Tuesday, February 26, 2008

There are a lot of things wrong with the world today, this is just one of them

I hate outsourcing. That is, if I have the correct term. I hate it almost as much as I hate having to call and cancel something. I think that my hesitance to call and cancel something comes from an experience that I had the first time I ever tried to call and cancel something, I imagine most of America has had this same experience…I needed to cancel my AOL account. If you’ve ever tried to do this you know that it is an almost futile task. Not only can you never understand the person on the other line but the words you can understand are ones that are making it impossible to cancel your account. I’ve told them everything from my having free internet where I was living to my computer blowing up and nothing got the ‘okay’ to cancel the account, rather they tried new ways to keep me onboard, I think it took about 13 months for me to finally get it all over with. Needless to say calling today to cancel these two accounts I have was something I had been putting off for a while. I finally called to cancel some things that I have but never use and now they aren’t even on my computer anymore so what’s the point in getting them back anyway? Turns out they are linked in some way and if they aren’t these two companies both use the same recorded customer service guy, “Thank you for calling, “indiscernible company name here” I’m not even trying to protect the companies identity, it really was indiscernible. I couldn’t understand what he was saying and maybe my hearing is going or something but all I heard was “Whanc, Whanc, Whanc,” Like the way the teacher on Peanuts talks. Then I stay on the line for some assistance. First guy I talk to is definitely from India, no doubt about it. I needed to tell him my e-mail address in order to pull up my account, I spell it slowly and clearly for him, then he repeats it back, first letter was wrong so I correct him, not V as in Victor but D as in David (why David got to be the choice name for identifying the letter ‘D’ in clarifications I’ll never know). So then he starts over okay on the first letter, okay on the second letter (by the way he used Ostrich for ‘O’). We get to the fourth letter and I tell him it’s wrong, wouldn’t you know, it’s a ‘D’ so David was thrown into the conversation once more. Finally he must have gotten it right because he didn’t start to go through the spelling process again. He asks me why I’m canceling and I tell him that my computer broke and I just don’t know when I will get around to adding the program again. He’s sorry to hear that. Then he tells me how my account is good until March, and that they’ll hold my username for an additional 30 days after the account closes in case I change my mind. While he is talking I wonder if somehow it’s actually just a recording, it would make sense, it’s trying to find my account by spelling so it’s programmed to spell it back to me with the ‘L is for Lolita’ jargon and then it can correct itself, once finished it goes through this statement. Hey they can do a lot with computers these days; I wouldn’t be surprised if a company spent a lot of money at first to never have to hire a person to answer phones. Then he asks if there is anything else that he can do for me. No thanks! Have a great day. Hang up.
At this point I was proud of myself for canceling one useless account that I thought maybe I could take a break and call the other one tomorrow. But I know myself; therefore I made myself call the other number a couple of minutes later. After going through the “Thank you for calling, ‘indiscernible company name here’” message again Dagma picks up. Now, even though I had to press a ‘2’ to reach Dagma and by pressing the ‘2’ I was announcing that I wanted to cancel my account Dagma asks what she can do for me, “Oh,” I’m caught off guard thinking that she should already know, “Um, I’d like to cancel my account.” She’s sorry to hear that but willing to help me. That is quite possibly the last discernable sentence from this conversation. Dagma goes on about something but luckily I went through this before with the other program and while that guy and I had our communication problems at least I was able to catch most of what he said, we just weren’t on the same page as far as spelling goes. So I’m sitting there wondering what the heck Dagma is talking about and then there is a break in her talking, I took a stab at it and assumed that she also wanted my e-mail address. I begin to spell it, slowly and clearly. Dagma begins to spell it back, she’s got the wrong letter right near the end so I ask her what she had for the third to last letter, there was a long pause as though I just asked a command that she (as a computer we all know it’s true) was not programmed to perform. Finally she says something, I don’t know if it’s ‘D’ as in David, ‘V’ as in Viola, ‘C’ as in clearly (an adjective that is not helpful in describing our dialogue). I ask her to repeat it, same thing, just a mush of words. “B?” I ask her, mush of words in return. “B as in Brother?” I ask. A slow, “Okay” in return, “Ok now all I need you to do, blah, blah, blah.” Was it ‘B’ that she had or was it some other letter!? It will be one of those mysteries of life that I will never be able to discover the answer to. Then Dagma asks me why I’m canceling my account, “I never use it,” I tell her honestly. She can understand that. Are there any other reasons? Nope, it works fine I think, but again, I never use it. She can still understand that. So she asks for the name on the account to cancel it and sees that I have earned some rewards. Then she goes a mile a minute maybe in English and I’m not sure what I am hearing something about March and then for no charge April. I say, “Okay” when I should have learned a long time ago to stop using that word. Then she says some more things. I hear the words “sending” and “e-mail” and hope that everything will be explained in that. Anything else? Nope, no thank you Dagma. Except with Dagma I say, “no,” and she seems to not be able to get rid of me soon enough. I go to my computer and wait for the e-mail from Dagma. Turns out that my membership will be active through mid-April and if I want to continue at that time I don’t have to do anything more but if I want to cancel I have to call back to do so. Isn’t that just what I did? So now I have until April to procrastinate calling and canceling. I bet they are hoping that I forget so come mid-April they can keep taking money from me. I swear that Dagma used to work at AOL and she just can’t shake her previous training. Why couldn’t it be easy like the first one? Maybe I should have told her that my computer had blown up, maybe then I wouldn’t be sitting here with two free months to an application I never use.
And people wonder why I hate making phone calls.

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