Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Phone hell

Last week I noticed a $35. late payment penalty on my credit card statement. I was certain it was wrong, since all my banking is done on-line and they are NEVER wrong. Sure enough, I checked the bank records and observed that in fact the bill had been paid on time. At that moment, I realized I would soon be descending in to what I call Customer Service PHONE HELL.

Yes, I am referring to the endless and confusing series of numbers that must be punched in to your phone before you ever get to talk to a person with a pulse. Common sense would dictate that it would be inconceivable that there could ever be a self service menu option for "Give me the **** my $35. back!"

So, I wait until I have at least 35 minutes to waste and then dial the dreaded 1-800 number. Ugh! My strategy is to just keep hitting -0- and hopefully override the system and get an operator, but the rule of thumb is that you must be on the verge of plunging a knife into your chest before that can happen. And why when you get the live agent on the phone do they ask for your account number again? What was the purpose of punching it in the first place? And how about when you realize you don't have the right department. You would hope that by virtue of the fact that you were diligent enough to get all the way to the live operator you would have some type of priority to go directly to the correct department. But no, that would make entirely too much SENSE!

But my all-time fav Phone Hell Scenario is when you use your best guess to make the proper selections, and discover that all the selections you have made take you right back to the MAIN MENU! That is when you look around the room (while laughing maniacally) to see if there is a hidden candid camera recording your reaction for reality TV. Unfortunately, chances are its no joke. It is just the new "Customer Service" standard for the new millennium. Wanna get rich quick? Plan on investing your life savings in to the first Fortune 500 Company that keeps their customers out of phone Hell!


tls1995 said...


Here's a website that will help you get to a live operator faster.


Katie said...

I had that problem with on-line bill pay with my bank. Come to find out they sometimes don't issue payment until a week later. And heaven forbid I pay anything before a couple days before it's due! So I quit paying through my bank and pay directly to the company's website. It takes a little longer but I have yet to be assessed a late fee since.

Matt said...

When things like this happen to us (not very often), I file a dispute with the credit card company. They battle the phone company for me.