I love the internet. The internet is cool. You can ask it questions without judgement, look up funny pictures on Google without worrying about getting fired and ask for the definition of “ butt-plug” without any raised eyebrows.

Oh like you weren’t wondering too

The internet lets you do everything so that you never ever have to leave the house and deal with annoying Luddite muggles. That is until I tried applying for a credit card. An online credit card. From the bank where I have been stashing my cash since I reluctantly joined the adult world of employment. Oh god, this makes me sound like I earn my money hand over fist. Actually, I’m seriously considering it if it means never having to deal with a financial institution again. I’ll take a wanker over a banker any day of the week and twice on a Sunday.

Oh yes, I have so been screwed.

I submitted my application for my online credit card, er online, received an online confirmation and an online approval. Now all I need to do is provide two proofs of address and a form of ID. No probs … this is an online application, I’ll scan the documents, email them through, job done. Or so you would think. This virtual credit card bank, which will absolutely never ever send me any paper statements or inconvenience me with a real life customer service representative, insists that I go to the local branch of the credit bank and submit the original documents to them. I don’t have original anything … even my hormones are fake. I have no statements, utility bills or anything tangible with my name on.

Even my underwear has someone else’s name on it.

Again, my foolish little brain tells me that this should pose no problem at all; have printer, will spend. I run off some bank statements and then it’s time for proof of address number two; utility bill. I try logging in to my phone company account and cannot for the life of me remember my password. I try every variation I have ever used including the name of my first imaginary friend, the name of the drug I’m taking and even my stripper name* until finally the system freezes me out. I call the phone company, suffer through what seems like 3 years of eighties pop music, press buttons until my fingers bleed and am finally told by an automaton that I should log into my online account for help. Well duh!! I go through the entire process again but this time, I refuse to push those buttons.

*(Your first pet’s name + the name of the street you grew up on = your stripper  name. True Story! I read it on the internet. Now that I know that I’m not using it as a password, if you’re very very good I will one day share what mine is.)

Nope! Not pressing those buttons. Let the meltdown begin.

I get chastised by a robotic Christian Grey who spanks me for not obeying the rules, but then Ana Steele comes on the line and she’s very apologetic , says it was all her fault, and please don’t leave this moronic company. But I have a feeling that she is mad-faced with me for making robot Christian angry and jealous of his punishment because the new password she provides me with goes something like this WcGki98!Z*h7 (or WTF! for short).  Eventually I get the stupid documents printed and it’s off to hell we go.

Longer alternatives welcome

At the bank I present my documents to the teller and I suddenly find myself caught up in the Twilight Zone of conversations.

Teller:   These are print-outs not originals
Me:        I am aware of that, but I do everything on line. I don’t have originals.
Teller:   You need to provide original documents as proof of address
Me:         I don’t get original documents any more since the bank declined my mortgage application to be able to pay for them. Do you think that money grows on all those trees you are trying to save?
Teller:   Looks at me blankly and repeats like the moron she is. You need to provide original documents as proof of address.
Me:        Bashing my head against the glass and she’s about to call security. I’m applying for an ONLINE credit card. She doesn’t get the irony. And I’m bringing you statements from YOUR bank, this branch actually. Can’t you just log on to my account and check my address from there.
Teller:   We can’t do that. You need to bring in the documents.
Me:        (mumbling: oh my god I am stuck in a loop and I’m never getting out). Look, I don’t have original documents and I am sure as hell not paying for them.
Teller:   Oh, but we don’t charge for one-off statements. She actually looks relieved that there’s finally a question she can answer.
Me:        And you didn’t tell me that sooner because … oh forget it. So can I get me a one-off statement.
Teller:   Of course, I’ll just order that for you. She starts tapping her fingers on the keyboard.
Me:        Huh! What? Order? Can’t you just print it off now?
Teller:   No, I can order it for you today and you should receive it in the post in the next 7-10 days.
Me:        Don’t you need a proof of address for that?

I’m not risking the wrath of phone company robot Christian again. This time I’m calling the gas company, at least if it all goes wrong they have the fuel to help me explode.

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15 responses »

  1. elappleby says:

    You are very very funny! Not sure about the stripper name though – my first pet was called Basil – not a particularly feminine name – might need a rethink there.

  2. Eee gads! I’ve been noticing things like this – companies trying to go paperless, but still requiring paper documents. Or as you say, “doing everything online” but then requiring that you come in in person. It’s like, “Make up your mind already! One or the other – not both!”

    • Storkhunter says:

      It’s the technological version of schizophrenia. I don’t mind them requesting paper documents, but they should at the very least accept printouts. I mean what are they trying to say. “Sorry, but we don’t trust OUR OWN system.” I feel really confident about my choice of bank now!

  3. “oh my god I am stuck in a loop and I’m never getting out”

    This is exactly how I feel when I call Comcast. They keep telling me I need to provide my account information so I can get my login, but I tell them the reason I’m calling them is to get my account information.

  4. becca3416 says:

    My stripper name is Buster Buttonwood. It is way too perfect to sound true, but I promise it is.

    I hate all the silly rules there are out there regarding documentation and such. At least you kept your cool a lot more than most people!

  5. The Waiting says:

    You have far more patience than I do. When I was 8 months preggo I had to call the phone company to resolve some issue and I think I may have actually screamed at no fewer than 4 imbeciles who couldn’t do their jobs.

    • Storkhunter says:

      Everybody knows not to piss off a pregnant woman. That makes them even stupider. The fact that you were on the phone and they couldn’t see your giant baby bump is no excuse. They shoulda known!!

  6. […] “going paperless” adventures of last week brought to my attention some of the various ways in which life and its […]

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