Posted On: Monday - November 30th 2020 10:59PM MST
In Topics:   Curmudgeonry  Artificial Stupidity  Customer Care
I had to think of it this way: This one health plan website I had to visit in order to simply check off a few things and go through some questions was going to put at least $300 on my "account". It would have been stupid not to make this effort for what will likely be $300 I would have to pay out of pocket otherwise. However, I'd been dreading doing this thing for the same reason as usual - I was pretty sure I'd run into a frustrating quagmire of website bullcrap and end up on a phone tree.
I understand the idea of using software and the web to avoid collection all kinds of paper forms about this and that from hundreds or thousands of people. The problem is that every damn "program" of any sort not only has to have a web page, but one must register, have an "account", then log in to get even the smallest thing done. I understand the need for security too. In this case, were the account part of the regular company site, requiring a sign in, or even using the login/pw again, I could handle it better.
I will write another extremely curmudgeonly post about passwords, and they are the basic problem. I just knew that whatever login (I didn't even know how the login was formatted) and PW I'd used a year or two ago were long lost to me. Half the work in doing business on-line nowadays is in finding out how TF to get going!
Sure enough, though I got the login straight finally, there was no way I was going to guess the PW right. (Yeah, I'll get to that stuff in another post which will explain my problem better, I promise.) The security questions for a lost PW? Yeah, right, I didn't give right answers anyway, but I could no longer remember my best fake ones. On to the phone it was.
This was the amazing stroke of luck: I listened to the first "blah blah" coming through after the phone answered and mashed two "0"s. That's all it took to get a live Filipina girl on the blower!* Things were looking up.
The first problem we ran into was that even after all kinds of other information, she had two more questions, of which I'd better get one right to be identified. It was close, let me tell you. Then, the website that I really needed to do my little questionnaire and such on was not the exact same thing as the one I needed to get on first. It had it's OWN login and PW, she said. Oh, man! I had to vent my frustration at this, which was exactly why I'd put off doing this to right before the deadline, requiring this last-minute call to customer "care".
I made sure to tell the nice young lady that I wasn't at all mad at her, just at the stupidity of all these levels of logging into shit. She got me a new PW that should match some other one, till they make me change it. Luckily, the login to the first part got me into the 2nd part, something the girl on the phone had been wrong about. That was it. 300 bucks.
All this messing around only took about an hour, all told. Easy money, right? It just didn't seem so.
* You, the Peak Stupidity readers, are now privy to this information. Imagine how much money one would pay in 1980 to dial up the Philippines for a 20 minute call! I'm telling you that now you just dial 00 to get (what I imagined was) a cutie in the Philippines to help with (almost) all your needs. If you have an out-of-control fire in your house, say, or a home invader who is not yet dead, but 9-1-1 is busy, just dial 00 and there'll be someone to help! Maybe you see an old woman in curlers down on the ground writhing around and saying something that you think means "I've fallen, and I can't get up" in Tagalog. Simply dial 00!