The bank forgot me. Well, not the bank really, but the part of it I interact with most often. Those little shortcuts that saved me from typing in 16 digit access numbers were gone, gone, gone. I thought perhaps I'd inadvertently wiped out cookies or something. [Dang! It's probably your own fault, you idiot.]
In the process of trying to get set up again, I had a few problems. So I called the 800 number. Twice. That was about 10 days ago.
The problem appeared solved. But it wasn't, it only looked solved.
I was still on the carousel.
No matter which business name I thought I was logging into, I went to the same account. This was pretty alarming, actually.
I couldn't envision going through the whole story again with phone support, so I sent a note to the tech support link. Their initial response, 24 hours later, was pretty much telling me to delete my cookies and try again.
I confess, this did elicit a grumpy response from me.
They then confessed they had been unable to duplicate the problem, and asked me to undertake some further research, and sent detailed instructions of how to do this.
So I've been catching up on my blog reading while I create said log.
You can read the whole sorry story here: Download the_great_bank_login_project.pdf, with names changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. [Plus I'd hate to bite the hand that might in future be feeding me.]
Of course you probably already know what it says. I'm guessing you've experienced something very like this incident before. Probably dozens of times. Maybe hundreds of times. The frustration, the disappointment. The incredible waste of time. Being made to feel like it was probably your fault, if you can't prove it was theirs. As if normal people choose to spend their life energy this way. ['"What did you do today dear?" "Well, I hassled a bank when I could have just reloaded my browser. It was a laugh a minute! Tomorrow I'm going to call an airline."]
Riding the customer service carousel
No one gets on the customer service carousel willingly. We get on because we have a problem.
A human voice and human empathy makes a big difference. And when it's missing, we feel like we are dealing with a machine. To end every e-mail with "Thanks for visiting www.bank.com" is just dumb, and very likely reinforces the sense of anomie.
Asking me to spend a bunch of time documenting the issue probably didn't seem like that big a deal to the carnies running the carousel. But it took me the rest of the afternoon. There was no acknowledgment of this. And I doubt if they'll send me a plush teddy to thank me. More likely, they'll want more. And they'll want it for free.
These are not the rules of human engagement. There's no shared sense of obligation. There's no real memory. The existence of this issue will never be documented in my CRM file.
If I went in to apply for a mortgage tomorrow, no one is going to say to me, "Gee, did you get that log-in thing dealt with OK? Really sorry about that. Oh, by the way, I just want to mention that the tech people really appreciated your efforts there. I think they're sending you a gift basket. They had no idea this problem existed, and your detailed notes were tremendously helpful."