Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Call Is Important To Them

To all of the politicians promising to create millions of jobs in their next terms in office: could you please make sure that most of those positions are in the Customer Service departments and Call Centers of businesses across this country?

The sudden passing of my mother-in-law last week has me on the phone this week with utilities, credit card issuers, insurance companies, self-storage places, moving truck rentals and several other types of businesses.  My wife works a "real job" and can't make calls to all of these places during "regular business hours", so my afternoons have been spent in continuous cycle of call menus and hold music.

The most egregious example of my call NOT being important to a business came from the Green Bay Press Gazette.  Of course, in their phone menu, "Cancel Your Subscription" is not one of the options--so I had to "wait for the next available customer service representative".  Now, I didn't have a stop watch going on the call, but I was able to watch nearly an entire half-hour TV show while on hold (all the while being told that the Green Bay Press Gazette brings you the "latest in news, sports and community events"--even though it isn't delivered until 24-hours after most of that stuff happened).

And then there was the "USA Prime Credit, this is Peggy" experience I had with Bank of America.  I was obviously dealing with a call center in India--and "Ashley" was the one who took my call.  Now I'll admit that at the age of 40, I probably don't hear as well as I used to--but I could not understand a single thing "Ashley" was saying--forcing her to repeat everything at least three times.  And instead of slowing down and enunciating every word properly, "Ashley" figured I would be able to understand her better if she just kept TALKING LOUDER AND LOUDER!!!!!!

As you would expect, the good old Government is making things more difficult to accomplish as well.  To complete a Transfer by Affidavit of the estate, my wife needs to know the value of the assets left behind by her mother--including the amount in her bank accounts.  But under all of the new privacy laws, the financial institutions aren't allowed to give us that information until we COMPLETE THE TRANSFER BY AFFIDAVIT!!  And when you explain the conundrum created by that situation, the bankers can only say, "I know--but that is the way the law is written."

I'd add more to this "Two Cents" but it sounds like Capital One has figured out which of the four departments I've already been transferred to that I actually need to talk to--so I have to get back on the phone.

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