22 March 2004
Unclear on the concept
We process credit-card transactions for maybe two thousand customers every week, and 1,950 of those create no issues whatsoever. The remaining fifty, however, generate more nonuseful work than the 1,950 in aggregate.
I have come to believe that most of these people basically don't have a freaking clue about how credit cards work, and the remainder are somehow persuaded that they're gaming the system to their own benefit. Either way, their stories are unconvincing: "But I mailed my payment to Seattle first thing Monday morning" doesn't mean squat Wednesday afternoon, unless Seattle has received and processed and posted said payment. Confronted with evidence of their doltishness and/or perfidy, they react defensively, as though we were the IRS performing an audit, or offensively, as though we simply don't understand how important they are.
There is, of course, no fix for this, short of banning a substantial number of deadbeats pour encourager les autres, and The Powers That Be are not keen on this idea, inasmuch as it might discourage some people from taking advantage of our services. I have pointed out that people who produce no revenue really ought to be discouraged, so far to no avail. Once, only half in jest, I proposed posting the offenders' names and card numbers to the Web; public humiliation has its charms, and since these cards aren't any good in the first place, there presumably wouldn't be any unauthorized charges.
Actually, I'd rather have them shot.