This morning I got up early to write and decided to reorder checks before I forgot.
All right for the last 4-5 years I have had my latest book cover on my personal checks as advertising. And I know they worked at least once when I got an email from the woman who works at my auto repair (water pump replaced for the 3rd time) last week who said she liked the looks of Sorceress of Faith, visited my website and liked the excerpts, etc.
RANT – I needed to reorder the checks so I went to Clarke American. NOWHERE is there the fact that they have discontnued these checks. I go around and around looking at stuff I don't want. Then I go to "how to reorder" and they have instructions for uploading your pic to make your own checks. Still no help. I try their chat feature. It doesn't work. I call their service line. Automated with no help. By this time, their real customer service is up and I call them. The checks are discontinued.
Well, since they are discontinued and I qualify for free checks from my bank, can I have the free checks? No. The bank has to do that.
Calling the bank – automated system again. Five minutes later (and I had more in my checking than I knew), I get a real person – you have to wade through all the stuff until you find an option for a customer rep. She was great, but bottom line, I gotta call my branch. The computers are slow, she can't get my branch phone no. for me. I should drop by.
Ok, sometimes automated phone systems are ok. Mostly they're not. Bottom line re: messed up website at Clarke American and automated phone at CA and my bank: 1/2 hour wasted. This is not efficiency. Naturally, this makes me consider taking my business elsewhere. My bank used to be great, have Real People online 24 hours (or nearly, I recall talking to them at midnight and 6 am...). Now they don't do that. And if automated systems are down for maintanence, I get completely infuriated.
There was one point where they said if you need help, say "help." Naturally I screamed it ... after all, it's automated and I believe in scream therapy since I live alone. Instead of getting a real person, I got an automated help menu.
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Ok, obviously big rant, still steamed. When I go into work, I will, for the 3rd day in a row, go to my bank, this time to "get my profile changed" for the free checks.
Well, I walked by my bank to the bus stop (not open of course), and saw that two wild roses had opened on their bushes. Beautiful.
May your characters have great frustration and you none today.