One of my least favorite parts of becoming an adult was having to take on the daunting task of phone calls. Every time a bill with unexpected fees comes in the mail or some office loses paperwork I sent, I have to be the one that gets on the phone to straighten it out. It’s no fun. They all have this automated answering machine that sounds like a human being but is really an evil robot devised to say the option you called for last on every single list. Once you finally get connected to a human being, turns out they need to transfer you to the one person who can help who is out on vacation all this week and didn’t bother telling anyone. And say you actually do succeed in reaching the one person that could help you out in your time of need; all they’re going to do is give the bad news that you’re the special case where they can’t help. It’s depressing and energy sapping to go through this.
Well I had one of those days where I had to call a few places at the same time. The story goes that I moved to Indiana. I had ’60 days to get my car registered, or else’. Well I couldn’t find my title and didn’t actually know I had it. So I sent the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) on a wild goose chase, calling the car loan company trying to hunt down a copy of my old Missouri title. After a few months, my wonderful wife finds the actual title that I’ve had filed away this whole time. Oops.
The reason I wasn’t putting a rush on finding the title is because I’m already paid up to 2012 in Missouri for car registration. So the lady at the BMV who is just doing her job says “Bring your title in as soon as possible, as well as 5 other documents, and we’ll get your car double-registered.” That didn’t make much sense to me. Then she said that maybe Missouri will give me a refund. So I call Missouri DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), and they say NOT A CHANCE IN HADES will we refund car registration. Actually that was after the automated service told me their hours of operation, answered a few common questions, and gave me an entirely different phone number to actually call to speak to a human…. Fine. So maybe that 60 days thing really is just a suggestion. I call my local Indiana police office. The lady that (eventually) answers the phone informs me that I’d be gambling if I don’t get it registered ASAP. They’re not going to pull me over just for having a MO license plate, but if they pull me over for some other reason and notice I’m outside the 60 day window, it is a ticket-able offense. Of course, no one knows how much that ticket costs… So I can either register my car now, pissing away the money I already paid Missouri; or I can hold off and risk getting a ticket, which would mean I’m doubly paying for this time anyway. *Sigh*
After all this headache and finding I’m likely just screwed out of my money no matter what, I called Discover because I had an entirely separate issue to discuss with them. Yes, they had an automated answering machine. It asked what my account number was. *Rush to grab my wallet*. I didn’t get the card out in time, so I was directly transferred to a human. She gets my account number. I ask her my question. SHE KNOWS THE ANSWER. She asks a few security questions, and wishes me an early happy birthday. Then she does exactly what I called to make happen. She wishes me a good day, and we’re done. It was almost pleasant. Like a chat with a reassuring friend that says everything is going to be alright. Oh, and did I mention the first birthday card I got in the mail was from Discover? It wasn’t super-personalized, but it did offer a bonus 1% on the cashback reward during my month of birth, for free.
After all the headache and bad news and money trying to be taken from me, I had a pleasant call with a helpful representative who actually worked to help me build my credit AND get me more money back from my purchases. Discover customer service ROCKS.