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National crisis narrowly averted

This dates back almost 15 years, when I was working in a customer service call centre for the credit card division of a UK bank. We dealt mostly with credit card applications, and or calls tended to be from people who had been turned down for a credit card and weren’t happy about it.

One day, I get a call from a lady about her refusal letter. We go through the identification process, and she is clearly Welsh. She has a Welsh accent, and her address is a farm with a Welsh name in the heart of Wales.

(Now, some background for non-UK readers: Wales is part of the UK, but there is a reasonably-sized nationalist movement. At one stage, there were stories about holiday homes in Wales owned by English owners being burned down; I don’t know how true that was.)

So, I ask the lady how I could help her. She tells me I should probably look up her refusal letter and take a look for myself. I do, and I see:

“I’m sorry, but we are unable to send you a credit card because your country is too dangerous for us to deliver to.”

This is the wording that gets used when an applicant is living in a war zone or a third-world country. You can see how this could be a problem…

Turns out that some data-entry person had entered the wrong country code when inputting the address. It was just an unfortunate coincidence that this was done for a customer in deepest Wales. Luckily, the customer thought it was hilarious.

submitted by /u/mike_dowler
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