Today, I got a "delinquent payment" notice. I thought that was kind of odd since I've been in their automatic electronic funds transfer (auto-pay) system for about four years now. So I looked at the past couple of bills and it appears that their auto-payment systems simply forgot to pay my bill due in December. That's despite this message typed in all caps on the bill itself:
THIS STATEMENT WILL BE PAID AUTOMATICALLY VIA ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER ON THE DUE DATE SHOWN ABOVE. PAYMENTS SCHEDULED ON WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS WILL BE PROCESSED ON THE FIRST BANKING DAY FOLLOWING THE DUE DATE. THANK YOU
So, given that this delinquency notice threatens to shut-off my cable service and assess me a [gulp] $5 fee, I decided to call tonight to see if I could get it straightened out.
8:56 PM -- I call and, after a few minutes in queue, talk to Amanda, who, after asking for my phone number, verifies that auto-pay is indeed active on my account. Unfortunately, Amanda can't actually do anything about my account status, so she informs me that she'll need to transfer me to a "billing specialist" who will take care of things. I get put on hold.
9:32 PM -- Glenda picks up my call and, after asking for my phone number and verifying that things look OK with my account (other than the missing payment), informs me that she will need to contact "Collections," who aren't in this late (I'm shocked). So, she'll email them and then call me back when (if?) she gets a response from that department. At 9:35 PM, I get put on hold again while Glenda types up her email to Collections.
9:45 PM -- Glenda comes back. Apparently, Glenda is a really slow typist, or she had a lot to say to Collections, or she decided to knit her grandson a sweater while I was on hold.
So tomorrow, she'll try to call me back (at my home number, where I won't be) to let me know what the response from Collections is. Then I'll get to call back, wait in another 35-freaking-minute queue most likely, just to find out that things are fine again.
It's just stunning how poorly a profitable business can be operated when it's a monopoly.
Update (2/1/2006): A rep called me back the next day and explained that everything had been sorted out and that they were even refunding my $5.25 late fee. That's terrific...now how about compensating me for the hour of my life I'll never get back that I had to spend sorting out the mess that TWC's own systems caused?