Friday, June 21, 2013

Address Change Day

In my last three days off as a bachelor, I had four separate to-do lists.  On one of those lists was a sub-list of places to change my address and/or cancel my service.  I accomplished most of this sub-list yesterday, which turned into Address Change Day. 

If you ever get an announcement like this from me, just shoot me in the head, because I've been invaded by body snatchers.

For the most part, things went smoothly.  My cable company, trash collector, bank, credit cards, Netflix, and post office were all easy and pain-free.  There were two snags, however.

When I tried to cancel my phone, the lady on the other end tried to talk me into freezing the account instead of cancelling it.  It's internet (VoIP) phone, so although I'm moving, I could take the service with me.  But I said that I'm moving in with someone who already has a phone, so I don't need to take the account with me. The lady said I could put my account on hold, and then if I decide to use this company again, I could re-activate the account without paying any activation fees.  Ok, that sounded good, so I agreed.

Then the lady explained that although freezing the account is no charge, I do have to pay $6 a month tax on it.  Uh, no thanks.  If it costs money, I'll just close the account.  Oh, she said, but I have a $20 credit, so the first three months would already be paid.  This is when I got a little testy.  "No, I'm not paying taxes for something I'm not using.  I said I'd just like to cancel the account."

She put me on hold for about 10 minutes, and then when she came back, she said, "Okay, your phone will be disconnected today...."

What the what?  When did I say I wanted to cancel it immediately?  "Um, no, not today.  You never asked me when I'd like to cancel it.  I still need it for the next week.  Can you cancel it at the end of the month?"

She tells me sure, she can cancel it at the end of the month.  All I need to do is call back then and they'll cancel it.

Let me get this straight.  You don't have a service where I request that you cancel an account at some predetermined date in the future? 

She put me on hold again, and then came back several minutes later.  She could cancel my service at the end of the billing cycle, which is July 15.  "That's fine," I say, conscious of the fact that I've been kind of a dick at times during the call.  It's two more weeks than I need, but whatever. 

Phone successfully cancelled (?)

My insurance company caught me completely off-guard.  Since I was out running errands, and my agent's office was nearby, I stopped in to make a quick change.  I just wanted to report my new address so they would send my bi-annual bills to my new house.  I have both car and home insurance with this company.

When I said that my house would be vacant after I moved, the nice lady I met with said, "[Our company] won't insure a vacant house, so let's not tell them you're moving.  Let's just say you're going to keep it as a second home."

What the what?  They don't insure vacant homes?  I need insurance for my mortgage.  Where am I supposed to get insurance if not from a company I've been with for 20 years?  I kept trying to ask this question, and the lady kept repeating that we wouldn't tell them I was moving permanently.  That's not the point.

If I weren't white or innocent-looking or clean-cut, would she be giving me all this wink, wink, nudge, nudge special treatment?  How can they simply not insure my home, when they've been doing it for four years?  Where the hell are honest people who can't sell their house supposed to get insurance?

It left me kind of baffled, and frankly, pissed off.  When the lady found out I was getting married, she was all, "Oh, congratulations!"  Then she started asking me stuff about my fiance, like what her name was, and writing it down.  "Is that spelled with a K or a C?" 

"Uh, why do you need that?"  I asked.

She said, "I'll just put it in my notes."

Uh, no, you won't.  This is creeping me out.  All I want to do is change my address for billing purposes. And if your company is going to continue to be assholes about this, you'll lose my account, and the potential account for our new house and my fiance's car, also.        


But other than that, it was a successful Address Change Day. 


asplenia said...

My personal hell would be navigating through phone trees for infinity. I cannot STAND having to deal with customer service!

Val said...

Wow. I hope the phone issue really was taken care of and you don't get any surprises on that front. I don't even remember exactly what I was trying to accomplish with the conversation, but in the spring/summer of 2003, I had to call the phone company because I was moving, but the "one easy call" turned into three separate ones, and just as I was about to punch in the last digit of their phone number for the fourth call, I started laughing hysterically at the craziness of all these calls just to accomplish the "simple" thing and had to hang up and wait a few minutes before I could calm down enough (and gather enough patience and niceness) to try again. It finally all got straightened out, but it also took me these past ten years to block out all the details and quotes from those ridiculous conversations. People move every day. I would think by now these companies would have heard and dealt with just about every moving-related concern out there. ?! Anyway, good luck. You have so much on your plate right now.