So Monday morning the newspaper was not on the driveway… I figured the usual driver was not available and the substitute couldn’t find the place. No problem, except that I can’t do the puzzles, read the funnies, read the horoscope. I called later in the day to let the Enquirer know, for the purpose of not being charged.
Instead of playing the game of punching buttons at their computer’s bidding, and doing their data entry for them, I instantly punched zero to get an actual human being. After the appropriate wait (thank you, speaker phone) I gave her my home phone number, knowing that instantly on her screen was my name, address, account number, email, delivery person, payment record and, no doubt, other data. She then proceeded to ask for all that other information, one piece at a time! When it came to email, I said, “I’d rather not give you that”…and then she read it out to me. So she already had it! When I asked why she needed all this info, she said ‘so we can verify who’s on the phone’.
I had waited to call until I was back at my home phone – so there was never any doubt on her part or the computer’s that someone who read the daily delivered Enq was on that phone!
Evidently we have become a nation protecting against terrorism by having each of us produce prodigious amounts of data to verify our right to receive our daily newspaper, and to receive a $.50 credit for not receiving it.
As I said to that no doubt underpaid customer service person – “It’s only the Enquirer!” A security clearance is not necessary – and could at any rate be verified more quickly than completing this transaction. Complexity is not better than simplicity, and does not increase our safety and security. In this case, there must be an easier way! Shortening the call would, at the very least, have saved the Enquirer time and money. And my Irish temper. : >