Press or Say…

I had such a variety of topics to pick this week, but to make a long story short, I had a killer phone call with an insurance company that deserves to be talked about. That’s right – an insurance company. Who  would have thought that anybody, anywhere, ever  would come away from a phone call with an insurance company and feel good about it

In general, insurance companies’ phone systems and auto-attendants are designed by the progeny of the Marquis de Sade. Everybody has gone through the drill at least once. Everybody who has insurance. You call the number and get a robotic message similar to this.

“Thank you for calling the Incredibly Misleading Insurance Company, your one stop for home, health, life, auto, renters, business, boat, builders, boat builders, long term care, after care, personal liability, personal property, and accident insurance. To continue un English, press one, para continuar en español presione dos, lietuviams stumti trečiąjį numerį, bizning o’zbekcha to’rtni bosing versiyasi uchun, moun ki pale kreyòl ayisyen peze nimewo senk lan, att höra dessa instruktioner i svensk press sex, aŭ se vi estas unu el la ĉirkaŭ tri homoj, kiuj efektive parolas Esperanton, elektu la numeron sep.”

Your make your selection and in a reasonable facsimile of the language you selected you get the following instructions

“To give you the absolute best in class service please make your selections from the following, but please listen to all options carefully because we changed this from the last time you called.
Press or say 1 to pay your bill
Press or say 2 to get your current balance due and pay your bill
Press or say 3 to hear outstanding claims and pay your bill
Press or say 4 to hear policy options and pay your bill
2 + 2 5 (3)          Press or say 5 to change add or change your policy or increase your policy limits and pay your bill
Press or say 6 to file a claim and pay the new higher premium we will assess you as soon as you press or say 6
Press or say 7 to request a copy of your policy or proof of coverage, pay the service charge for said copy and then pay your bill
Press or say 8 to hear these options again in a different order
Press or say 9 to (hehe) speak with a representative [chuckle]”

Naturally you need to speak to a representative or you would have used the website to conduct your business so you press or say 9, and you are told by the friendly cyborg:

“In order to serve you more efficiently please enter your 43 digit account number, 78 character alpha-numeric policy number, the last eight digits of your Social Security Number, your billing zip code, the number you are calling from, and the first three digits of your childhood pediatrician’s office street address.”

Surprisingly you manage to enter all the required information and the cheerful android tells you:

“In order that I transfer you to the representative to help you best, please tell me what type of assistance your need. Press or say 1 to pay your bill…”

…and on and on.

If you’re lucky, you remember that if you press 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 you will be immediately transferred to some unprepared service representative and you might get some satisfaction to the problem responsible for the call to begin with before they put you on “a brief hold” and you are cut off.

But today, I called my medical insurance carrier, specifically myMedicare supplement insurance carrier. And I got the following (the names are changed because I don’t want them to know I’m blabbing this all over the universe):

“Thank you for calling the We Really Do Care Insurance Company. I see you are calling from [repeats my number]. If this is [states my name], press 1, if not, press 2, en espanol, numero tres.”

I press 1.

“Thank you. How can we help you today? You can say “pay my bill,” “track a claim,” “ask a policy question,” or “speak to a representative.””

I said “Speak to a representative,” and in about 20 seconds a cheerful human voice answered. “Hi this is Friendly Frieda. The computer told me who you are but before I continue, please confirm your billing ZIP code.” I did that and in a little over 5 minutes I had all my business transacted. Whew!

That’s it. No drama. No rant. Maybe next week.

5 thoughts on “Press or Say…

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