Bank Of America’s Credit Card Activation Line

I recently recieved a new credit card from Bank Of America.  But before I can use the card, they require me to call an 800 number to activate the card.  No problem.  I appreciate the outward appearance of security forcing me to call their number first.  As I dialed the number, however, I recall that Chase didn’t make me call them to activate my new debit card.  All I needed to do was use the card.  Which approach makes me feel more secure, I wondered.

Anyway, while I waited for the call to connect, I peeled off the sticker that was stuck to the front of my card – happy that the sticker didn’t leave that annoying sticky residue all over the card.  So far so good.  The automated menu prompted me to push #1, then #3 and then a few more options in order to activate my card.  Um…OK. 

The female recording then told me that my card was in the process of being activated.  I wondered what that process looked like?   However, in order to keep me occupied while I waited, they presented me with several offers that they apparently thought might be of interest to me. 

I was offered credit card protection.  I was offered a balance transfer special.  For the next 2 minutes, I was offered several other products and services that I didn’t want.  By the time the call ended, I had spent well over 3 minutes activating my card which we all know could have been done in one or two keystrokes on my phone (or not at all if you are like Chase). 

Now I understand that federal bailout money probably doesn’t go as far as it used to.  So, banks now have to find new ways to make money off their existing customers.  But making me listen to offer after offer BEFORE telling me that I can use my new credit card is not the way to do that. 

How about starting the call by thanking me for being a credit card holder?  You know who I am.  You know everything that I have purchased since we started this “relationship”.  Tell me that you appreciate the past 12 years that I have been a loyal cardholder with your bank.  Then tell me that my card is activated.  Period.  Give ME the option of ending or continuing the call. 

But Bank Of America just doesn’t get it.  The purposely created a situation where they forced an interaction with them so they can SELL ME.  Yes, it was only 3 minutes of my time but that was 2 minutes and 30 seconds more than enough for me to understand that Bank Of America doesn’t really value me as a loyal cardholder and customer. 

If they did, they would have left me in control of the conversation.


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