27 February, 2013

What Did We Ever Do Before Computers?

Last night my wife made the horrifying discovery that she had not paid a very important bill and we were in jeopardy of losing a policy. So, this morning I made a phone call to pay the bill. Of course, I got a computer. I tried several times, probably at least 10 times to give the information to the computer, but every single time, it would add an additional number to my account number. It did not matter how slowly I read the number off, it messed it up. I tried keying the number in twice and got the same result. Finally the computer said it was having difficulty processing the information and it would transfer me to a customer service representative. (Wow! A human!)  The woman gets on the phone and she tells me that she is sorry but they were having computer issues because of storms and their Internet was down and asked me if I could call back tomorrow. I told her no, that this was vital that my payment be in the office today or we could lapse coverage. She told me she was sorry, but they simply could not help me. So I asked her if she could write down my information and put it in when they came online. She again said, "I told you, our internet is down." I explained that I got that, could she write down my information and put it in as soon as the computers came up. She said, "Sir, you are not listening. Our internet is down, and I can't help you. So I asked her if she could take down my callback information and phone me as soon as they came up. She was getting angry and said, "Sir, I don't know why you cannot understand, our Internet is down so I cannot access your account." 

I looked at the clock, and saw that from the time of my initial contact with the computer up to this time,  I had spent 33 minutes trying to get someone to understand what I was trying to say, so I asked to speak to her supervisor. I mean to tell you that once I said that, the fight was on! She told me that I was a trouble maker who did not care if she lost her job or not, and ripped into me for more than a minute and then said, "Why don't you just do like everyone else and call back in a day or two?" I told her that I was not trying to be mean, was not angry at her at all, I just had a desperate situation and I needed to get this bill paid as soon as possible. I said to her, "sweetie, I don't know you so I have no reason to be upset at you or to try to get you in trouble. I simply want to talk to someone with some authority around there." In a very angry tone she said, "This might take a few minutes. Hold on."  Several minutes later another lady gets on the phone and immediately starts telling me how the Internet is down and they could not access my account and I would have to try back later. I asked, "Ma'am, are your computers down, or is the Internet down?" She said, "Sir, all of our information is stored in the central office and we cannot access it without the Internet." I said, "Ma'am, all I've been trying to suggest is that someone take down my name, account number and phone number and please call me as soon as you are online again." She said, "But what if we close that page?" So I said, "You know, back in my day, we actually used a pen and paper to write down information. Do you think someone could do that?" She laughed and said, "Oh my lord, why didn't I think of that?"

I don't know sister. I just don't know.

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