About Online Bill Pay . . .
By the Copper Curmudgeon
I'm fascinated with our new technology and maybe a little terrified that we have the opportunity to conduct our personal business online. Yesterday my young daughter in the bay area sent me a text message while I'm on the road . . . she tells me she needs gas money so I open the IPhone app for my bank and in seconds transfer money from my account to hers so that her ATM card now has funds to purchase gas for the car ninety miles away.
Somehow . . . this has left the child with the idea that she does not need to plan ahead because dad is only a text message away from taking care of her problems. Hopefully life at college this next year will help her plan for these situations . . . who am I kidding right?
So now we have my mother living with us since dad passed away this last February. Her understanding of the internet is really quite amazing for a lady of 80 years . . . she has no use for it. So . . . that said she prefers that I handle any of the situations that require any type of bill paying for her online. I think this is where my daughter gets this same helpless attitude?
Today we paid some of mom's final bills to utility companies down in the bay area. Our calls were on speaker phone and we were "talking" to computers not people.
The water bill;
Me: Dialing the number.
Computer: Thank you for calling bill pay please press one for English or pulse dos, si desea que esta conversación en español . . .
Me: I press one . . .
Computer: Please enter the account number you are calling about.
Me: I dial in mom's account number.
Computer: The account number you have entered is 123-456-789-A-321 if this is correct press one.
Me: I comply and press one.
Computer: Please verify the last four numbers of your social security number.
Me: I enter mom's last four numbers of her social security number.
Computer: I'm sorry the number you have entered is not the number we have on file for this account . . . please re-enter the correct last four numbers of the social security number for this account . . .
Mom: Let's just send them a check in the mail it's always worked before . . .
Me: Not a chance I have this under control it has to be dad's social security number so I enter the last four of his number . . .
Computer: The numbers your have entered are 1234 . . . if this is correct press one.
Me: I press one (And scream profanities that makes mom leave the room)
Computer: The house number I have for this account is 1234 Maple Street . . . if this is correct press one . . .
Me: I press one ( I have now been on this call for six minutes) (More profanity)
Mom: JUST MAIL THEM A CHECK I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR YEARS!
Me: Shut up mom this is how it's done now . . .
Computer: I'm sorry I did not hear your last entry . . .
Me: You can't hear anything your bleeping stupid computer!!!
Me: I press one about seven times . . .
Computer: I'm sorry I did not hear your last entry . . . goodbye . . . click.
Me: DON'T YOU HANG UP ON ME . . . YOU %**#@&&& COMPUTER!!!!
Twelve minutes on this call and the computer hangs up on me.
Me: Mom . . . get your checkbook . . . we are going to the post office . . .
Mom: I told you so . . . you maybe 60 but you're still my stubborn little boy.
My IPhone beeps that I have a text message . . . it's my daughter again. It reads, "Thanks for the money in my account dad . . . I think it's very cool that an old guy like you has figured out how to make this happen on your IPhone . . . most people your age don't have the patience for these new ideas and I really like the way you take care of me. . . love you.
Me: I dial bill pay again . . .
I know . . . just sit here and be quiet . . .
By, Mike S.