Friday, July 27, 2007

Please Hold.

So this morning, I get a automated-message call from the bank that holds my truck-note. It's the "Please call [bank name] at [number] about an important matter concerning your loan" message. I've gotten this message before. It's what they call you with when they want you to make payments that might be technically just a tad late (35 days... that's not so bad, right?).

Weird thing is, I've already made that late payment over the phone, about 3 days before. It occurs to me, that was a different number; and I didn't call them--they called me! Someone claiming to be the bank called me, and I thoughtlessly made the payment over the phone.

As you'd expect, I panic momentarily, imagining all manner of identity thievery being perpetrated on my bank account (since I so cavalierly handed over my routing and account number, foolish me!). I feverishly tap out my personal bank web address on the computer, and pull up my account, fearing the worst.

It appears all is well, with the proper amount being withdrawn automatically. Everything seems to be in order. Then I remember that they do use both numbers--I've even called the second one before. I chide myself for being too hasty. [Side-note: I just called back the second number, to double-check; all is still well. They are the bank. ...Or are they? Oh dear.]

I immediately call back the first number, the one from the message. Remember, this is not two minutes since they called to reach me. Since I've already made my June payment, I plan on telling them to leave me alone and that my July payment won't go "late" late for another two weeks. (I tend to consider the "your payment's late so give us our money NOW" calls a kind of convenience service, provided by the bank to save me a stamp and the bother of actually mailing a payment.)

The line rings three times, and then I get the following: "Thank you for calling [loan-bank name]. All of our associates are currently busy with other callers. Please stay on the line, and we will be with you shortly." Followed by a canned flamenco song complete with trilly Spanish guitar. I can deal with waiting, so I hang on and start typing something.

I'm on the line for about thirty seconds, when the music stops.

And then the message repeats. And the music starts again.

It takes me a few passes to realize that the music never actually resolves. It's the same 30 seconds of canned music, over and over and over and over again.

After a solid five minutes or more, the music stops, and I get a new message.

"Weeeeee're sorry. Our offices are currently closed for the day."


"Please call back during our regular office hours--Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m."


"Thank you. Have a nice day!"



What kills me is that they called me. They told me to call them. And I doubt they were sorry one bit for making me wait.

Makes me mad enough to mail a payment in, just to show 'em. Here's some more paperwork, jerks.

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