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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

World Builder - Watch This with Someone You Love

For those of you who know me, this hit way too close to home. It had me in tears at the end. Grab the persons you love and hold them tight...never stop telling them you love them.

Beautiful, beautiful job...

World Builder from Bruce Branit on Vimeo.

Friday, March 06, 2009

American Express Gas Cards - What a Joke!

Ok, so I bought some American Express gift cards for Xmas presents in December, and learned I'd get a $15 gasoline gift card because I spent so much. Well, I forgot all about it when a few weeks ago, I get a letter in the mail from American Express and there it was - a new $15 American Express gasoline card, with a letter that said it can be used at any gasoline station that takes American Express, and, I have to present it to the cashier and not the card machine at the pump.

Fair enough.

So, one day, my girlfriend is off to get gas in her car. Me, the generous person that I am, give her my gas card and tell her to use it and save herself some money. So off she goes.

Several minutes later, she calls me and says "The gas station won't take the card." So I tell her to go to another station, she does, calls me back and says, "This place won't take it either - they say they don't take American Express."

Well gee, what's up with that? So, when I see her again, I give her some money for gas (for all her trouble) and take the card back. Several days go by and I remember the card again, so I go out to buy some gas. Same problem - no one takes it. I stopped at 4 stations - no luck at any of them. So I ask the guy at the last place if he knows any station that takes American Express, and he tells me, "Probably no one! American Express raised the price they charge for us to take their card to too high a price, everyone stopped accepting them!"

Geezuz, what now?

So, I look at my card and it has a website and an 800 number to call if you need to find out where the card will be accepted. Ok, I'll try that. So I go home, log on, type in the website. First thing it asks me is for my card number. Ok, I type that in. Then it asks me for a security code (4 numbers) on the front of the card. Ok - I can do that. I type it in, hit enter, and I get a message that says the numbers don't match what is in their files. I try this 3 more times - still no luck. WTF!!!!!!!

Geez, now what?

So I call up the 800 number, speak to a friendly asian sounding lady, explain the situation to her. She says ok, she can help me, and asks me for my card number. I give it to her. She asks for the security number, I give THAT to her. I wait a few minutes and then she says, "Sir, I'm sorry, but thse numbers don't match our records."

OMG - I'm in the Twilight Zone again!!!!

So I explain it to her all over again. She says ok, she'll assign me a new security code. I wait another 5 minutes. She gets back on the line and says "I reactivated your card with the new security number, but now it tells me that the card is expired."

Here we go again, GAWD, why do these things happen to me? I explain to her that the card can't be expired yet. She asks me what the expiration date is - I tell her it's two months from now, May 9, 2009. She says, "Oh, please hold on."

I wait another 5 minutes. Then she says, "I'm sorry Sir, I'll just have to issue you a new card - you can expect it in 7 to 10 business days. Is there anything else I can do for you?"

I told her "Yeah - you can tell me where in Bakersfield I can go to cash the gift card in!" To which she replies, and remember, SHE'S THE AMERICAN EXPRESS HELP DESK REPRESENTATIVE FOR THESE GAS CARDS!!!!, "I'm sorry sir, but, I need your card number and security code to access the website. Without that information I can't access the site either. You will just have to log in again after you receive your new card in 7 to 10 business days."

ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

And people wonder why America's banking and credit industry is all screwed up!