Dear Customer Service Lines: Don’t List You Are Closed Five Minutes Into A Call

Okay, this was originally going to be a much worse post. I got a late charge on a new account I have because I hadn’t been sent the bill and hadn’t received enough of them to know my payment date. I was going to name the place and suggest that they were scamming extra money by failing to send out bills. However, they were willing to take off the late charge…so I won’t name them and suggest this.

However, I do have one suggestion for them: they might not want to put the message that their phone service is closed five minutes into a call.

I’m serious. I got the bill late last night when I got home and saw there was a late charge. I went through my papers to figure out what had happened and realized they had never sent my last month’s bill (my second ever from this account). Immediately, I called. Five minutes later, after providing all sorts of information and holding, the phone told me that service was closed and to call back tomorrow.

Now, I could understand if this was an automated system and I had tried to go for an option to speak to a live person five minutes in. However, this was not the case. The system was automated, but the first thing they asked me when I called was whether or not I wanted to speak to a live person. They then asked me what the problem was, asked for all kinds of account and verification information, offered to give me an account summary, and put me on hold for several minutes. It was only after all this that the phone system realized that there was no live person for me to talk to.

Since the system bothered to figure out that I wanted to talk to a live person right away, shouldn’t that have been the point that they told me there was no live person to talk to? Why wait? I got further aggravated with them (you can ask my wife to verify this), and they had to pay for the time of the call.

Why do all that? It wasn’t necessary. All they had to do was tell me phones were closed the moment they figured out I wanted to talk to a live person.

Regardless, though I doubt they will listen to this, or even hear it, I thought I’d share this piece of advice with them. It would save them money and avoid needlessly angering their customers. As it is, nice as they were about taking off the late charge, I plan on paying off the account in full this week and closing the account. I prefer companies who send me my statements as promised.


About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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