…when the customer service agent you call greets you with “good morning, this is mr. anderson, how can i assist you?”…  if you hear “mr. anderson” or  “ms. hendrix”, or “mrs. maple” or “senor gomez”, trust me and just say:

– um, sorry, wrong number; or

– oh, yeah, is this the paraplegic male escorts dot com customer service? oh, sorry, i don’t know why they connected me to you?; or

– i thought ya’ll was gonna send me that spitzer chick. this babe sure ain’t. possibly a paula jones but no dice..  what’s wrong with ya’ll?; or

– who is this? is this deion?  is this fucking deion?  tell that muthafa to stop fucking my baby sister.  you hear me?  she is only 12 goddamit…; or,

– oh, mrs. richardson, you won’t believe what a day i had!  first i had to have emergency appendectomy on a southwest airlines flight from toledo to fort worth.  can you believe they did not have a doctor on board?  they only had a senior rabbi who witnessed one too many mohelim brissing away and graciously offered his services.  a rabbi is not necessarily a mohel though, is he mrs. richardson?  and an appendectomy is hardly a bris.  well, on top of it, the only sharp object they had was the boxcutter this nice arabic fella had on him but the rabbi was not sure if it was kosher for the surgery.  he had to call his rabbi friend in brooklyn from the plane’s phone…  and on and on until mrs. richardson hangs up…; or, if you’re too civilized for any of this, simply respond:

– oh, no, you cannot assist me, and hang up…

trust me, you’ll be better off– if a customer service agent, whose job is to serve you, starts with an “i’m mr. nixon”, you know you have an overinflated ego and probably nothing to back that ego up.  that person is doing the wrong job, he should be working for the DMV or the IRS, not the frigging internet customer service.   when you need customer support, especially of complex nature, you want someone who has no tolerance for bullshit and cuts to the chase, not someone who needs to be called a “mister” or a “misses”..

you’re more than likely to run into such forces of nature when you dial in public utilities or quasi public utilities like your phone company or internet service provider.  private companies don’t put up with that BS.  they will have carefully written scripts preventing such mishaps.  but occasionally you run into a “mrs. richardson” or “mr. thompson” and you know that he or she will neither understand your situation, offer any meaningful solutions, or have the patience to deal with you.  you know you will not get customer service but lots of attitude.  so, you’re better off, much, much better off by simply hanging up…

last time i had to deal with a mr. richardson was in september– i called verizon DSL service because when i canceled my landline and only kept the DSL service, they messed up my account.  now when i log on to my verizon account, i see the correct account number for the DSL service, the correct amount due and the correct address, bank account, etc.  but when i make a payment, that payment goes to my “closed account”.  they refund that 3-4 months later.  in the interim, my DSL service gets disconnected every few months because of this.  i am yet to find someone in the verizon chain of command who can fix this problem.  makes you wonder, eh?

well, when my service got disconnected in september because of the same reason, i picked up the blower and dialed their number again.  i was transferred from agent to agent.  some were “mr” or “mrs”, others were simply “charlie” or “sally”…  the charlies and sallies were helpful and transferred me to where they thought i should be, whereas the former group usually put me on hold and hanged up on me.  finally a “charlie” transferred me to a “mr. richardson”– a supervisor at their customer finance department.  i explained the situation to mr. richardson in the simplest terms i can.  but i knew my attempts were futile and i could easily see his eyes glazing over when i was explaining the complication as simple as i can.  the conversation, afterwards, went something like this:

– so, i made a payment but the backend of your system transferred it to a closed account, can you rectify that?

– no.  why did you make a payment to a closed account?

– i did not– your system routed that way.

– but did you enter your correct account information?

– yes, i did.  and it is still here, on my account log-in page.  and it is showing a payment made.  but your system is routing it to the closed account.  can you look the closed account up?  i really need my service up.

– uh, no, we don’t have access to the closed accounts.  if you want your service up, you need to go to our website and make a payment.  your account is suspended for nonpayment.

– have you been listening to me?  i made a payment.  it went to the closed account.

– i don’t see a payment here, posted on your account.

– can you not look up the closed account?

– i don’t have access.

– who has access?

– the finance department.

– aren’t you the finance deparment?

– yes, but to look up closed accounts and payment disputes you need to fax us a payment confirmation letter from your bank with a personal statement explaining what happened.  do you want the fax number?

– how long will that take?

– 3-5 business days.

– are you kidding me?  i need my service today!

– your service was canceled because of non-payment.  you need to log on to your verizon account and make a payment.

– is this a joke?  i’m telling you that’s precisely the problem.  if i make another payment, it will get re-routed to the closed account again.  can you not take a payment over the phone?

– i can’t.  i’m not authorized to do so.  i can transfer you to our automated payment line.  there will be a convenience fee though.

– how do i know the payment i make on the automated line will not go to the closed account?

– you have a closed account with us?  huh!  hold on, i’m transferring you to the automated payment line.  thanks for calling verizon and have a great day!

– stop!!!…

and the muzak begins…  eventually i got to a “charlie” who took the payment on the phone without a fee and restored the service.  then i started waiting for the “reimbursement” check from verizon and my service to be disconnected again.  it happened yesterday.  but, this time, instead of explaining myself to mr. richardson, mrs. anderson, and all the other nobility, i used the lines above and hung up.  finally i got me a “charlie” and the problem was solved.  from now on i’ll simply mail them a check via snail mail and that should take care of that.