Today it looks like there is another (fun) story.
After leaving Ketchum, I wanted to continue using the convenience of a Corporate credit card to file my expenses under the right heading, and so I applied for a Corporate American Express card. On the website you donwload some forms which need to be filled in, signed and sent back. Stupid me signs on some places, and not on some others (SIde note: why not fill the form online, where it is easy to highlight the sections that need signing?)
A week later, a kind lady from Amex calls me from 06 50510251 (the numbers are important, so bear with me) and we joke about the fact that I meesed up the signings, then she asks whether I kept a copy of what I sent. I say, “No, never keep paper copies unless told to.” She says, “No problem, I will send it to you”. By fax.
I say I do not own a fax, c’mon, this is 2012 – I actually joke about not having a telex and not knowing how you send a telegram, she laughs but insists she can only send a a fax. I sigh and then say “OK, I will ask around for a fax, can I call you back?” “Sure, call 800 715 715“
Today they call me again with the same exact story; I stop her (another one) right there and say I am still looking for a fax. She goes “No problems, call us when you’re ready” and quotes the same 800 number.
I make some more calls and finally find someone with a working fax at 0382 944791. Dial 800 715 715, a nice lady answers and when I start explaining I want to give her my fax number, she stops me and starts asking puzzling questions like “When did you send your papers in?” “What is the name of the person you spoke to?”; finally, realizing it’s a Corporate card I am talking about she is relieved to bounce me off. “Sorry, Sir, this is the private hotline, here is Corporate 06 5096 0110.”
I dial it but…. it’s a fax machine!
So I hang up, and doing my best to keep my calm, try dialing the number from which I have been called twice (06 50510251), but this number does not accept incoming calls, so I can only call the 800 number again, stop the barrage of questions and explain I want to give THEM a fax number, so that they can send me the docs I need to sign and THEN send back.
This time I am determined not to be bounced, and she goes looking for some help; after she returns, she’s relieved to say “Please call 06 720801, it’s the Corporate switchboard”. I dial them immediately and yet another lady answers; she hears my story and asks the best question of the saga: “Did you want a Corporate card or a Business card?” I say I get my business cards from the local printers (a sarcastic note she fails to acknowledge), so it must be a Corporate one, she asks my name and goes rummaging (I swear I hear the sound of physical rummaging in the background).
I am beginning to understand I must have hit a procedural pothole, she puts me on hold and goes looking for help; when she’s back I can hear she’s shaken because now the questions smell of desperation: “You sure you do not remember the name of the operator which called you?” to which I say “But my file must be somewhere in your systems, it alerted someone some papers were still missing…” she agrees, but cannot find any file with my name.
So here I am. My documents, enshrined in an anonymous little folder are somewhere in the bowels of American Express’ huge archive; the process is stuck until one of two things happen:
- They find this post; from my previous experience, I know they’re quite sophisticated in their SoMe monitoring.
- The system alerts again the lady from 06 50510251 who will call me as if it was the first time.
Once one of these two things happens, I will give them my fax number, they will send what I need to sign, I sign it and send it back.
By fax, of course!