Sunday, June 3, 2012

Like herding cats.....

About 6 weeks or so ago I received a post card from my electric company. They stated that my email address on file with them was not a working address as they were getting their emails returned to them stating I had blocked them.  I called the number on the card and, after several transfers, assured the person to whom I was speaking that was not the case. At the time she sent me a test message and it came through about 30 seconds later.  She told me she would straighten things out and not to worry.

About two days ago I received an email from my electric company which, in a nutshell, basically stated: Thank you for using the Internet to pay your bill and per your request that account has been cancelled. I could no longer get my statements or pay my bill online and further, I would begin receiving my bills by regular mail. They also stated I could sign up to pay online again at any time.  Well, I knew that I had not cancelled my ability to pay online; I had just paid my bill a couple days before receipt of this particular email. So I called them via the toll free number.  After a couple of transfers I had to call long distance to speak to someone after it was evident that the "robots" could not help me.

After getting someone on the line who was important enough to have her own phone number minus any extensions, the conversation went something like this.

Me:  Hello, I'm calling because I received an email advising that I had closed my account to pay online and I haven't done that. Matter of fact, I just paid my bill a couple days ago.

Her:  Ok, I can help you with that. Could I please have your account number, name, address and last four numbers of your social security.

Me:  (giving her the info she wants)  I do not want to cancel my ability to pay my bill can you please make sure that is fixed and will I have to go through setting that all up again with new passwords and all that?

Her:  No, no....not at all. It will be exactly the same as before.  Ok, now I see what the problem is. We do not have a working email address for you. We need that to advise when your bill is due and the amount owed....and any other communications that are necessary. Your email address on file is coming back as not a valid address.

Me:  If that's the case, then how is it that I received the email advising me that my account had been closed per my own request.  I just paid my bill online a couple days ago and I received confirmation of that payment via my email address.  If you don't have a good email address, then how is it that I'm receiving email from you? Is my payment still there.....I scheduled it for June 8th. I can't understand you sending me an email to tell me my email address is not a good one.

Her:  *crickets*

Me:  Hello?  Are you still with me?

Her:  Uh.....Oh yes....yes.....I was just trying to think about that.

Me:  Furthermore, back then I called and spoke to "Rachel" and she did a test message with me at that time and I received it with no problem.  She said she would get to the bottom of this.....which apparently she did not.

Her:  I will send you a test message now.

Me:  (after hearing the "you've got mail" from my mailbox and checking it)  I've received it just now.  Can't you please get this fixed?  I have had no other company that has had this problem....only yours.

Her:  I'm am so sorry and I can promise you that I will get this straightened out.  Please continue to pay your bills in the same manner. I have re-enrolled you to pay by e-bill and you can view your statements online as before. I can see your payment is scheduled to be posted on June 8th.

Me:  Thank you.  I am anticipating that you will find the reason for these problems and get everything running smoothly once again. I've been paying my bill online for years and have never had a problem until March or April.  Have a wonderful weekend, bye.          


Josie Two Shoes said...

This kind of "customer service" is becoming so common that it is now the "norm" and I almost expect problems. How sad is that? We just spent 15 minutes on the phone with a customer rep for our DISH TV, trying to help her comprehend that if we now have three receivers and wish to cancel one, we will have two remaining recievers in working order. I recall that as being first grade arithmetic, but apparently she failed that course! Lord only know what we will end up with on our bill and for service! We have the same problem with fast food customer service all the time, incorrect orders, missing items, wrong charges. I honestly think that a big part of the problem is that people no longer LISTEN to each other, if it isn't written down it doesn't register. Details get missed or ignored. I am to the point of having everyone repeat everything back to me, and it is SO FRUSTRATING! You will have to let us know what happens the next time you try to pay your bill online! Want to place any bets?? :-)

lotta joy said...

It seems she handled everything according to the 'paper speak' she had in front of her. When you asked a question that jerked her from her list of answers, she was lost in space.

With all the high-jacking I've experienced with computers and passwords, I pay nothing online.

Just the thought of the "convenience?" scares the poop outta me.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I hope things are really settled now! I love the convenience of paying online...when everything works as it's supposed to. Good luck!

Happyone said...

Unbelievable!! Sounded like a comedy skit!!

glnroz said...

my blood pressure went up... lol

forsythia said...

Sounds all too familiar. Like the "No Help Desk" in Dilbert.

Kel said...

Good luck with this one! I've had a similar situation and it took more than a couple of phone calls to get it cleared up!! Seems to me that whenever you're dealing with one of the "customer service reps" at a utility company, you might as well be talking to a wall!!

lgsquirrel said...

Well, at least she tried to think it through. Good luck.