Don’s moving from fortnightly to bi-monthly pay.

Back in the day when I worked at the PalaceOfEvil (long before it merged with SoullessPalace to become SoullessPalaceOfEvil), we were paid bi-monthly AND IT WAS AWFUL. No more are you paid on the same day, sometimes you end up with 5 week months AND IT IS AWFUL for any sort of money management.

So we decided that rather than being responsible for paying a couple of bills each, we would become Grown-Ups and centralise and pay everything from our joint account (which is currently merely a waystation for amounts to transferred into our meagre internet savings account).

But, of course, we had to deal with the pain of changing over the account details for every payment.

I called the contents insurance company to make the direct debit change and the efficient customer service person (ECSP) I spoke to was pleasant, efficient and easy to deal with. While ECSP was updating the details, she asked if we’d acquired any additional artwork (ooooh! multi-tasking!). We had, but I wondered if it was worth adding to the specified items, and given the value, she encouraged me to do so. Unfortunately, due to extreme idiocy on my part (okay, possibly extreme un-health) I couldn’t remember the details, but ECSP assured me I could phone back.

Engaging brain and using INTERNET (which may become INFORMATIONSUPERHIGHWAY) led me to the adorable and wonderful Jeni’s site (go! buy some art from her!) and our piece.

Wanting to knock this over, and given that it was insurance renewal time, I called the insurance company to add abstract in red and blue to the specified items list.

That was THIRTY-EIGHT minutes of my life I am never getting back.

You’d think a simple addition to the policy would take less than 10 minutes (with wait time to get to an ECSP) and under ordinary circumstances, you’d be correct. But, h0ly goodness, the pain! This was one of the most difficult telephone conversations I’ve ever had (“no, honestly, I’m fairly confident I have specified items on the policy” >&etc &etc).

I’m just fortunate that I can work while conversing and on hold for extended periods). Also (as you will see), I’m fortunate that I am super-polite and tolerant and understanding.

Westpac (the insurer in question) has a rather useful survey feature at the end of each call – you can punch in values for satisfaction with call outcome and whether you’d recommend Westpac to your friends/colleagues/randoms. Naturally, after the hell, I rated Westpac extremely lowly and left a message to the effect that I was rather displeased with the CSP I’d dealt with and that really it should not have to take THIRTY-EIGHT MINUTES to resolve my update and that I would not recommend them to anyone, ever.

Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from 38M’s supervisor! He had listened to the whole debacle (yay for “recording for training purposes”!) and wanted to apologise for everything, welcomed my feedback (“tell me she is new” ” tell me she is putting me on hold to consult with other staff”), wanted to keep me as a customer and offered me my own personal insurance person!

Then, Cathy, my own personal insurance banker(!!!) called me and sympathised with the 38M debacle and sorted my issues and was lovely and efficient and emailed me and by golly, I don’t bank with Westpac, but the fantabulous problem-resolution rather makes me want to ask Cathy how I can transfer all of our meagre savings and other dealings (and keep her as my main squeeze) to them!

A day later and I am still rather staggered as to the response! I rather think that this is what prosperous people must live like.

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