Thursday, June 7, 2007

Do they ever stop trying to sell you something?

The phone company is probably the worst. You call them up for, say, a question about your bill or a phone charge. Or maybe you had an interruption in service. You spend 10 to 20 minutes pressing buttons on your phone until you give up and start smashing the "0" key until the computer transfers you to a real person.

Whether the service person actually solves your problem is a toss up, but there is one thing that is always consistent; they bombard you with sales pitches. Sometimes I wonder if they make mistakes on my bill just so I am forced to call them up so they can try to sell me something. As soon as my situation is resolved, suddenly I'm being asked to buy Internet service or a payment protection plan or some other useless garbage, and I find myself listening to the rep ramble on about the benefits of such and such service, or the difference between DSL and cable.

The problem is, they don't stop! I think they're required to pitch at least 5 different services, because no matter how patient I've been or how long I've pretended to listen to them while I did something else and they droned on and on, they never finish the call. It just keeps going and going until finally you are forced to hang up on them.

I just received my Citibank Driver's Edge card this morning. I decided to take advantage of the 6% first year and 3% thereafter cash back on gas station purchases. I called to activate the card, and any card that I've done so before has simply asked me for the number, confirmed it was activated, and thanked me for my time. Not any longer. Now it forces you to wait to speak with a representative before you can actually confirm it. I couldn't imagine why until I found out I had been thrown into a sales call! She asked me to sign up for credit protection. Sorry, but I actually know what that is, so no sale.

I said "No, thank you" 3 times. But she didn't miss a beat. I even said "Thank you for your time, have a nice day." and she STILL kept going on and on. So I had to hang up. No doubt she fumed on the other line and muttered about what a jerk I was. My worst fear is that she'll sign me up for something I never asked for, just to spite me.

It's getting out of control. I read about utilities trying to 'improve their customer service'. I have an idea, just deal with my phone call in a quick, professional manner, solve my problem, and leave me alone!

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