SERVICE CHARGE||$15.00|
The third robot, to its credit, did not pretend this was anything but a naked scam. The third robot admitted that I should have been notified of this charge (I was not and I can assure you that nobody ever is) and did not fight me when I explained that it had to be removed. I understand that there are people (I say people because corporations are people now) who make a tremendous amount of money by sneaking fees into bills and contracts in ways that are difficult to find, even if you're vigilant. People (who are not corporations) write about this practice all the time, and nobody tries to excuse it. In the big picture, there are many more important things to care about, and I certainly should have spent the time writing this post reading a novel or talking with my wife or finishing the work that I haven't finished. But these corporation people and their abiding robots make me really, really, really mad, and I want them all to be melted and turned into solar panels that fuel lobbies designed to eradicate their existence forever. Then I want to eat a hundred grilled tropical wings.