Monday, November 26, 2007

Even computers hate me these days...

...not this one, thank goodness. Not yet, anyway.

I decided to pay my phone bill today. I didn't want to -- there are bills more pressing -- but being phone-less would be the final blow.

So I called the pay-over-the-phone number. I've done this for years. You push phone buttons to get through the process, punch in more numbers to pay. Simple. Easy.

But my phone company was "sold" a few months ago, in a bogus transaction that simply broke California into a subsidiary of the Main Company. Fraud, if you ask me.

So the numbers to call have changed, my "customer ID number" has changed, the bills have changed (more confusing, more frequent) and, worse, the pay-by-phone service has changed.

When I got the number and called, a computer-generated voice "talked" me through it. I had to answer, not push buttons. Do you know how damn stupid it is to say simple phrases to a computer?

Those who have heard me know my voice is very clear and my pronunciation is correct. The computer didn't understand me half the time, and of course that made me angry.

Worse was to come. The billing dates have been moved forward, and my new bill was already in the mail. In fact, I found it in my mailbox after completing the call.

The voice informed me I had paid the "past-due" amount, and told me to tell it when I would make the next payment. It gave me a choice of dates, the latest of which was December 6. Which I took. It will automatically snitch that amount from my bank account on that day.

And then it asked me how I rated its performance, giving me a choice of ratings from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). Naturally, I picked 1, at which point the bastard computer voice said "I'm sorry you're displeased," thanked me for using the company, said goodbye and hung up on me.

I looked at the bill. My latest date for paying the new bill is December 14. Not December 6.

I will be calling the computer's manager tomorrow, who I hope is a) human and b) not in India.

The whole exercise consumed 25 minutes, as I had to go look up my "customer ID number" after being disconnected because I didn't know the new one.

Believe it or not, this is the best thing that has happened to me today.

I am so angry I could...no, I mustn't do that.

It's not getting any easier....

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

AM having similar situation with visa. For some reason, my bank went with entire new company, new card number, new payment date, new pin, new website and no longer possible to pay from the bank website.

I hate change for the sake of change, sorta like peanuts.

Justfly said...

Those phone prompts drive me crazy. By the time I get to the end I am ready to go postal.

DAL said...

Emily (at Bell Canada) has a nice voice, but she's kind of slow. I only need to "talk" to her when I have a problem or a question. I pay my bill online through my bank. Then I don't have to talk to anyone, or push an interminable number of buttons. And it's done as fast as I can log in, select what I want to do, and key in the amount.

Anonymous said...

oh shit!

do i ever hate these computer generated promps!!! most companies i've delt with that use these promps don't give you the option of speaking with a human being. i get so pissed! then i wonder....is my lisp that bad?? didn't know i had one until these things started popping up. i AM postal after dealing with those things and if alone in the house always end it with....
....nevermind!

Bud

Anonymous said...

gee looking at my spelling.
prompts....dealt....

jetted & lagged, eh?

Bud

Simon said...

Due to reading that too quickly, I saw the computer’s response to your 1 rating as ‘You bastard.’