Despite my last two blog entries, I’m generally very nice to customer service people on the phone and in real life. I generally think it helps to be nice to people regardless of the situation vs. coming out swinging, but yesterday, I wasn’t in the mood.
And I had good reason not to be with this particular organization.
Before I left for a trip, I called my new health insurance company on Valentine’s Day. You know, to show them the love by handing over my first payment.
I wanted to take care of this payment in plenty of time so that I’d have coverage start on March 1. I tried several times to pay online to no avail, so I picked up the phone. Vera, the customer service rep, tried to help me by having me repeat the same steps I already took several times. Nothing frustrates me more than when customer service people make you feel dumb when you know the method they’re suggesting isn’t working. I wouldn’t have called if it had worked.
Vera tells me that she needs to talk to her IT department and she’ll get back to me in 3-5 business days. It seems excessive, but I write down the reference number and head off on my vacation.
While I’m gone, I get a few calls from an odd number that’s not even 7 numbers long. I don’t pick up. When I listen to the message later, I hear Vera’s cryptic voice. She leaves me some URL that’s hard to understand and I decide to take care of it when I return from my trip.
Yesterday, I listened to her voicemail five times trying to make out what the website is. I couldn’t understand what she’s saying. I put it on speaker. No good. She only says the URL once, so there’s nothing to compare it to. I try to enter a few options based on what I think she said and none of them works.
Frustrated, I pick up the phone and call the insurance company. I’m stunned that it takes this long to make my first payment. I don’t even want to think about what it’ll be like if I need to dispute a claim.
Numa, a new customer service rep, picks up, I explain my situation, give her my reference number and she proceeds to walk me through EVERY SINGLE STEP that Vera took to address my situation. I’m surprised she didn’t include all of the meals Vera has eaten over the past week.
I don’t need Numa to repeat back everything Vera did regarding my record. I just need the URL.
She finally gives it to me and it surprisingly works meaning there’s no 404 Not Found Error message. The page actually loads, but I can’t register my account even after multiple attempts, which means only one thing besides my aggravation. I still can’t pay my bill.
Numa tells me she can put in a request to IT and it will take 3-5 business days to get a response.
This is pathetic.
“I need to have my insurance kick in on Friday, which is three days away. Is any other way I can pay because this is ridiculous and I’m not risking not having insurance coverage starting on time?” I ask Numa.
“You can drop it in the mail,” she says.
“Fine. That’s what I’ll do,” I say.
“I’ll still put the request in to IT,” Numa offers.
“Oh, how generous,” I think.
I usually trust the US Postal Service to get mail sent fairly quickly, especially when it’s only a few miles away. The problem is that I don’t trust this insurance company to get it processed in time, but at this point I have no choice.
As I try to wrap up the call, Numa says, “Ok, so if you’re going to mail it, then make sure to include the bottom portion of the invoice.”
No shit, Sherlock.
“And make sure we receive it before Friday,” Numa says.
Are you fucking kidding me?
”I can’t believe you just said that to me after everything we talked about,” I snap back at her. Not only does she repeat all the steps Vera took, but she repeats everything I have just expressed concern over.
Then, she tells me she’s going to have me answer a survey when we hang up and, conveniently for Numa, it doesn’t go through. But let’s hope my check does.
Are you trusting of customer service people? Would this situation make your blood boil? Tell me below and if you like what you’ve read, subscribe below. Thanks!