Sunday, November 11, 2012

Me and Phone Trees (again)

I get a new invoice for my mortgage once they've received payment for that month. This month, I couldn't for the life of me find my November invoice for my mortgage (I do know I paid October and the check cleared). So finally today I thought I'd just send my check along with the top of last month's invoice so they'd have all my facts and figures along with the check. In my case, you tear off the bottom third to mail with your check, keeping the top.

So I wrote out the check, found the top portion of October's invoice, wrote on it with a marker "For November 2012" and was going to put it in an envelope when it wasn't entirely clear what the mailing address is. Several addresses to choose from. I never really paid attention to where my checks went since a new invoice comes with a window envelope.

I decided to call the "automated customer service line" thinking if the answer wasn't automated I'd be able to ask my very simple question: where do I mail my check? to a human being.

What was I thinking??

I call the number, listen to the intro, listen to the laundry list, press whatever number for "residential mortgages" and am asked to put in my account number. No problem, I think, since I have the invoice in my hand. I look for the account number and realize that the paper shows x's followed only by the last four digits of the number. I don't know why they mask your account number, but they do. If I had the account number somewhere, I couldn't tell you where.

My alternate choice was to put in my social security number, followed by they pound sign (of course), and I did that. I was then instructed to "enter your personal access number."


I don't have a personal access number. I don't even know what it is. So I do nothing, try pressing O for operator, with no success, and the voice comes back on and says "If you don't know or don't have a personal access number, enter your account number."

I'm not kidding... then it repeated that I could enter my social security number instead, which I did, and it's back to asking for my personal access number. It's a chase your tail, vicious circle.

I try pressing O repeatedly and finally the voice had had enough of me, tells me she doesn't recognize what I'm entering and hangs up on me.

So I just took my best shot and addressed it to the Cleveland address. I don't think this is too difficult a problem -- or too strange a problem -- I'm sure I'm not the only one who misplaced/never got an invoice... why couldn't they include "If envelope is missing, send check to..."

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