Friday, August 11, 2006
In an exciting and wildly inconvenient turn of events, my wallet was recently stolen. I almost wish I could say I was mugged (I said almost!) because it's a little embarrassing as a longtime New York resident to say that I was pickpocketed on the subway. All the same, I was, and it sucked for all the obvious reasons, not the least of which was spending wayyyyy too much time chatting with "customer care"representatives at the major credit card companies. The collective idiocy of the people I dealt with there, however, cannot compare, to the Brain Trust they have working over at Blockbuster. Realizing that I had had my Blockbuster card in my wallet when it was stolen, I figured I might as well cancel that as well. I should point out that we use Netflix exclusively; all the same, my penchant for crossing things off lists (this one, aptly named "Canceling and Replacing the Contents of My Stolen Wallet") compelled me to call the store, per their website's instruction, to cancel my card. What follows is, sadly, a very true conversation: Blockbuster Lady: [sounding hung over] Yeah? Me:Uh...is this Blockbuster? B L: Yes. Me: Oh, okay. Well, my wallet was stolen, so I'd like to cancel my Blockbuster card. BL: Why? Me: Well, as I said, my wallet was stolen...[wait for her to get it] BL: (silence) Me: [realizing she's not connecting the dots]...So I don't want anyone indiscriminately renting movies and not returning them under my name. BL: You have to come down to the store to cancel the card. We can't do it over the phone. Me: But why? BL: Store policy. Me: I'm sorry, but that makes no sense. I was able to cancel every other card over the phone. I neither live nor work near your store [ I got the card in college]. I can tell you any information you need over the phone. BL: Do you still live in New York City? Me: No, right outside it. BL: Do you work in New York City? Me: Yes. BL: Well, then you are nearby! Me: Excuse me? BL: [cheerily] Manhattan isn't so big! Wherever you work, it's close! Me: (speechless) BL: Oh, also? When you do decide to come, you have to bring a picture ID. Me: But my wallet was stolen. I currently have no picture ID. BL: Well, then bring the police report to prove it was stolen. [conspiratorially] Then maybe we can work something out. Me: [annoyed already] Are you trying to get me to bribe you?! I don't have that yet. And I still don't understand why I have to come down in person with various proofs of identity to cancel a video store card. BL: [talking in the tone of voice one uses with a 4 year old] Because, sweetie, anyone could just call up and cancel your Blockbuster card. How would you like it if that happened to you? Me: [probably rudely] Let me ask you something. Why would anyone do that? Just randomly call Blockbuster stores and attempt to cancel people's cards? What kind of sociopath spends their time doing that? Is this an epidemic you guys are experiencing? BL: I can't tell you that. But someone could do it, and that's why we have the policy. Is there anything else I can help you with? Me: [defeated] No... BL:Have a good day! See you soon! And....scene.
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Okay, I don't want to seem like some sort of car commercial-obsessed weirdo, but there's another one that sort of freaks me out a bit. This one involves a young intrepid reporter approaching the German-accented "Dr. Z" to ask him some questions about a merger of his car company with another. Dr. Z then commands the reporter to get into one of the cars, and proceeds to subject the reporter to a battery of scary car tests, ultimately crashing the car into a wall while they are both inside. He then turns to the shaken reporter, and asks "any more questions?" After the shaken reporter stammers "no," Dr. Z then "Auf Wiedersehen"s the reporter, leaving him in the mangled car. Okay... Now, who at the ad agency saw this and said, "Perfect! A commercial that centers on a mysterious German doctor performing experiments and potentially inflicting bodily harm on a person asking too many questions! It's exactly what we need!" I'm just saying. Alright, I'm done with the car commercials. Moving on...