Friday, February 21, 2014

Where is Ernestine When You Really Need Her?

We recently received in the snailmail an Explanation of Benefits from Aetna in connection with Pepper's little "procedure" back in December.  We received it a little late because, once again, it was mailed to Moogie's Mansion in New Orleans instead of to the Manor, here in Little Rock.

Pepper had tried to change the address several times online, but his attempts apparently never took.  So, with that vein in his forehead throbbing to beat the band, he "suggested" that perhaps it would be wise if I called Aetna to speak to a human being about the address change instead of subjecting said human being to the wrath of Pepper.

Thus, this afternoon, beginning at approximately 1:23 pm, I spent 15 minutes on hold with Aetna (2 full minutes of which were responding to prompts to push a certain number for a certain service). Then, after acquiring a live human being at long last, I was sweetly informed that Aetna doesn't accept changes of address; I'd need to do that through Pepper's former employer, Entergy.  Would I like her to give me that number?

No, Sweet-voiced Young Lady. I'd rather just take my chances feeding random numbers into the phone.  Of COURSE I'd like to have that number!

Then she had to put me on hold to find the number.


Once I was armed with the number to Entergy's HR & Benefits Department, I climbed up the next phone-prompts tree of pushing a certain number for a certain service. Fortunately I wasn't put on hold this time for too long, and was soon speaking to a very nice lady whose name I won't even attempt to spell.   As she was typing away on the changes, we chatted about the differences between New Orleans and Arkansas, and I bade her Happy Mardi Gras as we hung up at 2:01.

So that's how my afternoon has gone.  And here's how I feel about that:

TAKE THE FLIPPING ON-HOLD RECORDING AND FINE TUNE IT!!!!! Listen to it yourself every now and then to hear how it sounds.  If it's so scratchy and garbled that it sounds like it's being played on a Gramophone, FINE TUNE IT!!!!  CHOOSE SOME BETTER BACKGROUND MUSIC!!!!  Elevator music is for elevators from which you're fairly certain that you will be escaping shortly. DO NOT TELL ME REPEATEDLY THAT MY CALL IS "VERY IMPORTANT" TO YOU!!!!!!!! The fact that you've had me on hold for eons is proof positive that you don't give a good diddly squat about me or my call. If you insist on regularly interrupting the lovely background music, and getting my hopes up that I'm on the brink of speaking to a human being, simply tell me that you remain cognizant that I exist and am on hold in your queue; don't court me with your declarations of my import.

Whew. I feel better now.

I'd feel even better if businesses would just return to the days of having switchboard operators -- the sources of all information. Or, at least the repository of everybody's business.

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