Ages ago, when website was a business enough, 2 of my friends opened a company, providing information on pet birds. Chuck, who is not exactly at the cutting edge of technology, wanted to be the business guy. So Nitin had to do all the hard HTML programming.
Chuck wanted to be the customer front. So, on the website, contact page, 3 links were provided:
Sales: email@example.com –> forwards to Chuck
Existing Customers: firstname.lastname@example.org –> forwards to Chuck
Support email@example.com –> forwards to Chuck
So, a two people company with 3 addresses, all of whom forward to Chuck. A classic case of a small company trying to appear big.
Anyhoo. This is what happened today, that prompted Chuck’s failed business history coming out in the open.
Due to a late onset stupidity, I lost my wallet. Everything gone – credit cards, debit cards, license, cash, all. So, I started the painstaking process of canceling the cards. Credit cards (Citibank and Chase), went smoothly. Talked on phone, all taken care of. Then came the debit cards.
Called my credit union. Those cheapos have consolidated into one line for all CUs, so a not so pleasant lady took all the information, and said, ok, they will forward to my credit union. Forward??? Fine, it is off of my plate. If the card gets used in the meantime, it is their problem, I have already reported it, and it was lost less than 3 hrs ago.
Then came Bank of America. On the website, they list a dedicated number for lost/stolen cards. I called in. The voice asks me for my card number. I lost the card damn it! OK, they provide a social security number option, used that, the voice is able to track. The voice asks me what I would like to do:
To check your balance, press 1.
To transfer balances, press 2.
To pay your account, press 3.
Hmm, I had called lost/stolen card number. Why I am I talking to Chuck. Whatever, I used to “Other, press 7″ option.
It says it will forward me to a representative. Anthony comes on and asks me for my card number. I lost the card damn it (just once, but deja vu is beginning to set in). Ok, he provides a social security number option, I used that. Now, everyone on the bus knows my social. Fine, what is so special about a number with 5 7s and 4 6s anyway. He says, what would I like to do – check balance, transfer, get a home equity line of credit. Basically how he can help me. Now that I know he is helpful, I tell him I lost the card, and would like to cancel it. He says he will transfer me to the right department.
I am back to voice. Voice is telling me about the home equity line of credit. You know, after a couple of times, that is starting to look good. Perhaps I will wait till after I have a house.
Ok, voice wants me to press 7, for “Other”. I do that, voice puts me on the queue. It tells me my wait time could be about 16 minutes. Holy cow! I get to wait for 16 minutes, while someone uses the Bank of America check card. Maybe I ought to call my broker and short on BOA. Perhaps I will wait till I have a broker.
So, how is it that a large company like Bank of America, routes all of its different (specialized) phone numbers to they same system. Should I ask, what the Chuck?