Monday, July 15, 2013

Is This the Complaint Window?

OK, I tend to complain a lot. Let's get that out right off the bat. I complain about how people drive, their slavish attachment to electronic devices, poor service almost everywhere I go, church sermons that make absolutely no sense and are far too long in the bargain, dumb road signs...honestly, I'm likely to complain about almost anything. I wasn't always like this. As a younger man I was more willing to let things pass. I didn't want to hurt people's feelings or get myself worked up about things over which I had no control. Now I complain from morning till night; just ask my poor wife who has to listen to my rants. I don't like the grouch I've become, but surely, if I don't tell people about their shortcomings, how will they learn?

I try being more patient, but before long, I run out. Here's a simple example: I recently had to take a distribution from one of our retirement accounts; this is mandatory once you reach age 70 1/2. The financial institution holding the investment asked me if I wanted federal and state tax withheld from the check they would be sending me. I said I did. They sent me a statement confirming they would withhold the tax as instructed. When the check arrived, no tax had been withheld. And so it begins. I email them to explain their error and ask that it be corrected. They email me back saying they don't handle such transactions on non-secure email and that I should call them. OK, they are being cautious, I can understand that.

So I call them and of course they ask for my pin number to access the account. Now I set up this account when I still had hair on my head and a working memory, so naturally, so many years later, I don't remember my pin number. No problem, the robot recording tells me, if you can't remember your pin number just answer the following questions to confirm that it's really you and we'll email the pin number to you. I painstakingly punch the answers to all their questions into my phone keypad. (I can feel my small supply of patience beginning to leak away.) After going through this drill, the robot tells me that my type of account does not permit me to retrieve my pin number over the phone. Then why not tell me that up front before making me peck out all those annoying answers. (Patience leaking faster now.)

So I can't get help via email because my transaction is "sensitive", and since I don't know my pin number, and can't retrieve it on the phone because the type of account I have doesn't allow it, just exactly where am I? Will anyone at this financial institution deign to speak with me? Maybe I should put a note in a bottle, take it down to the beach and hope for the best. I can understand encountering an incompetent individual in any company, in fact, I encounter many of them. What really bothers me is when a large company, supposedly filled with smart people because after all, look at the salaries they make, is dumb enough to perpetuate stupidity by building it right into its systems and procedures. When that happens there is no hope.

So you see dear reader why I must complain. I am surrounded by service people who are stupid, apathetic, rude, and sometimes all three. Like Don Quixote, I endure this lonely quest, bitching loudly to anyone who will listen.


Children's Craniofacial Association

1 comment:

The Whiner said...

What's even better is now YOU have to get aggravated, and spend your time and patience trying to correct THEIR mistake. If people could just do their jobs correctly things would go more smoothly. BTW the complaining gene is dominant.