Phone Talkies

So I am trying to update every weekday, I really am, but yesterday I just completely ran out of words because this happened.


Three hours. Six minutes. Forty-seven seconds. That’s how long I was on the phone with Blue Cross Blue Shield, getting information I needed about our old insurance plan and signing up for a new one. It was intense. I spent the first 48 minutes just on hold, puttering around the house, doing laundry, and occasionally cursing, but after that I was pretty much speaking with people for the rest of the phone call. At one point, there were two people on the phone with me (one from sales and one from applications) who were actually flirting with each other. I’m too polite and non-assertive, so what I did NOT say was “HEY! I’ve been on this call for two and a half hours! Come the fuck on and get me signed up for insurance so I can hang up!”

They finally figured out how to get me set up with a new policy and got everything in the system, but when I went to make my first payment, my pop-up blocker blocked their third-party payment processing site. Applications told me this meant I would have to call customer service again and spend at least another hour on hold. I laughed. Then I despaired. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, the mighty insurer, brought to its knees by a popup blocker.

Luckily I have until January 30th to call and pay, because I am really done with BCBS for the time being. I’m planning to try again next week, after the 12/23 deadline for new insurance effective 1/1 goes into effect—maybe they’ll have lower call volumes at that point. Although if all of BCBS’s people are as… differently competent as the crew I dealt with yesterday, I anticipate another completely aggravating situation.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. ap says:

    Um, why not temporarily turn OFF your pop-up blocker ? just askin…..

    1. Classy Otter says:

      It would be nice if fixing it were that simple, wouldn’t it? Apparently, you get one chance to pay your application fee online, and if the blocker blocks it… you are completely SOL. At least, that’s what Amanda in applications insists. All I know is that there appears to be no option to pay online now.

  2. emc says:

    User experience just sucks, across the board, for so many big companies. Now that I work in UX for a living, I get outraged when the flow is counterintuitive, messy, inconvenient, or unclear.
    Related: I have to call and yell at Wells Fargo tomorrow for returning a big payment when I had enough in my account, and charging me for the honor, to boot. I’m avoiding it because of customer service-induced ulcers. Idea: We get interns to do this crap for us. Just tell them it’s event planning.

    1. Classy Otter says:

      Ugh. Wells Fargo are the folks who were simultaneously trying to throw us out of our condo while they were also trying to sell it to us. Good luck! I know you can do it! Maybe we can share a personal assistant. I only need, like, four hours a week.

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