Now This Is Annoying

We got a new car (well, really it’s an SUV and there’s nothing “new” about it, except that it now sits in my driveway instead of someone else’s.) Regardless, I logged on to the website of my insurance company to inform them we now had a new vehicle. I filled out a lengthy form, diligently including all of the information on the SUV, up to and including the VIN. You know the one I mean, it looks something like 3,000 random letters and numbers jumbled up and stamped on a piece of metal in a method that makes them nearly illegible.

So a few days later, I get an e-mail from my company informing me that they received my request to change my policy and instructed me to call them. So I did. And whilst on the phone with them, they ask, “Do you have the VIN?”

“Sure I do. And you do too, I sent it to you using your web site,” I replied.

“We don’t have it here. Can you provide it to me?”

Well, yes, but not right now. It’s on the truck. Which my wife drives, which is not with me because I’m at work, getting ever more irritated by the minute. Why make me include it on Lengthy Insurance Form 100-AA if they aren’t going to be using said form for the purposes of providing my insurance? Very irritating. Which reminds me of this…

So I called the phone company (SBC) the other day because I was having trouble with my Internet connection. When prompted, I entered my home phone number, my account number, and followed any number of prompts… “Press 7 to be connected with someone in a distant Asian call center who really couldn’t give a damn about your DSL line…”

When I finally began speaking with a human – who, in fact, actually was in a distant Asian call center and really didn’t give a damn about my DSL line. Who says you can’t trust a big corporation? – he asked me for my phone number and my account number. Why do I have to enter it using my touchpad if they’re going to ignore it completely? I suspect it has something to do with keeping me busy while they route the call from central Indiana to central India.

This happened again later when I called another company to report a problem.
“Press 1 if your faucet’s leaky.”
“Press 2 if you don’t like cabbage.”
“Press 3 if you can’t remember why you called.”

I went through the entire process (literally, several menus of selections) when the “human” picked up the phone and asked me (after I gave them my account number – again) what problems I was experiencing.

I told them I was experiencing an overwhelming desire to buy an foghorn and have it installed next to the phone, primarily for occasions just like these.


  1. ROFL! I often feel the *same* way but I couldn’t help but laugh at your entry. 😉

  2. I’m sorry but I had to laugh. I have been through the same thing a few times but I was reminded of a time when they couldn’t figure out what happened to my account so they kept “going and talking to their supervisors and giving them the information.” Which meant calling another building where their supervisor sat in a better office so that they constantly knew my problem, but not my account information. *sigh*

  3. Jim,I think you’re on to something. The primary reason for the lengthy preamble is the (very real) hope that you’ll forget why you’re calling in the first place.In fact, the last three times I’ve called my cable company to report internet outages – I’ve come away with digital cable service, a DVR box for recording shows I don’t watch, and an order for Girl Scout cookies (even I can’t explain this one).My wife now handles the phone calls.Mike

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