So then…I dial again — gritting my teeth; furrowing my brow; panting in short, sharp breaths. No, not preparing for an obscene phone call. Just trying to reach my bank.
My bank, which has somehow managed to lose my money – or its mind – for I’ve just been informed by a very indignant store clerk that my check has bounced, causing no small amount of concern on my part, since I’ve written about 5 more checks since then.
My bank, which apparently has fired all human employees, and replaced them with machines.
My bank, which insists I locate the source of the discrepancy myself on their handy-dandy website, which is currently inaccessible to me since I have lost/forgotten/or-perhaps-never-even-possessed-in-the-first-place the dadgum password.
Ring ring ring. Metallic voice offering 4 options. Press button. Metallic voice requests input of my account number. Input number. Metallic voice offering 6 options. Press button.
Disconnected. Again. My blood is boiling.
Cursing, I dial again. I will not be deterred. I will not deviate from this mission.
I will pursue this quest until I hear a human voice.
Ring ring ring. Repeat steps above. Bob head in time with musac version of “She’s A Brick…House”.
Finally a voice! A HUMAN VOICE!
“This is Brad. May I help you?”
“Yes, Brad, Brad, you may! Thank God you answered! I’ve been trying to reach a human there for over 25 minutes! I keep getting disconnected or transferred to other extensions. The recorded voices keep asking for my account number and I punch it in, but then they ask for it again. And several times, I swear I could hear laughter, which made me think that maybe they weren’t machines – they were just humans pretending to be machines and –“
“May I have your account number, please?”
“OK, Brad, that’s what the machines said. Are you…are you a machine, Brad?”
“No, I’m human. But I do need your account number.”
So I give him the account number, my name, address, mother’s maiden name, my bra size, my mother’s bra size and whatever else he can think of to ask and finally…he agrees it’s me.
“Now, what can I help you with?”
“OK, I need to figure out why you guys bounced my check when I should have more than enough money in my account to cover it!” I say.
“Well, we prefer that our customers examine their accounts themselves on the website, so you can detect the discrep—“
“Yes, yes, I know. But I need my password! I can’t log on to the website until I have the password,” I explain.
“You can obtain the password by calling 888-462—“
“No, no! I’ve called that number!” My voice hits high-pitched hysteria. “And I’ve pressed all the right options and I just keep getting passed from one voice recording to another! I mean, this is the worst customer service ever! Customers should not have to endure this just to get the answer to a simple question! Listen, Brad, I have spent 25 – no, wait, now 28 — minutes of my time futzin’ around on your phone system and I think the least you can do is tell me my password! SO IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO CLOSE MY ACCOUNT RIGHT NOW, I INSIST YOU GIVE ME MY PASSWORD IMMEDIATELY!”
“Money honey bunny.”
“Your password. It’s ‘money honey bunny.’”
“Yes, ma’m. That’s what you chose when you signed up 8 months ago.”
“Oh.” Pause. (Seriously? That’s my password? I couldn’t have chosen something impressive like “bank-secura-lock” or something impersonal like “45bw7&#krt?” I had to choose an adorable password like “money honey bunny?” How embarrassing!)
“Do you need me to spell it for you?” Brad asks, with a hint of sarcasm.
“Uh…no. Well…um. Is everything spelled like ‘money’ or like ‘bunny’?”
“Everything is spelled like it normally is,” he says snidely.
“Oh.” I say, a little defensively.
“But if that still escapes you, I’d be happy to spell the words for –”
“No, no, that’s quite all right. I can handle it from here. Thank you.”
“Certainly, ma’m. And is there anything else I can do for you?”
(Yes, Brad. You can take a flying—)
— Darcy Perdu
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(Do those automated phone systems and recorded voices make YOU lose YOUR cool? Any embarrassing passwords? (Be sure to mention the account numbers and secret pin codes too, please.) Share your customer service or bank stories in the Comments!)