Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I Want to Marry Von Maur

I am lost in a forest of phone trees!

Continuing the Name-Change Process from Hell (love you schnookums!), I begin making lengthy calls to the customer service departments of every credit card, bank, charity, professional organization, and utility company with which I am affiliated.

It nearly kills me.

It is nearly a THREE HOUR PROCESS. Because of those damn phone trees. This problem has plagued consumers from the telephone's invention. Even in the very olden days of yore, callers had to first connect to a switchboard operator who would then connect them to the Party To Whom They Were Speaking. But at least those operators were efficient, unlike the annoyingly happy-go-lucky automated voices of modern times.

"I'm sorry, I didn't understand you. Please say or enter your account number, followed by the pound key, three 7's, and the birth date of your firstborn child."

Heaven help you if you don't have any children because you'll be immediately disconnected and have to start all over again.

The thing that makes me want to throw my phone across the room and then jump on it, though, is when, as above, the automated voice asks me to enter my account number, pretending that this will "expedite" my call. Many 2's and 3's later, once I have finally nagivated myself to the One Person within the company who can process my name change request, what's the first thing the poor Indian woman asks? "May I have your account number, please?"

Now I realize there are sites out there like Gethuman, which is lovely and all if the company you need to contact is listed. If not, you'll have to try the 0-#-*-0-# combos yourself until you get through to a REAL LIVE HUMAN.

Except if you call Von Maur.

One ring, kids, that's all it takes. One ring and a REAL LIVE HUMAN answers. No phone tree. No waiting. She almost hangs up before I'm able to grab the phone and respond, so beaten down am I by the endless streams of muzak and automatic account balance information I have been subject to.

I may even call back. THAT'S how good of an experience it was.

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