A Brief Chronicle of a Telephone Transaction / Rebeca Monzo

Sign placed outside a state office in Ayestarán: Breathe… feel something? Just that. In this unit we breathe the environment of control!

Yesterday, after nearly a month, I finally resolved the mysterious business of my cell phone account having been recharged which, it seems, had caused great anxiety for a certain commercial enterprise which really seems more like a bureau of investigation.

You might recall my telling you that one fine day I received a small gift on my mobile in a tone as threatening as it was puzzling.

In this message, which in the end was sent to me eighteen times at half hour intervals, I was told that I had to call a certain number in order to activate the above mentioned credit. As I said before, when I called, they put me through an interrogation in which I had to give my first and last names, home address, cell phone number (the same one to which they had been sending the message), the number on my identity card and, best of all, the name of the person who had recharged the account – something which, as I mentioned, I ignored. The young woman assisting me the first time did not want to tell me the amount of the credit or who had recharged the account. She would only tell me that it was a man. Playing along, I gave her the names of my sons but she said it was someone else. She added that not only would the credit be put on hold until I provided this information but that the money that had been added to the account would have to refunded.

As I had no desire to lose this money, I called back the next day and fortunately got operator #_ (who was much more pleasant than the one without a name). To help me, she told me the account had been recharged by someone in Miami and that the name of the person started with the letter B. I told her that I had no idea who that could be and that those messages were annoying me. Then, very politely, she told me she would refund the money and that I would no longer receive those little messages that were annoying me so.

Time passed and “the eagle crossed over the sea.” As I do not have internet and can only go online when they do me the favor of giving me a few hours, it took some time to access my account to find the pertinent information so that I could receive this prize.

On Monday I finally found out who Mr. B was. I called the mysterious number and proceeded to give them the information. They advised me, however, that the gentleman had paid with a credit card, that they would have to investigate and that, if there had been fraud, I would have to return the money. As you can see, they lied to me for almost a month when they told me that they would return the funds to Mr. B.

It is clear that, at no point, were they going to refund the gentleman his money. It was all just a threat. Please tell me if this modus operandi is appropriate for a commercial enterprise whose primary objective is generating hard currency.

July 19 2012