: views from the Hill

Monday, August 22, 2005

Is anyone there? Hello? Is anyone there?

I hate phones. Have I mentioned?

I much prefer F2F or e-mail. I get no joy from hearing someone's voice. I don't know what the problem is, perhaps that there's this disconnect between the voice and the face. E-mail's OK because I can save an e-mail and parse it before I answer. F2F is okay too because I can see the person I'm talking to.

In any hoo.

Today was my day to call people. Last week, my day was Monday as well. Might as well start the week off with a bang, eh?

Last week I was calling people to ask if they wanted their names in the directory I'm putting together as LAST NAME, First Name (Nickname) or LAST NAME, Nickname. Call after call after call to everyone for whom I was carrying a nickname who didn't have an e-mail address or who hadn't answered my e-mail asking which variant they preferred.

Today I'm calling to change my billing/notice address with a variety of entities that do not have an online way of changing my address: my 401K with Honeywell (for whom I never worked but who bought a business for which I worked many year ago now), my 401K account to which I should be transferring my Honeywell 401K, my BankOne accounts which are now my Chase accounts, my Macy's account.

So, fine. Macy's. I tried online and got a "cannot update your account. try again later."

I called their accounts line and got an intelligent design voice asking me for my old ZIP and "is that right?" and my new ZIP and "is that right?" and my address and "is that right?" and no, it wasn't. So we tried a couple times. Each time the street name was garbled. So we tried just the street name and the repeat back didn't work. After three or so attempts and after much hoo-hah, I was transferred to someone who kept saying, "Is anyone there?" I answered. "Is anyone there?" I answered louder. "Is anyone there?" And even louder. He finally heard me and said, "Ma'am. I can barely hear you." I said, "I'm almost shouting. If you can't hear me, that's a failure in your customer support line," or in the trans-Pacific cable or the satellite link, I didn't add.

"Is anyone there?" he asked.

So, I hung up.

If Macy's doesn't care enough about customer support to let me update my account online or to provide a phone line that their support staff can hear me on, it's not really my problem.

I'm sure they'd like me to use my $2000 line of credit, which I haven't used in a long while, but I'm disinclined at this point and who knows where they'd send the bill anyway.

... as though I'm ever very inclined to shop at a place whose tagline is "way to shop!"

"Way to shop" indeed. ...

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