Friday, February 1, 2008

Actual Transcript of a Phone Call

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Your call is very important to us. Our menu options have changed. If you are a member, please press 1. If you are a doctor or doctor's representative, please press 2. If you are an agent, please press 3. If you have a claim, please press 4."

I'm none of the above! I want to find out about your small business plans! And I couldn't figure out the info I want from your Web site! This is your main 800 number. You have to have more options. C'mon! Presses 0.

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Your call is very important to us. Our menu options have changed. If you are a member, please press 1. If you are a doctor or doctor's representative, please press 2. If you are an agent, please press 3. If you have a claim, please press 4."

Presses *--sometimes that works.

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Your call is very important to us. Our menu options have changed. If you are a member, please press 1. If you are a doctor or doctor's representative, please press 2. If you are an agent, please press 3. If you have a claim, please press 4."

Presses #--I feel like a chicken playing tic tac toe.

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Your call is very important to us. Our menu options have changed. If you are a member, please press 1. If you are a doctor or doctor's representative, please press 2. If you are an agent, please press 3. If you have a claim, please press 4."

Presses 1.

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Please enter your member number."

I don't have one.

"I'm sorry. I did not hear your member number. Please try again."

Sorry, no can do.

"I'm waiting for your response."

'kay.

"I'm sorry, I couldn't 'get that.' I'll need to transfer your call to a representative."

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Fist pumps.

System hangs up on me. Dial tone. State of shock. Redial.

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Your call is very important to us. Our menu options have changed. If you are a member, please press 1. If you are a doctor or doctor's representative, please press 2. If you are an agent, please press 3. If you have a claim, please press 4."

Presses 1.

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Please enter your member number."

Wait, wait, wait.

"I'm sorry. I did not hear your member number. Please try again."

Wait, wait, wait.

"I'm waiting for your response."

Wait, wait, wait.

"I'm sorry, I'll need to transfer your call to a representative."

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Fist pumps. A strange, tinkly piece of music titled "Theme for a Nervous Breakdown" plays and repeats, plays and repeats.

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Your call is very important to us--"

You lie like a rug!

"--please continue to hold and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received."

Start to sort mail and do bills. Finish sorting mails and doing bills. Do a little light spot cleaning. Pick up some tumbleweeds of Lily fur. Decide to have a snack. Fill mouth with tangerine and begin to hum strange, tinkly piece of music.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield, this is MelAHnie. May I have your member number please?"

"Mrumph schla. Excuse me. Hi, MelAHnie. I'm sorry. I think I might have the wrong number. I'm not a member. I want to find out about your options for small businesses?"

"Okay. That would be small business sales. Would you like that number so you can call them back?"

"Actually, could you transfer me?"

"Sure. But, sometimes people get lost. Would you like the number just in case?"

"Okay. But, is there a toll-free 800 number?"

"I don't know. I just have the in-state number, but I'm sure if you call that number you can find out if there is a toll-free 800 number."

"But, if I do that...Okay! Sure. That would be great. Please give me the number and transfer me."

"Is there anything else I can do for you today?"

Resist. Resist. Resist. It is not MelAHnie's fault.

"No thank you, MelAHnie. You've been very helpful."

MelAHnie botches transfer and hangs up on me. I dial non-toll-free number MelAHnie has provided.

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Your call is very important to us. Our menu options have changed. If you are a member, please press 1. If you are a doctor or doctor's representative, please press 2. If you are an agent, please press 3. If you have a claim, please press 4. If you are a corporation in this state, please press 5."

5! 5! 5! Beautiful 5! Presses 5.

"Thank you for calling the business sales division of Blue Cross Blue Shield. Your call is very important to us. Our menu options have changed. If you are interested in Healthy Choice a Whizbang, please press 1. If you have a claim, please press 2. If you are a member, please press 3. Otherwise, please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received."

Neil Diamond song starts to play. "Girl, I don't wanna fight I'm a little bit wrong, and you're a little bit right I said girl, you know that it's true It's a little bit me, and it's a little bit you, too."

I page through a magazine, unpack a box of books I've been "meaning to get to."

"Thank you for calling Blue Cross Blue Shield. Your call is very important to us--"

Uh-huh.

"--please continue to hold and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received."

I begin to brush my teeth.

"Your call may be recorded for customer service purposes. We are now connecting you with a representative."
I rinse and spit to be ready.

"You have reached the small business department of Blue Cross Blue Shield. Our hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please leave your name, number, and a message and we'll get right back to you."

To sum up: It has been four days.