Looked over

February 26, 2008 at 9:27 am (Bored)

Okay, so somehow I looked over my renewal subscription to Bon Appetit. I LOVE that magazine. That and Cooks Illustrated are number 1 in my house. Anyway, I told them I wanted to renew… but failed to send a check with one of the million notices that they sent to me. So, rightfully, they sent me to a collections agency. Now, I don’t fault them for this – this is normal business practice. I understand and respect this practice. I deserved to be sent to collections because seriously, I ignored about 100 requests for payment. Not ignored… that’s a bad term. More like… it looked like junk mail so i shredded it. Yes.

I got this notice in the mail last night (does anyone else receive 10-20 pieces of junk mail per day?) along with various other pieces of “junk” mail. I have had enough of the junk, the spam, the clutter… so I have vowed to return all junk mail back to its rightful owner. Do you hear that junk mail senders???  No more junk mail is coming into my house!

One piece was obviously junk mail – it had Geico written all over it. It’s getting returned. Another one looked like junk mail, but it was so thick I decided to open it. It was my background check (my company ran one because I’m switching jobs). The other envelope looked suspicious also, so I decided to open it.

Sure enough… it was a notice from the collection agency for the magazine. Are we falling asleep yet? I’m glad I didn’t trash it (ACK! an interruption to my subscription!). Anyway, here is the whole point to this long story. There was a 1-800 number to call and make a payment. I love doing this. It saves so much hassle. It’s easy – you don’t have to speak with anyone. It’s fantastic.

I call… ring ring
Please enter your 7 digit user id.beep beep beep beep beepbeep beep
Thank you.
Please enter your 17 digit password.
17 digits – holy crap? 510856* crap
510856550542 ** crap
5108565505425*** crap

This went on for a few more times. Who, in their right mind, gives a 17 digit password? Am I the only person who thinks this is sheer and utter madness? I am not making any judgments, but how many people could be successful at entering a 17 digit numerical password? What if they were calling from a cell phone? What if the person is old!  I am a (somewhat) intelligent young(ish) person with good eyesight! I had a difficult time!! FINALLY, I finished entering the password correctly and was moved on to the next event.

Payment information.

THEN, after successfully entering my password, debit card info, and expiration date; I was given a confirmation number.  DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN  Will she make it? Can she do it? Uh yes… you guessed it.

The confirmation number was about 30 digits long and the computer rattled the number off at the speed of light. I got about 5 digits the first time. Pitiful. I know I can do better! I won’t be bringing home the gold, but I can try for the silver medal. Repeat once more please. BAM. Nope. Okay, bronze it is! Repeat one more time. WHAMMO. Nope. I finally gave up. A confirmation number is just not worth the hassle. 

I love the options that companies are giving us for paying our bills. But for the love of PETE, can they please make those options user friendly?

You know its a slow news day when I’m blogging about collection agency passwords.

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