Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I want to talk to a human being.

An amaze..ing experience

This morning, while I was peacefully taking care of our laundry, the Little French Lady received an email from her bank. She had made a transaction that my bank thought was improper.  She had tried to transfer money from Bank A (We will call it bank A....I left out a few letter such as F and O)  to bank B (her bank).  Bank A communicated with Bank B, saying that someone (my wife) was defrauding Bank A.  As a result, bank B froze my wife's money.

While I was quietly enjoying the smell of fresh laundry ... my wife called her bank, who assumed she was a thief and demanded to talk to me. Since I was not availabe, they told her that she needed to arrange a conference call with Bank A to resolve this matter.  She called Bank A to arrange the conference call.  Bank A stated firmly, "We do not talk to other banks.  Goodbye."

The problem is Bank A was our friend when we put the money in the bank.  Today we asked them for some of our money.  They said, "Sorry, who are you?  We see that you are in Canada.  We don't deal with Canada.  They're not US.  You think they are America Junior?  No....They are not.   There is an 180,000 feet high financial wall that makes the Berlin Wall look like a mole hill.  We have your money.....too bad for you."

While she was discussing with the Customer Representative, my wife heard mumbling and laughing in the background. 

"Have you tried "the Phone Maze, Ma'am?  If you can prove you are worthy we may release your money.  Or maybe not.   It depends on how bored we are."

... when  I come back from the laundry duty, my wife is sobbing uncontrollably and hands me the phone...

Let me give it a try...
I call the Phone Maze Maven....
Something answers...

"Welcome to Bank A phone maze.  We care about our customers (yeah right!).  Our CSR will be with you shortly.  Our current waiting time on line is 2 hours and 47 minutes.  We will play really obnoxious music and have an obnoxious man explain why we are such a wonderful bank between obnoxious songs. "

So we waited it out.  I have a calm demeanor... my wife is fuming.
Finally....Someone says: "Bank A customer service.  If you want to check your balance say 1, if you want to open an account press 5, if you want a mortgage loan press 7,  if you want to check your saving balance hit the # key twice, if you want to invest in a CD's say 4 twice, if you want to rent a CD go to Blockbuster and ask for Nigel. If you want to invest in an annuity hit the 1 and then say 'pound sign'".  
I  started to fall asleep. I had better do something.  I hit "0".  Someone hollered, "Stop that."
I think I have their attention.  Hit "0" again.  
"Okay...Okay...What do you want?"
"My money!!!!"  I explained.  I told her the story.  She said, "Hmmm..No one has ever made it this far in the maze.  I will put you through to our money specialist.  She knows about money."  
I explained our problem to the money specialist.

"We are down to our last can of beans.  Wilson will be annoyed if I eat any more of his cat food."
I lied to them.  I am not eating cat food.  My wife is.  She likes it.  She thinks it's tuna salad. I figured if I told the bank the truth I might lose their sympathy. (fat chance!!!)

"Hmmm!...I noticed that you are in Canada.  Isn't that somewhere else? I don't have it listed as a state.  What state is Canada in?  Oh... That is in upstate New York.  I will put you through to our Canadian Specialist.
....  15 minutes of annoying music later....
"Hello, my name is Jennifer Smith and I am your Canadian specialist."  I explained our problem AGAIN.  
We had communication problems.  She had an accent and it wasn't Canadian.
I said, "Those Montreal Expos are having a great year, eh?"
"Oh, Yes sir, Wonderful year."
"Jennifer, the Expos left Montreal about 10 years ago.  Where are you?"
She burst into tears. "My name is Davarko Gupta.  I live in Calcutta, India and I make $1.30 per hour, that's 1,30$ in Canadian money.  Please don't expose me and I will put you through to our money transfer specialist."


"Bonjour Mister Hemlock, I don't speak English, so speak to me in French."
"Ummm! I don't speak French." (Click!!!!)  I think she hung up on me.
So I started again.

"Welcome to Bank A."  I was on the phone for 7 more hours. I went through this maze 2 more times.  My wife is sobbing, Wilson is cringing in the corner, I wet my pants twice.  I have invented new curses, remember curses from 1950 comic books.   I have called people "pig dog swines, yankee imperialist pigs, brainless turds,  shit eating dogs" and those are a few of the nicer ones.
The neighbors are screaming at us to shut up.  They are weeping too!  I am drooling, giggling and wild-eyed. 
But....they said they would release our funds.
In fact, the final Canadian money transfer specialist said "If there is any problem with your transfer, give us a call."  I hear loud laughing in the background.

10 minutes later I received an email from Bank A.  They wanted me to fill out a customer satisfaction survey.  There was a post script.
It said: we will be expecting your 150 questions survey later today.  Please bear in mind that your money will be released AFTER you fill the survey...probably tomorrow or soon, maybe. It has been a pleasure serving your banking need.  We care.  Don't call us again, you defector.
This is how our bank viewed us when we opened  our account.
How our bank views us today.

I just wanted to talk to a real person.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

"Hemlock's excellent adventure."

Busy, busy, busy!

I will get back to my regular blog soon.  I am having too much fun right now.

I am in Montreal.  I am here to study my new interest.

Yes, I am a student of Proctology,  doing lesson one.
It's kind of funky in there.

Well...There is your problem, sir.
No, that is not a hemmoroid.  You had a geocache in your butt.
Nice little house, eh! Oops, I am starting to talk like THEM!!!
This is next to St. Louis Square, which is a nice park off St. Denis in Montreal.
This picture was taken with the little French lady's cellphone, who takes better pictures by accident than I do on purpose.
Excuse em wa, Senior.  Which way to the Franco Follies?
What sign?  Where?
"Merci!!! Merci Beaucoup!!! Bon soir! sacre bleu!!!! Lost again."