Taking “No” For an Answer

"Hello Ms. Rinehart and thank you for calling Delta Skymiles American Express. I see you've been a valued American Express member since December, 2007. We're so grateful to have you as our loyal customer. My name is Wanda. How are you today?"

I don't have to introduce myself to Wanda or give her my account number because I spent the last 10 minutes entering all my personal information, save for how many hours I was in labor with my first child, via touch tone.

"Hello Wanda.  I'm pretty good, despite this cold I've had for over 2 weeks, but thanks for asking.  How are you?"

"I'm well, thank you. Thanks so much! You drinking your orange juice?"


"Good. Now how can I help you today?"

"I'd like to cancel my credit card." Wait a minute; she should have known that already because I punched in option #4 for "Cancel existing accounts".

"I can do that for you."


"May I ask why you're canceling?"

"We're consolidating."

"I understand. But if you renew this card at the $89 fee and buy a ticket on Delta you'll get a companion ticket for only $99."

"No thank you. Just cancel the card, please."

"Aren't you going to fly anymore?"

"Yes, but we never fly Delta any more.  Just cancel the card please."

"I can do that. But we have other cards with-"

"No thank you Wanda.  We're consolidating. Just cancel the card."

"I can do that. Would you tell me what card you'll be using instead of your Delta Skymiles American Express card"

"Er, uh, no!  We're CONSOLODATING.  Would you please just cancel this card?"

"I can do that.  Are you taking vitamin C?"

"Wanda, puh-leeeze just cancel this card!" Suddenly Wanda wasn't so chipper. She read me the cancellation policy like my Miranda rights. Before my sweaty palms could get the phone back in the charger, it rang again. "Karen, hey!!  It's Soozie from book club.  How ARE you?  Oh my gosh it's been like a million years since I've seen you!" Probably because I quit book club last year and that was the only time I ever saw her. "I'm swell, Sooz. How 'bout you?"

"I'm ga-reat!  I'm s-o-o excited about my Beading Beauties business and I want you to come to my next home party."

"Oh thanks Soozie, but I'm not crafty–"

"It's Thursday night from 7-10."

"Sorry, Soozie.  My husband's out of town and I don't have a sitter."

"I'll send my Sissy over to sit!"

"That's awfully sweet but it's a school night and–"

"She's very reliable."

"I know; but I really can't afford to buy anything right now."

"You don't have to!   Just come eat some food."

"I'm dieting."

"Then just have a glass of wine!"

"Soozie?  Gotta run. The dog just barfed on the beige carpet."

"Oh I'll have the perfect cleaner for you at my next Home Cleaning Miracles party–."

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  • Guest

    What a riot!  And how true!

  • Guest

    Wonderful article.  It sadly reminds me of a similir situation I encountered in college (30 years ago!).  I went to the student health office to have a wart removed from the bottom of my foot.  I was asked over and over by at least 4 people–"I notice you are not on birth control, can we prescribe the pill for you today?"

    "No thank you–just remove the wart."

    "OK–hey you are not on birth control. We can fix you up."

    "No thank you–I just have a wart."…..

  • Guest

    I LOVE it!  So, ama5, how did you get out without your wart and without birth control??? 

    Having worked in sales (briefly: wasn't "assertive" enough…!), I do understand their "need" to NOT take no for an answer.  (I.e., their own needs don't get met if they do!)  However, I can beat 'em at their own game, now…."seniors living on a fixed income", "recently evicted from our huge house", "living in a shoebox trailer", "living from hand-to-mouth", and the clincher "even if I could afford to pay for it, I wouldn't have room to put it!"  If I lay it on thick enough, I can almost-always get them to apologize for calling me!  Works for me!

    Btw, Karen: next time you feel a cold coming on, try some zinc.  Works for me!  Smile