I must admit that have a weird and wonderful love/hate relationship with them. Being an extremely logical person, when something strikes me as being absurd I find the urge to voice my thoughts almost irresistible. Almost.
Top on my list of pet peeves would have to be ridiculous conversations. Not that the person I am speaking with is necessarily ridiculous, but the nature of the conversation itself.
And so it was last Thursday morning when I called my internet, television, and mobile provider. Their competitor had recently been in the neighborhood courting me to come back to them which I, being the queen of frugality, saw as the perfect time to negotiate a better rate. What could be the harm in trying?
A charming young man answered my call. I introduced myself and gave him my cell phone number. With this information he was able to inform me that I had been a loyal customer for over 30 years and he thanked me. That was a really nice moment.
I went on to explain the purpose of my call and was asked a few questions so that he could find my account. Kind of thought that he might have had that covered with the whole ‘30 years of loyalty’ thing but I guess that’s just me. Twenty minutes later and after having given him both my civic and e-mail addresses, my mother’s maiden name and the account numbers on the top of their statements that they mail to me and that I use when paying their invoices online he says,
“I’m afraid I can’t find you anywhere in our system. I’ll have to transfer you to our loyalty department.”
Anyone else see the irony? When I suggested that he take my name and number and call me back when he found the account he replied, “I’m sorry, we can’t make outgoing calls from this call center.” In my head I’m thinking, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…” (Wizard of Oz fans will get that reference) and I start to lose my s*** a little bit. Am I not speaking to a telecommunications company? Since I’m not particularly known for my patience in these situations and I’ve become aware that my editor here at the paper has an ear on my conversation (undoubtedly having a chuckle at my expense) I work hard to keep my composure.
So far, this fiasco had taken up well over a half hour of my time and I was no closer to getting a break on my fees so I decided it was time to stop the madness and get on with my day. When I asked the lovely young man who was trying his best to help me if he knew how long it might take them to find me if I just stopped paying my bills he replied, in all sincerity, “That’s another department.”