As you might remember, I had a love affair with Delta Airlines.
After gushing all over social media and pestering my friends with connections to Delta headquarters to make sure my love letter got into the right hands (READ: Got my ass upgraded on my next 836 Delta flights), and getting no love in return, I feel…different. My next flight on Delta was woefully uneventful (READ: Did not get my ass upgraded) and I was a little hurt. I mean come on. No one likes airlines these days and I wrote a love letter. There’s no special marker that pops up when my ticket is scanned?
Shelly Mazzanoble, Seat 37 C, Vegetarian, prefers aisle seat due to freakishly small bladder, wrote a fantastic love letter about how great our customer service was! Loves Biscoff cookies! Get this girl some cookies and upgrade STAT!
On that uneventful flight, I was asked if I wanted peanuts, the snack mix, or Biscoff cookies. I pressed my luck a bit and said, “I want all of them.” I gave the flight attendant a little raised eyebrow to compliment my greed as a way of saying, “You know who I am, right? I’m the girl who loves you, baby. Don’t make me write another letter.” The flight attendant clearly doesn’t read her corporate emails because although she grudgingly tossed me all three snacks, she made me feel a little dirty for asking. Whatevs. There’s no shame in my snack-hoarding game.
Fast-forward many months later when I was about to book a flight to upstate NY. I have limited choices when flying to my hometown, but thankfully Delta is one of them. Despite our lackluster, one-sided love affair, I’m still loyal (READ: Hopeful I will one day get my upgrade) and still try to fly them when given the choice. And because they are one of two airlines willing to take me home, I am always tempted by their stupid, miles-earning credit card.
First checked bag is free? (Yes!)
Walk on the shitty red carpet as opposed to the shitty blue carpet when boarding? (Yes!)
$95 annual fee? (Not cool.)
You know what I have to say to annual fees, Delta?
But this time it was different. I was about to drop nearly two grand on two tickets and was swayed by the promise of saving $100. All I had to do was get approved for the pretty gold Delta Amex card and click the box saying I’d like to use it to complete my booking. At least that’s how I interpreted the ad attached to my almost complete booking:
Specifically, this part:
So I applied and was approved within seconds. (I have really good credit) and was then asked if I wanted my card number right away so I could use it to complete my booking. I clicked yes, yes, of course yes! I was then told I had 180 seconds to write down my credit card number. 180 seconds! Well, hell, no pressure, Amex! Was that even possible!?
But I did it because I’m awesome and motivated by $100 credits. Then it was time to pay for my booking with my new fancy card, but alas, Delta’s website doesn’t have my fortitude. I can write down 15 random digits in 180 seconds, but can an airline webpage survive 180 seconds of idleness? Nope. The answer is, no. It can not. So naturally I had to start the whole booking process again. Fun!
When it was time once again to overpay for my two tickets I took some pride in clicking on the Delta SkyMiles Amex box under, “Where exactly shall we place your future debt?” I‘m one of them now. I thought. Nothing but wind in my hair and shitty red carpet under my feet.
But something was wrong.
It asked for the expiration date and security code, which was odd considering I didn’t have those two things. Clearly those inane details were for the likes of MasterCard and Visa types. So I did what anyone would do when asked for information they don’t have– pressed submit and hoped no one noticed.
But nope. Shouty pop-up window got in my face and demanded more numbers.
Can not complete your reservation!
BUT I DON’T HAVE THOSE NUMBERS!
Idleness will kill this reservation too!
I’M NOT IDLE! YOU ARE!
Timing out in 3…2…
DON’T YOU LEAVE ME! LOOK AT ME! STAY WITH ME, NEARLY COMPLETE RESERVATION!
…buh bye now!
So I went to Amex’s website in search of customer service because I was seething. Livid, I tell you! I love a good live chat and as you know I’m a GD magnet for attracting the best and brightest stars Customer Service has to offer.
I explained the situation to Chump #1 who told me I needed to call Member Services. Fine. I did.
Chump #2 from Member Services told me he couldn’t help but someone from SOME BULLSHIT DEPARTMENT THAT DOESN’T EXIST (or SBDTDE) could totally help. He agreed to transfer me.
SBDTDE did not answer because THEY ARE A DECOY DEPARTMENT HELPLESS “MEMBERS” ARE SENT WAIT ON HOLD FOR INFINITY. I waited 8 minutes before I gave in and left a message in hopes another Chump might call me back within 24 hours. Yeah, right.
I hung up and returned to the Live Chat where Chump #3 informed me that NO ONE at American Express could look up my expiration date or security number.
CHUMP #3: “It’s a security issue, ma’am.”
ME: “But I was promised a $100 credit if I completed my booking using my new card.”
CHUMP #3: “Yes!”
ME: “But I can’t do that without the expiration date or security number.”
CHUMP #3: “Yes!”
Before I could rudely disconnect our chat, Chump #3 gave me another 800# to try. And I’m so glad he did because Chump #4 had a great idea.”
CHUMP #4: “That information is printed on your card which should arrive in 7-10 days!”
ME: “But I’m trying to book the ticket now.”
CHUMP #4: “I’ve heard of the cards arriving in as quick as 6 days.”
ME: “Ticket prices have gone up 43% since I checked 3 days ago. If they go up again in 7-10 business days will you refund me the difference in price?”
CHUMP #4: “Umm…I have to look into that as I do not know.”
ME: “No, you won’t. That wasn’t a real question. I’m proving a point.”
CHUMP #4: “Yes!”
I know what you’re thinking. All this for $100 credit? Girlfriend, get a life. Or at least a day job. But this became less about the $100 and more about my total investment. You couldn’t put a price on how much time I was wasting chatting with these yahoos.
Just as I was about to pop into another chat session, Chump #5 from SBDTDE called me back. He was also super helpful.
CHUMP #5: “No, no, no ma’am. You can not have that information.”
ME: “But it’s my information.”
CHUMP #5: “We do not have access to that information.”
ME: “So I won’t be able to use my card to complete my booking?”
CHUMP #5: “Wow, you have really good credit, ma’am!”
ME: “Thank you. Even though that was the sole reason I got the card?”
CHUMP #5: “Not without the expiration date and security number, no.”
ME: “Then I don’t want your card. Cancel it.”
CHUMP #5: “I can not cancel your card. You will have to wait to get the card to cancel the card. Have a good day!”
Okay, maybe I’m a bit of a masochist, but you know I had to go back to the Live Chat well and find me a new chump to chat up.
I again reiterated my frustration to Chump #6 and told him I didn’t want the damn card. I would also be sure to tell Delta why I was going to fly American because I know THEY WILL CARE. Thanks for shitacular service all around.
But Chump #6 was…different. Chump #6 was with me on this. He knew of another team within the bowels of American Express that could help.
I’m sorry, Chump #6. What exactly do you mean by, “feel different?” Different than what? How do you feel different? Is it the same way I feel different? Are we actually the same in how we all feel different when buying a product we can not use when required and therefore not different at all? I know. Mind…blown.
Honestly, I don’t know how I stopped this vicious cycle. I don’t know when I found the courage to stop connecting to AMEX’s Live Chat and call fake 800#’s. I don’t know when I became resigned to the fact that I wasn’t getting my $100 credit or bonus snacks or free upgrades, but within 7-10 (possibly as soon as 6) business days, I was going to get a stupid credit card with an annual fee that I no longer wanted.
And I sure don’t know how this happened: