Monday, September 13, 2010

Really?? And whom exactly is saving all of this time?

Recognizing the need to remain at the cutting edge of technological  informational advances in today's world, we here at FTI are trying to embrace as many  options available in order to improve our efficiency,  productivity, and save time.   Of course, this does require a fair amount of interaction with the FTI IT dept (the most reviled department here at FTI) which at times can be quite challenging.  Case in point: my attempt to pay the FTI insurance bill on line. 

I received an earlier announcement from the FTI Treasury, (D. the Peap, Miser in Charge)  announcing that an incentive was being run by the bank to shift any payments previously paid via check to a debit transaction.   If we successfully completed 3 transactions in one month, the bank would make a small deposit into our account as a "thank you".   Never one to pass on any type of  free money, Dickie the Peap advised us to be on the lookout for any opportunities.   Receiving a bill from our insurance carrier, I noted the option  to pay on-line and figured this would be a good place to start.    Of course, this requires  setting up an on-line account with the insurance carrier.  I can understand creating an account with your bank, your broker, Amazon, Facebook, or the local mental health support system.  I don't know why you would set up an account with an entity that you interact with twice a year.   Regardless, I begin the process to provide the personal  information  and repeatedly receive the message :  "All information must be EXACT as on your bill to set up your account".  I check the bill 4 times, re-enter the same amount of times and keep getting the same result.  I then realize that, of course, it would be helpful to provide the policy number in the box that I had ignored and suddenly, PRESTO! the account is created.  Total time elapsed:  6 minutes.  Time remaining until computer potentially takes flight out of window:  90 seconds.  Having set up the account, I now encounter the billing screen where I can enter the payment information.  As I don't have the card on me, I have to get up, go get my wallet and dig through the cards to get the right one.  Enter the type of card , the card number, attempt to enter the expiration date.  Twice.  No luck.  Realize that a debit card transaction doesn't have to include an expiration date.  Attempt to enter the security PIN number on back.  Twice.  No Luck.  Same reason.  Confirm amount of payment.  Enter email address for confirmation.  Re-enter for Security purposes.  Send Payment.  "This transaction cannot be processed as a debit card. Return to previous screen and select credit transaction".    Total time elapsed: 4 minutes. Time now remaining until computer potentially takes flight out of window:  5 seconds. 

In the end, I paid the bill and all is well.  I understand the shift to a paperless environment; It's green, it's less clutter for the customer, blah, blah, blah.  I just don't know if I saved a whole lot of time, vs. writing a check, putting  it in a stamped envelope,  and dropping it in the mailbox.  And that saving time pitch?  Well, I don't think it applied to me. 

1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain. Just more of Big Brother watching us. Where is George Orwell when we need him?


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