So I was on the phone with an investment company trying to get copies of statements for an estate and the person who had died. When I cleared out the account a month ago, I asked whether I would be sent the statements and the representative said "of course". Silly, silly me--I almost believed her.
So it is a month later and I have no statements. I need to see what happened before the person died and I need to see what happened in the estate. Yes it took me four weeks of fighting and letters and many, many calls to get the account cleared out, so I should not be surprised or even slightly phased that it will take more than a simple phone call to get a copy of the statements. Silly me.
So I get a letter (not a statement for the account--oh no) that tells me (the generic account holder--even though I have now closed the accounts) that I can get a copy of my statements on line. Yippee, right? So I go on line and I input the name of the estate. It doesn't really have a first and last name and nothing comes up under the tax id number, so I look back to the generic letter for a phone number. There is no phone number on the entire letter. There is no address on the letter either. That letter is completely useless except to frustrate and annoy me.
So I google the company. Very generic web cite, but I find one phone number and I call it. After a long route of trying to get a live person, I finally get one. He cheerily says "How are you?" Silly, silly man. "I'm pretty darn frustrated, that's how I am." "Oh no," he says oozing with fake costumer service charm and then as though he is talking to a four year old (I talk to four year olds--I know what it sounds like), he says "let's take care of your problem--how can I help you?" I felt oddly comforted. Even though I recognized mentally that he was fake and rehearsed and talking down to me and probably staring out the window at a beautiful waterfall (long story), emotionally the four year old in me thought, oh good, he will help me. Silly me.
I gave him the tax id number, the deceased person's social security number and after a really long time that he took to find the accounts, I told him that I needed a copy of the statements. "Oh, I will have to transfer you to that department, but don't worry, I will give them the information and they will be able to help you." He said it so positively--I think he really believed it. Silly me.
The next person on the phone needed all the information again and was extremely short with me, because I was short with her. She was not amused by my frustration that I had to go over everything again--after all--it is not her fault that I was stupid enough to believe that last guy.
After a frustrating TEN minutes waiting for her computer to get her the right information to open the accounts, I asked for a copy of the statement. Of course they were just mailed yesterday, but she will be happy to send me another one. Is there anything else she can help me with? Yes--I want all the statements for the past year. Big sigh from her--what did she ever do to deserve this customer from hell. "Well then I will have to cancel the last order and resubmit a new order for the statements for the past year, hold please" And she's gone........(she does not have a waterfall--she's in a cinder block cubicle--she has taking mini breaks while customers are on hold down to a science--she probably has a great computer, but maybe not--a company that doesn't put it's address and phone number on its letters probably puts absolutely no resources into customer service).
When she comes back she said, OK the order has been placed for the estate account, can I help you with any thing else (rushing the question to a, 'no--thank you very much for all of your assistance--I'm going to call and give your boss a commendation at how well you ordered those statements--you are the best customer service person on the planet') "YEAH, I want something else--I need the statements for the person who died also for the past year." "Hold please" and she's gone.......Just from the "hold please" I could hear the utter and complete hatred that she had for me, but she is stating over and over in her head--'I will not let this awful person make me lose my temper--I will do my job so well that even this awful person will have to agree that I am great at my job.'
When she comes back on the phone, she states in a very controlled fake positive voice, that the statements have been ordered and they will be going to the last address of record for the deceased person. I right away interrupt her and state that house has been sold--I need the statement to come to me! In her best stern teacher voice she says, "will you let me finish. The only place that we are allowed to send the statement is to the last address of record." And I interrupt again--silly me--"I need to speak with your supervisor." "Hold please" and she's gone.....this break is longer--I imagine it involves a cup of coffee and laughing with her manager over the crazy customer on the line. Yes, I imagine that her manager is going to be a slightly more oozing fake charm person than she is, who will tell me exactly the same thing, but at least I can complain about Ms. Rude pants. It will go on her record--no raise for you Ms. Rude pants on your next review--el cheapo company that you work for only needs the tiniest excuse not to pay you any more money.
She comes back on the line and says that her manager is unavailable, would I like to speak with a research specialist who will tell me the same thing--that I will need to put my request in writing. " WHAAAAT? That's it, that's all I need to do is put the request in writing." "Yes," Ms. Rude pants says, "you interrupted me before I could tell you that. Would you like the address?" Ummm, yeah, I say sarcastically. She gives me the address (with no zip code), so that I have to ask for the zip code which she then gives me as though I am physically harming her with my animosity and she must bang me with her shield to say 'hey, back off.'
Then I say, that I'd still like to speak with her manager. "Well my manager is unavailable, but I'll give you to a research specialist. Hold please..." and she's gone....three minutes, five minutes, eight minutes....And I start to feel sorry for Ms. Rude pants. What if that really mean company is just looking for any excuse to fire people because they have to pay unemployment if they lay them off. What if they are deliberately under staffing so that customers will complain. What if I'm just in a bad mood because I'm going through menopause. I don't want anyone to lose their job. She's staring at cinder blocks for goodness sake.
I hang up. I write a letter (in which I can't stop myself from describing their customer service person as rude--I didn't know her name so maybe their computer system is so crappy, they won't be able to tell who waited on me--as if they give a crap about customer service--silly me).