I’m Insulted by the Suggestion

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

I hear plenty of griping about the new chip credit cards in the United States. They may be marginally slower than the old swipe cards, but the real problem at present is the uncertainty when it comes to determining how you should use your card. This temporary card that Panera is inserting into all of their credit card readers is both great design that addresses a real problem and a sad indication of just how poorly the transition is going:


[Photo courtesy of P. Kafasis]

However, for the fourth time in the past two years, my credit card number has been compromised. If chip cards reduce the frequency with which I need to update my card in a dozen different places online, so much the better.

Anyhow, I recently received yet another new credit card after the most recent account breach. In years past, this would have meant a phone call to a real person who would then take the oppurtunity to pitch one or more other paid services from the credit card company. More recently, cards at least offered a secondary web address to activate the card online. My newest card included the following sticker:

I very much appreciate the emphasis on using the website. Nevertheless, I’m concerned by the secondary text. I have some copy-editing suggestions.

Alternate Text for This Credit Card Activation Sticker

  • Are you one of those sickies who likes to use your phone as a phone? Please dial: 1-800-678-7820

  • Have you used up your smartphone’s data cap for the month? Please dial: 1-800-678-7820

  • Remember phone calls? Please dial: 1-800-678-7820

  • Are you just some sort of maladjusted weirdo? Please dial: 1-800-678-7820

  • We’re lonely. Please dial: 1-800-678-7820

The worst part of all of this is that because their website was temporarily down, I did have to call. Thankfully, I only had to deal with an automated assistant which worked well, and the whole thing was over in less than 60 seconds.


If you enjoyed this post, get updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.