Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mr. Fix It

The subject came up casually enough over our Sunday morning breakfast at the Mesa Cafe. "What time did you wake up this morning?" I asked. "About 9," replied my 13 year old daughter. "Someone called me on my cell phone."

"Who was it?" I asked. "American Express," was her reply. "They keep calling and say that it's important that I call them about my account." Of course, my daughter doesn't have any credit card accounts let alone one from American Express, and the last time I heard of a telemarketer that was this persistent, they were peddling subscriptions to the News-Press.

I asked if she had their number and she did. I took it down intending to call them first thing Monday morning and tell them to leave my daughter alone.

After breakfast we walked back home. A few minutes later I heard my daughter summon me to her room. "Dad, they're calling me again!"

I went and got her cell phone and hit the call back on the number that had been captured by caller ID. Of course I got a recording saying, "American Express, please enter your 15 digit account number then press the pound sign." Having no account number to enter I waited hoping someone would come on the line. Eventually, someone did asking, in a slightly foreign accent, for my American Express account number.

I explained to him, politely but firmly, that I didn't have an American Express card and neither did my 13 year old daughter and that I would appreciate it if American Express would stop calling her and racking up her cell phone minutes.

He was very apologetic, and explained that the calls she was receiving were computer generated and asked for her number so he could remove it from the database.

After I finished the call, I snapped my daughter's cell phone shut and handed it back to her. "Did you take care of it?" she asked.

"Let's put it this way," I replied, "they won't be bothering you again."

"And," I continued, "the next time anybody gives you any trouble, you just come to me."

It's nice to be able to solve a problem so quickly.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and