Tanner Andrews

When you call a big company, your call often winds up going to some huge call center full of the sort of people who staff inbound call centers. There is a huge room, with rows and rows of tables. Sometimes there are partitions between the spaces.

It is noisy, and the people there may be so close together that they simply cannot avoid sharing the COVID. You see this a lot in outsourced call centers, where a company simply hires another company to answer the phone and get rid of callers.

Large companies sometimes have dedicated call centers. Consider AAA: They are phone-centered. Most people never go to their offices. Even when a company has their own boiler room, however, it is prone to trouble.

The problem with large companies is that they are prone to screw-ups. Today’s example is, unsurprisingly, AAA. For years, I have paid and ignored their obnoxious highway lobbying.

I recently got a second notice from them. I thought it was odd, since it had been over a month since I had sent them a check. I suppose they could have lost it, or they could have been slow to process it. At any rate, might as well call and see what is wrong.

Well, the phone guy claimed that they had not received the check. Unlikely, but I suppose he cannot just admit that they probably lost it. Probably their rules say not to admit error.

Or do they? He also told me that they might have returned the check, and that they no longer accept checks. He said that you have to give them direct access to your bank account. Well, I am not going to do that!

That sort of makes me wonder. The phone drone says they do not accept checks. Oddly enough, I am calling about their mailing asking me to send one. It says, “Make checks payable to AAA,” just two folds down from where it says, “Thank you for being a loyal member for 31 years!”

Well, I have no idea what they are thinking. OK, I have one idea — they have decided that AAA is too big, and getting rid of customers will help solve that problem.

— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here