happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…

…and my little iBook decided to choose THIS weekend to go kerblooie. Nothing major (backlight), but having the screen go dead on me put a BIG crimp in my workplans, since almost all my work & files are on that machine. Especially since I’d planned to have some templates & designs done for previously-mentioned client…and my Cube just won’t go fast enough for what I need to run (Dreamweaver AND Photoshop AND an emulator AND a video-splitting program are a bit much — now my iBook, which will barely run The Sims, WILL run all those at a decent speed. The Cube’ll run The Sims, but not all those. Remember, computers are supposed to make our lives EASIER).

Luckily the iBook was still under warranty, though it’s gonna take at least five days before I’ll have it back. Five days I can’t do without it —

So Saturday I traveled half an hour across town because the Apple Support Dude told me, “sure, the Apple Store can replace the light right there”. By the time I hit the store, it’s 9:30 pm, and Said Apple Store says, “uh, no, we don’t do repairs, we ship ’em out.” Did I have my files backed up at all? No. Well, no problem, I thought. I’d planned to get a new Mac anyway, and my credit’s excellent; just do an instant Apple Loan & get a new Mac that night, and fire-wire everything over from the iBook to the new Mac, then bring the iBook back to the AS the next day to get it shipped out for repairs.

HAH.

I told the sales guy that I was wanted to walk out of there that night with a top-line G5 iMac, that I needed it for my business right away. “No prob,” he said, and plopped me in front of another Mac to fill out the online application. 15 minutes and three (count ’em, three) security questions later, I have this message of “We have to verify your information. We’ll get back to you within 5 business days”.

Eep. 5 DAYS?!? What happened to “instant?” I’m staring at the message, and the sales guy goes, “Wow. Never seen that before.” So I say, “All right. What now?” Which gets him looking at me & going, “well, you gotta wait for the computer, I guess.”

Look, man, I told you I need the computer ASAP. He finally gave me the “24-hour” phone line to the place that handles the loan & told me to call. No, I couldn’t call at the store. So, not having a cellphone, I had to drive back home (across town, 30 minutes). Which I did, and called, and got a bored rep who only repeated, “I’m sorry, you’re not in our files. It’ll take 5 business days.” (like, woman, I’m here, calling you, to verify whatever you need to verify, would you please just let me know what the holdup is? Nope, sorry, 5 business days. If THAT’S how Apple plans to make its sales, no wonder it’s losing market shares).

At that point, Brett comes up with a (at the time) wonderful suggestion. “Why not call Capital One & just increase the limit on our card?”

Now, mind you, we’ve kept the limit on the Cap One card low for a reason, never more than we can pay off in one or two months. We’ve been with them for years, never a problem, never an issue, card’s always paid off with no carry-over balance. So I’m thinking, okay, should be no problem there.

Yeah, right. Once more, I get a bored rep who goes, “I’m sorry, we don’t raise card limits at the request of customers.”

Pardon me? Since when?

“I’m sorry, we do our own reviews periodically.”

Okay, so my next review is…?

“I can’t tell you that.”

At this point, Brett gently took the phone out of my hand, hung up, and told me to wait until morning. Which I did, after spending most of the night making firewire backups of my work files on my iBook.

So I called Cap One back the next morning, and got another bored rep who said the same thing. At that point, I asked for a manager, who repeated the same things, over and over, and wouldn’t listen to anything I said about needed the increase for an immediate business need (side note: the increase I was requesting was not all that much — only a couple hundred dollars). I should also note that at the time, I was staring at several **credit card offers*** from Cap One, offering to give me even more credit cards with similar or increased limits as the one I had; I stated that to the manager, adding, “so you’re basically saying that I can apply for a new card and get all these lines of credit through several cards…but you can’t just simply increase the limit on my current card?”

“Ma’am, as I said…we’ve got a conservative lending policy…” (HIS exact words, and staring at the hypocritical stack of “Be approved instantly” offers in front of me…I admit, I snapped. No Hassle, my ASS)

So, now angry, I said, “Fine. You just lost a customer. Cancel my card.”

At which point I got transferred to their “Cancellation” team (aka “the retention group”), and the rep there promptly increased my limit twice of what I’d asked for to begin with. However, it would take two business days for the limit to kick in.

“Y’know,” Brett said, as I sat there fuming over the freakin’ hoops I had to jump through. “We could try to put the Apple loan thru on my info. Maybe that car loan flagged your account or something.”

(another note: when we got the Cube, back in 2000, that was what we did — we were making much less money, and my credit record was spotty due to an old bankruptcy. Yet Brett had gotten approved for that loan immediately…)

Well, I had to go back out to the Apple Store anyway to drop off my blinded iBook, so out we went. And the same thing happened to Brett as to me when he tried for the Apple Loan — “need to verify, blah blah blah”. So the sales rep is giving us another one of those looks that says “yeah, you’re bad credit risks,” and I snap again (gentlier this time) and go, “Look, do you guys make ANY sales through this thing?”

I mean it. Me & Brett checked our credit reports; we’re now so squeaky clean it hurts, and the CR is rather high. And here we were, unable to get approved for a freakin’ loan on a computer. And here I sit, on the old Cube, waiting for SOMEONE to tell me whether I can get the business computer I need or not.

One of the Damn Holy Saints must’ve heard me bragging about the new work & decided to knock me down a peg. Stupid !@#$ Holy Journey, MY ASS.

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