Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stop the Music - Please!

One of the least fun aspects of moving (as if there were lots of fun parts) is having to call a variety of businesses to make changes to accounts, report address changes, etc.  Today was especially bad as I tried (unsuccessfully, I might add) to make a change in our escrow payment for our mortgage.   After listening to endless prompts on the phone and stupidly following all of the orders, I was put on hold and forced to listen to loud music, with a dollop of advertisements and products that the bank offered.  

This made me think about why these businesses believe that this noise pollution, which is not nice to listen to, is a good thing to force on innocent people while we wait.  I personally would like silence with an occasional update on how long I will have to wait until I get to speak to an actual human being.  So what are the businesses thinking?  Could it be something like "maybe if we annoy the callers enough, they'll hang up and leave us alone"?  Or do they actually think that it's a benefit to the folks on hold?

Once I did get to speak to an actual human being, he told me that Customer Service could not help me, so I was transferred to their Insurance Department.  After another wait there, another actual human being told me that their computers were down and to call back.  When I called back and waited again, a third actual human being told me that the Insurance Department could not help me and sent me back to Customer Service, where I spoke to a fourth actual human being (after waiting, of course).  She told me that I needed to speak to someone in the Escrow Deletion Team, and she transferred me to a fifth actual human being.  This person could not help me either and told me that I needed to speak to the Insurance Department.  He was not impressed with the fact that I had already spoken with two Insurance Department actual human being employees.  I could see that this could go on all day and asked to be excused from all of this fun.  I couldn't listen to another stanza of the "on hold music". 

I was amazed when actual human being #5 expressed his sincere hope that he had met all my expectations and delivered excellent customer service.  I just grunted and hung up.   Where would I begin?  Did he really want my entire rant, starting with the music and going through the whole experience? I think not.  And you readers probably don't want to know about it either. Sorry, but we all need to vent.  I just want to do my venting in silence, without the "on hold music" background noise.

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