Monday, November 03, 2014

1404 Some Weekend Calling

Back in the day, The Phone Company used to advertise that “night and Sunday rates are lower.”

Well, they aren’t anymore but still, weekends can be a good time to do some business.  Maybe shorter wait times.

Maybe not.

So let’s try to renew a prescription.

Caremark is getting worried. It sent a note that said so. “Your prescription renewal is overdue!”  So, call what has become CVS Caremark.

Worried about a customer’s health?  Nah. Worried they haven’t been overpaid in three and a half months.

This requires having your 52 digit membership number handy.  And don’t forget the pound sign.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t recognize the number” says the talking phone tree. “Please try again.”

Knowing they can’t remember all 52 digits at a time … plus the pound sign, it’s time to punch “zero.”

Remember, phone traffic is lower on the weekends.

“We are experiencing higher than usual phone traffic.  Expect delays…”

Punch zero again. “All of our operators are busy (napping?) Your call will be answered in the order it was received.  Or you can reach us more quickly at our website…”

Twenty minutes, and the operator comes on.  Wants the membership number.  (Please read it slowly) and then the prescription number.  And then the address.  And then the last four digits of your “social.”  No operator calls it “Social Security” anymore.

The operator then reads three different shipping options.  Everyone opts for the free one.

“We have a credit card on file for you. Please tell me the last four digits and the expiration date.”  The last four digits are committed to memory.  But not the expiration date.

Dig it out.

“Oh, and the special security code on the back.”

Half an hour to renew a prescription.

Maybe we’ll have less trouble with the bank.  

Why call the bank?  Because it is the first of the month and the direct deposit pension check is supposed to be there and it isn’t.

The unpaid bill collectors will not be sympathetic, so let’s see if we can get MiniMegabank to do something, like putting the expected pittance into the account… especially since the fake check “for your records” is in hand and it says the pay date is November 1, 2014.

Account number entered.  Higher than usual call volume.  Please wait or visit our website at (static) (static) (static)

Finally an operator.  He says our policy is to credit business deposits on the next business day which is this coming Monday, 11/3 and you should see it on the website by Tuesday morning at the latest.

Discover card does not want to wait.  The “advice of payment” says the pension check is due for deposit today. Does MiniMegabank forgive unpaid mortgage bills due on a Saturday?  Nope.

But the Fed won’t let us.  

The Fed doesn’t care.  But if it did, which is the right reason, your policy or theirs?

Okay, okay, we don’t register the deposits unless the customer calls us.

“Well, I’m calling you.”

You’ll see it by Tuesday at the latest. Click.

But a couple of hours later, it turns up in the available funds column on the website.

Dear MiniMegabank:  I hope you die a horrible death, the FDIC shuts you down and a REAL megabank takes you over.  At least they answer their phones by the 540th ring.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2014

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