Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This Electronic Life



Have you ever called a company and been frustrated by the phone menu? Ever tried to login and forgotten the answers to your security questions? Ever wondered if we might not be better off having personal relationships with the people we do business with?

Square the phone menu, add in a quadrupled set of websites, all with their own login, password, security questions, and blasted captchas.

And what do you get?

A REALLY LONG TIME on the phone, navigating the very complex phone menu, entering digits and passwords and account numbers, waiting on hold, finally reaching a person, and then confirming all of the same digits and account numbers, and then ending up with answers like: "Your husband will have to call us or write to us to grant permission for us to discuss your account."

I admit I find this whole thing exasperating. I don't see it as an opportunity, but maybe it is. An opportunity to write down every last detail there is for every account we have ever had?

The irony here is that my very capable husband has NO interest in talking with the XXXX Insurance Company about this claim or that coverage, and is so very happy that I am able to and interested in handling these details.

As much as I try to simplify things, the sheer vastness of the internet just makes it very challenging to stay on top of the details. I always thought of myself as a detail-oriented person, but the volume of details has increased to the extent that I dread trying to call someone, especially the insurance companies, to solve a problem or get information.

And then there are the places that require authorization EVERY SINGLE TIME from my dear husband. Not that he is working or otherwise busy or anything. Aargh. I love how they ask if he is right here with me so they can get approval from him. Ha.

Do you have any tips for how to simplify things? Because I'm all ears, here.

4 comments:

The Mom Chef said...

I hate to say it, but as long as there are people who steal identities and make it their job to hack into other peoples' stuff, you're going to have to jump through those hoops. Think of it this way; the more of them there are, the safer your personal information is.

Lottie Nevin said...

I tend to agree with The Mom Chef and I really feel for you because it sucks having to waste precious minutes/hours even trying to sort stuff out. Interestingly I've not had anyone ever tell me that they need authority from my husband. Maybe that's an American thing? I don't know. I guess also that for much of my life I've kept my finances and things separated from my spouse's so that' s probably the reason. I really hope that you get this comment from me! For some reason Blogger doesn't like me and doesn't always let me leave a comment.

Susan Taylor said...

Got it, Lottie!

Ida Chiavaro said...

I hear you Susan. I hate it and often wonder how the elderly manage with all the electronic voices and menu's. Companies that i have worked for don't automate things for better security they do it reduce the number of employees. We got around the 'is the person with you' farce by organising power of attorney papers for both my parents, and it makes me wonder how easy it is to pretend you have power of attorney.
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