The best birthday wish I got yesterday came from…MBNA Elite Rewards?

Just got my new MBNA Elite Rewards Credit Card in the mail. When I called the 800 number to activate my account, I was prompted with the standard recording which requested, “Please enter your account number to expedite your call.”

I punched it in and pressed the pound key.

Two seconds later the woman’s voice on the recording said, “Thank you…and we would like to wish you a happy birthday! Please hold while we transfer you to the next available representative.”

Ha ha! NICE! Very nice! Wow, I’ve NEVER heard anything like that before!

After I was transfered to the operator and gave him my password, SSN, mother’s madien name and the like, he said, “You’re all set Mr. Ginsberg. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Actually, yes. I have a question. Does your machine automatically recognize customers’ date of birth when they enter in their account number, then play the ‘Happy Birthday Greeting’ if they happen to call on the right day?”

“Oh, did you get that message?”

“Yeah! It was great!”

“Really? Huh. Well, as a matter of fact, MBNA was supposed to have removed that feature from their phone system last year. They didn’t want to risk offending anyone who didn’t celebrate a birthday.”

“Wait, what? Don’t celebrate birthdays?” I wondered. “Is that like a cultural or religious thing?”

“Yeah, I’m not sure which one it is,” Michael continued, “but we removed the greeting so we could protect our company AND our customers.”

“Right…sure, sure…I respect that,” I said. And as we were talking, I ran a quick search on Google and found a interesting article on that gave me the answer I to this intruiging question.

“Check it out,” I said. “It looks like Jehova’s Witnesses choose not to celebrate birthdays or holidays. Huh. I never knew that.”

“Yep. That’s the one,” he said.

“Cool. Well anyway Michael, I still gotta tell you: that recording MADE MY DAY. Seriously. I’m going to blog about it tomorrow! (I’m such a geek.) And when I give a speech to 600 people in Columbus in two days, I’m going to tell this story to every one of them!”

“Cool! Thanks. It’s our pleasure Mr. Ginsberg. And welcome to MBNA.”


What was the most memorable (phone) experience you ever had with a company?

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Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag


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