On Being Too Honest

Last week I was taking care of all of my bills when it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen a DSL bill from Qwest in quite some time, if ever. I had vague recollections of getting a bill, but wasn’t sure when it came and what I had done with it. I looked around and couldn’t find it in my inbox, my file drawer; it had disappeared, if it had even come. Then it dawned on me, not only was I not finding the bill for January, I couldn’t find any of my past bills.

The more I thought about it, the more vague the memory became. Was it a Qwest or Verizon bill that came and I’m thinking about? With a new power and gas and water bill, all the bills were coming from new places with new logos. Maybe I never did receive a bill? After all, wouldn’t one of the payments show up in my bill pay?

I ended up calling Qwest, by this time pretty sure I’d never received a bill at all. Their phone menu is horrible. I don’t need new service, and I’m not a business account (or some equally specific purpose). After two unsuccessful attempts at speaking “operator” - since it was a voice activated menu - I just went to the new customer line for DSL. The guy seemed quite cheery for a phone back guy. I haven’t ordered something by phone in a long time so I guess that’s why it surprised me. It makes sense to keep the happy folk talking to new/potential customers and put the grouches - err, I mean less happy folk answering calls from customers you already have.

After a quick explanation that I probably had the wrong person and that I needed to speak with someone about my bill I managed to get transferred to the correct place. It takes a few attempts to convey “I’ve had service for three months, but I don’t have any bills” to the person. Once she understood, she started looking through my account. It took a few minutes, and during that time almost on an interval she said something to the effect, “this will just take a minute longer…”. I wonder if they have a pop-up on their computer that reminds them to thank us for holding and tell us it’ll just take a little bit longer. Anyhow, I was definitely in the system, there was no outstanding balance, and she couldn’t see a single bill in the system. “I’m going to have to send this to the billing department so they can figure out what’s happened.” Then she said, “well, at least your honest and called us about it.”

So, long story short, I should have a nice sized 3 - 4 month DSL bill in the mail before too long. They’re supposed to call me once they figure things out and I still haven’t received a call so who knows. Maybe I’ll get to keep the free service…