A Bad Experience with Bank of America

October 17, 2007

I just received a new business credit card. As with all credit cards, you have to activate it by calling a phone number. I called the number, pressed 2 for English and then entered my card number. Then I was asked for a verification code.

What? I look through the letter that came with my card. There is nothing that says “verification code.” The instructions tell me if I do not have the code to enter my business phone number. I try that and told I am not in the system.

My colleague had just finished talking to a person so I ask him how he got to that point. He said that he just did not enter anything when asked for verification code. I decided to press “0” and I talk to a person. So after three phone calls, I finally activate my card. It would have been a whole lot nicer if I had been given better instructions on the front end and the telephone menu had told me that I could press “0.” I have learned that through experience but it still would be helpful. The phone system did not have an “escape” clearly noted (I’m learning about that in a book on interaction design).

Just another reminder of how important experience design is.

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