Emboldened by his earlier encouraging experiences with the banking hawks Mr Thames Pond decided to carry on from there. He took a pledge to meet any call from any credit card or banking executive with guts and intelligence. He must ensure that he refuse all unnecessary offers or entrapment. He'd no longer be vulnerable. And then, as usual, he got a call right away.
"Hello … am I speaking to Thames Pond please?"
"Who's this please?"
"This is Moneycanny Sir, from UC bank! … Mr Pond?"
"Right, this is Pond. Thames Pond!"
"So nice to talk to you again! Good morning Sir!"
"Good morning. Ms err …!"
"Mr Pond … can I take just two minutes of your most precious time?"
"Sir, you are one of our most privileged customers. We've reviewed your payment record over the years and found your credit history absolutely sound. Sending you a package of travel vouchers allowing you to have free five-star hotel comforts in various tourist locations you'd like to visit.
"You are giving me all these free, Milady?"
"Absolutely Sir! This is UC bank's thanksgiving to one of our most privileged customers."
"No payment? No hidden costs? Are you sure?"
"Yes Sir! All you have to do is to receive it!"
"Okay … in that case I can consider … Ms … er …!"
"Thanks Sir! Your package is worth more than – bucks. So there will be a service tax and other charges. . "
"Hey … wait a minute! What are you saying … I've got to pay to receive your benefits?"
"Right Sir! You are not making a payment, you are only paying taxes. Your package is worth a lot of money and so service charges apply naturally …"
"Wait a minute … you see …"
"Ours is one of the largest banks of the country with a huge network …"
"Hey! Ms … er … I'm not referring to your bank … I mean you see … that's you and see here! You see … er … you … see … I will have to take leave from my office … book tickets … plan it perfectly to be able to avail of your travel package, right? And considering your five-star privileges I must travel by air … I can not just crawl and slog to land up there, no? Now, the problem is it may not materialize in that specified period of yours … due to so many reasons … "
"But Sir, we expect you definitely will not let go of such a money-saving opportunity!"
"… Okay … you expect … I want too. But it is not in my hands. Now, if I fail to avail of your 'free' package why on earth should I pay you in advance? It … I'll see, and then if I do travel and enjoy your five-star luxuries please bill the service charges … this makes perfect sense. "
"Sorry Sir! We offer you a value package and there before we have to charge the service tax now only. Please confirm your agreement so that we can send it across immediately."
"I'm sorry too … Milady! I can not give my consent …" He Cut the line with relish.
Mr Pond watched his phone ring again. He rejected the call, deliriously happy. The process repeated itself one more time. Then silence as Mr Pond indulged himself a broad grin.