Tuesday, 19 February 2013

*£?!!*%£! @$*!*&^!

'We sense you are feeling a tad fraught,' says Primrose. She has appeared from the garden carrying a sprig of rosemary to rub on my steaming temples. Daisy is in hot pursuit carrying a bay leaf in case the rosemary doesn't work though what she thinks she's going to do with a bay leaf to ease my fraughtness I do not care to ask.

'Stressy morning?' says Daisy.
'A bit,' I say. 'And watch where you're waving that bay leaf, will you? Sharp edges, and all that.'
'Sorry,' says Daisy. 'Would it help to talk about it? Your stressy morning, not the bay leaf. I mean, bay leaves are just as they are really, aren't they. About this big and that green and a bit on the chewy side if you happen to leave one in your lasagne...'

'ALL RIGHT!' I say, adding stress to the ALL and stress to the RIGHT because I have stress aplenty and it has to go somewhere. 'Now, I feel I need to have a rant, so if you two value your hearing and your lives, can I suggest you stand well back and maybe put on some protective overalls?'

'We'll do better than that,' says Primrose. 'We'll just set up these two deckchairs just here in the sunshine, open the thermos of soup and unpack the sandwiches, and away you go with your rant.'
'This is going to be better than watching the telly,' says Daisy, only getting slightly tangled in her deckchair. She sorts herself out, tucks a blanket around her legs and accepts the proffered sandwich from Primrose.

'Snail and Marmite,' says Primrose.
'Yum!' says Daisy.
'Do carry on,' says Primrose.
'Why, thank you,' says I.

'Right, so today I thought, I've got a spare ten minutes. I'll sort out my car insurance which is due for renewal at the end of the week. I've already found and saved the best quotation. All I need to do is pop on the interwebbly, accept the quote...ping...pay the premium...ping...pop into the account of my old insurance company and cancel the renewal...ping...all done....bish, bash, bosh!'

'Sounds very straightforward,' says Daisy.
'You'd have thought so, wouldn't you?' says I. 'You have a piece of something hanging from your beak, by the way.'
Daisy sucks up whatever it is that is a-dangling.

'So I retrieve quote...easy...check details...easy...pay premium...easy...receive confirmation e-mail...and I am ahead of my ten minutes time slot. Might even get it done in seven minutes, I think.'

'I am guessing,' says Primrose, 'that some trouble is looming just about...NOW!'

'You guess right,' I say. 'For I next tried to log onto my old insurance company website. Now, I've had trouble with this before. It is a difficult site to log on to.'
'Couldn't you phone them?' says Primrose. 'Grass roll with maggot and apple pickle?'
'No thanks,' I say. 'Well, I couldn't phone them because they are an internet-only-unless -you've-had-a -crash company, and as I hadn't had a crash, I had to cancel the policy on-line. I tried to log in. Once, twice....eight times. No luck. Wasn't having it. Then I tried various permutations of upper and lower case letters with my password, even though I KNEW the one I put in the first eight times was correct because I am very CAREFUL about writing these things down and I knew I was not WRONG. I tried and tried and tried but I still couldn't log in. I even thought about going and having a crash so I could phone them.'
'I bet by now you were thinking there was some kind of conspiracy going on,' says Primrose. 'I bet by now you were thinking, 'They are making it difficult for me to log in and cancel my policy renewal so they can steal next year's premium from my bank account 'accidentally' and then it would take you eight months of fruitless wrangling to get your money back from them.'
'That's EXACTLY what I was thinking!' I say. 'How did you know?'
'It's uncanny, isn't it?' says Primrose. 'Like our minds our inextricably linked via the wonders of creative media.'
'Anyway,' says I, 'I then tried logging in using my policy number, date of birth and address. And this stupid message came up saying I didn't exist! That they had no record of such a policy number. Well, they faffing well did because it was sitting right in front of me on the email they had sent me saying my policy was due for renewal. So I tried again, several times. I was 'ggrrrrrrring' a bit by now...'

'I can imagine,' says Daisy. 'Are you sure you wouldn't like a bay leaf?'
'Positive,' I say. 'So next I thought, right, I'll try getting through on my i-pad. You see - irrational thought. Why would the type of computing device I was using make any difference? Anyway, the i-pad was no more successful. So I decided I'd have to change my password.'
'What did you change it to?' says Primrose.
'Bl**dy Bureaucracy,' I say. 'Only it rejected that for having too many letters, so I chose 'leaving' instead.'
'And did that work?' says Daisy.
'After about 5 minutes, yes. It got me into my account,' I say. 'And a message popped up saying 'Welcome! It's time to renew your policy!' and I thought, like heck it is. And I went straight for 'Cancel Policy.'
'I am sensing the story doesn't end here,' says Primrose.
'You sense correctly,' I say. 'Because then I got a series of steps to wade through starting with 'We're sorry you are leaving us,' to 'Can you tell us why you are leaving?' to 'Are you sure?' to 'What can we do to get you to stay?' and nowhere on those options were the answers 'Because your website is inaccessible,' or 'Because you have made a simple job very complex, ' or 'Because I think you are on some scam to steal next year's premiums' or 'Give me free insurance for a year,' so I bashed my way through them until I got to 'Proceed' and then...the internet crashed and I had to start all over again.'

'Coooo!' say the hens.

'And this ten minute job took how long?' says Primrose.
'An hour and a half,' I say.
'But is it all sorted now?' says Daisy.
'It is,' says I. 'For another year.'
'How about getting a bicycle?' says Primrose.
'Do you know,' I say. 'I think that might be a pretty good idea.'


rusty duck said...

They do it on purpose you know. You can never ever leave...

Denise said...

Ah, Jessica - I am glad I'm not the only one who has this conspiracy theory. Why do these people have to argue? Why can't they accept you've made an informed and adult decision? (Although I wasn't feeling very adult yesterday when I was at the point of throwing computer at wall in fit of pique!)

I shall henceforth be like Mary Poppins - and never explain myself to anyone.