Our mortgage company sent us a report that for some reason skipped a couple of months. To keep our records complete (and straight), I called the company to request a complete activity report. (The term they use is “activity.”) Here’s what happened (and did not happen):
They’ve got the answering system down to a science. No humans. The scientifically-shaped process begins with a nice little greeting in English and Spanish and Polish. Then it asks for your account number and the last four digits of your SSN and then, once you’ve delivered the goods, you’d think you’d get to your request: “I’d like a copy of my ‘activities.'” Well, not so fast, buddy, they must be thinking. We’ve got to narrow down the options.
They give you a list of options, none of which quite fit what I wanted, so I hung on to the bitter end hoping they’d finish with a “If none of these options fit, press 0, and you can talk to a customer service representative.” But, no, if you don’t choose one of those options, you get to start over with the same options.
So, I tried a few … let’s say three of the options. Once or twice I muttered something and the little sensitive thing asked me, “Sorry, we didn’t understand that request.” (Which it wasn’t; I was muttering to myself for heaven’s sake.)
Once while I was listening away Kris said something to me, I said something back (“Yes,” I said to her), and there it was again, “Sorry, we didn’t understand that request.”)
As I was saying, I tried three of them and got to the next level, and they were now starting to ask much more specific questions and none of them even came close to what I was needing help with.
So, on about the fourth attempt — and now time is mounting and I’m starting to get impatient — I started trying to outfox the system by saying things like “Operator” or punching the zero button or “Can I speak with someone?” or “Hey, how about giving me someone!” Then I heard something about valuing my feedback, so I gave it to them — something like “Well, if you want to know what I really think, I think this system is awful. Just give me a human being.” Answer: “Sorry, we didn’t understand that request.”
This went on for sometime, let’s say twenty minutes or more. You had to be quick and you had to pay attention and Webster barked once and I muttered again and they gave me that lonesome answer.
Somehow, randomly, pure luck, accidentally, eventually one of the options was “Speak to a customer service representative.” Wow, that was cool. So I did; she was exceedingly helpful; said she’d send me the report — “Don’t know why they didn’t send the whole report” she muttered.
I got the report today in the mail. Problem was: The report was for only one month instead of the whole year! Now I’ve got to do this whole thing all over again. Nice of them to give me the phone number to customer service — perky little note too — same number I had before.
Question: How to beat the phone maze?