Seriously, It Can't Be This Hard. DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

Banks like to hold on to money. I get that. So when you want to take money out, banks get fairly insistent that you provide 17 kinds of ID showing who you are, when you were born, what your favorite color is, why your hair is currently ½ shade lighter than your passport photo, and write an essay on being kind to small creatures. Then reluctantly they might part with their cash. Which is really your cash.

On the other hand, when it comes to putting money into the bank, they don’t much care who you are or why you are there that day. They don’t even care if you’re putting money into your own account. If you have something resembling cash, checks, or money orders (I have it on good authority they don’t accept goats), they’ll accept your deposit. And possibly even give you a lollipop.

Which is why, O Best Beloved, I have been sooooo frustrated (that’s the only word I can come up with at the moment that won’t get this blog banned in several countries) as I try to pay my bills.

I am trying to PAY my bills. No arguments. No hassles. No “can’t you please cut the bill in half because my dog ate my homework.” No nonsense. Just plain old please-take-my-money.

In the seriously olden days, one would simply walk over to the store, hand over a goat, and have your cell phone bill marked “paid.” In the less ancient but still olden days, one would sit down at the kitchen table, heave a big sigh, write checks, and send payments by snail mail. The sigh was very important to get into the spirit of things.

In modern times, we’re supposed to be able to push a few buttons on the computer—voila, funds transferred, bills paid, no need to think about it again until next month (or ever if you’ve set up auto payment). Should be easy, right?

Oh, how wrong thou art.

Our saga begins earlier in the week when I tried to set up autopayment for Fred the Car. I had several spare minutes, the account number from the bill I’d received, and the checkbook. I was Prepared. I thought.

I shall spare you the details because I am a Kind and Loving Parent. The short version is Chase Bank (who handles the financing for Subaru leases—yes, I’m naming names) insisted I had an on-line account, hung up on me twice as I tried to get it reset, texted a sign in key code to my phone that didn’t have enough digits, had to talk me through their account set up process (have I mentioned I am not the dumbest person on the planet? There is no way anyone could follow the on line directions (which included having to know to do step three before step one)), and ended with me sitting down at the kitchen table, heaving a VERY heavy sigh and writing them a check. It was easier to refinance our mortgage.

Then there was The Difficulty with Verizon (seriously naming names today). Despite them never having sent me a bill (harder to pay when you don’t know how much, when it’s due, or who to pay!), we were Down to the Wire and had to pay your phone bill or you would be sans communication device. No prob. Happy to pay.

Verizon had other ideas. There was no way to set up an account on line. (Or if there was I couldn’t find it. Have I mentioned I design websites? What IS it with these people?) So I clicked the little box that said click here if you want to talk to us. Love talking. A few minutes later I got a call on my non-Verizon phone. So far so good. After insisting that I wanted to talk to a live person I was finally connected to a very nice human who asked for my home Verizon phone number. Huh? I don’t have a home Verizon phone. Well, then she’d have to connect me to the wireless support center. (Remember, they called me.)

I was able to pay your bill (you’re welcome) without resorting to violence or check-writing. I did use some colorful language (but only in my head so as not to upset anyone).

There should probably be a college course called “How to Deal with Crazy Customer Service Policies and Other Survival Techniques for the Modern World.”

Here’s a crazy idea for the business world: Let’s put ‘customer’ and ‘service’ back into the concept of customer service. Probably too radical an idea.

Heavy sigh.

You better REALLY enjoy your phone this week.

Love, Mom