Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Everybody Knows, the World Is Full of Stupid People

The last two days have been trying my patience. Yes, you're right, patience has never been one of my virtues--so you can imagine how delightful I am when I people go out of their way to test my patience. The worst part is, they weren't confined to one place. EVERY call I made yesterday and today spiraled into new circles of hell. I won't bore you with the story of the travel agent that yelled at me for telling her the numbers on our receipt didn't add up before she hung up on me. Nor will I bore you with the story of the lady at the bank who told me there was no way to prove an electronic payment had been processed. I will start with the crazy woman who started all of this.

I called our HOA to ask them why they keep sending me statements with past due fees and multiple monthly charges when I make my payments each month. After getting passed around to everyone in their building, I was eventually 'helped' by Cathy. Below is a sample of our conversation:

"Hi Cathy. My bank statement indicates that I have made my monthly payments on time, but every month, my statement has late fees."

"Ok. Do you have the canceled check to prove you made the payment?"

"Well, no. I make pre-scheduled electronic payments each month."

"So you don't have a check number or canceled check?"

"No, it's an electronic payment that get's deposited to the HOA's account each month. I've been doing the same thing for the past four years."

"Well ma'am, if you haven't sent a check on time you will be charged late fees. Do you need the address to send us the check?"

"No, Cathy. I have already sent my payment electronically. There seems to be a misunderstanding. What kind of documentation do you need me to provide you to remove these charges."

"Ma'am, if you haven't paid, we can't remove the charges. If you had sent us a check--which you say you haven't--you would have to provide a copy of the front and back of the canceled check."

"Well, how do you handle electronic payments?"

"MA'AM, you need to send us a copy of the the front and back of the canceled check. Otherwise, you have to pay your monthly fees, plus any extra late fees."

(As a side note, I was quite irritated early in the discussion, especially since one of my co-workers kept laughing at my explanations.)

"But Cathy, there is no canceled check. I'll have to ask the bank for some kind of document. Could you please tell me what I can provide to resolve this problem?"

"I have already told you, you need to send a copy of the front and back of the check you say you have sent us."


"I see. So once I get that document, should I mail it, fax it or email it to you?"


"Which one?"

"The front and back of the canceled check."

"So a copy of the canceled check emailed to you?"

"Front and back to us immediately."

"Thanks, Cathy."

It was around this time that I missed having the old fashioned phones that you could bang on the holder. This woman literally made me wonder how she has made it alive to her workplace. I mean, don't you think she would have died trying to figure out the toaster?

The worst part? Of all of the people I have spoken to since talking with her yesterday, she wasn't the dumbest or the rudest. Do you feel my pain?

I am hoping my week gets better, but I'm not very optimistic.


Alex the Odd said...

But... but... but if you don't have a cheque then.

Oh forget it. I absolutely detest customer services (who doesn't?), getting my PS3 delivered was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life, and that includes passing my degree. Grrr.

Needless to say, I feel your pain.

TK said...

Brutal. Absolutely brutal. If only murder-by-phone was possible.

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