For A Good Time, Call 718-330-1234
It rings once, giving you the false hope that you’ll speak to someone immediately. Then you hear a familiar voice. It’s that guy that tells you to stand clear of the moving doors! Oh man, that guy, in the flesh…err…the voice flesh! That’s awesome!
Oh wait, he’s just there to remind you to stand clear of the yellow line when a train is approaching the station.
Sure, I understand that Subway fatalities are nearing an all-time high, but this message makes absolutely no sense:
A) Would you be really calling the MTA hotline from your cell phone, on a platform?
B) Would you be calling them toll-free from one of the hundreds of platform payphones?
C) If you happened to be calling from a payphone, do they really think the cord could stretch far enough to be hit by a train?
D) Being the MTA Customer Service Hotline, did they really think this was the most vital piece of information?
There’s a good 15 second gap in between messages, just enough time to aggravate you to tears.
Message #1: Stand clear of the yellow line.
Message #2: “For information on Fast-Track coming to the D line, press 5 now” [I was half-tempted on my 4th call to press this, just so I could continue listening to his hilariously Brooklyn accent]
Message #3: Instructions for Spanish
Message #4: Main Menu.
Congratulations. After wasting 45+ seconds and all of your patience, you have reached the main menu. Good luck!
Last month, while I was buying a metrocard, I received the dreaded “This Transaction Could Not Be Processed” message. So I switched to my debit card, and it processed just quick enough for me to miss my train. A week later, I discover that both my Credit and Debit cards have been charged $112. I spent a good hour going back and forth through customer support, only to be told completely different things. At one point, some British guy told me to mail my metrocard to them, as if that was supposed to do anything. So I did what any logical and angry person would do: I just filed a claim online. Simple. Well, not really, it still took me a half hour to navigate through the buggy website, but still. Simple. 2 days ago, my claim read to be “processed” or “closed”, but I had received no word from the MTA, nor a credit to my account. This is why I’m calling them again today.
I’m not going to go into the details of how archaic the menu is. At this point, we all know the drill. It took me 4 tries to get to the right options, 20 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back, yadda yadda ad nauseum. I finally connect with a customer service agent and she seems to be in a polite mood:
Thank you for calling, this is [name redacted], how may I help you?
Yeah, I was overcharged on a metrocard last month and I filed a claim–
–Do you have the card number?
No, but I have the claim number. It’s ****64.
[10 seconds pass]
It says here that your case has been closed
Yeah, I know that, but I haven’t received a refund.
Suddenly, her mood changes dramatically. Thinking that her job is done, anything else that I have to say is a nuisance to her.
The MTA will mail it to you.
They’re going to mail what you me?
I don’t know what it is. ALL I CAN SEE IS THAT YOUR CASE IS CLOSED!
Are you using the same website as me? Because that’s all the information I can–
–IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE?!?!?
Yeah, what are they sending me? How are they sending me?
YOU LIVE ON ** DECATUR, RIGHT!?!?
THEY WILL SEND IT TO YOU!!!!
Yeah, but what are they sending to me?
I DON’T KNOW! A LETTER? A CHECK? A METROCARD? ALL I KNOW IS THAT YOUR CASE IS CLOSED!
But that seems really backwards, considering that you took my phone number, my email, my credit card information. Why did they choose the slowest form of communication? Instead of sending me a letter to tell me what they’re going to do, why don’t they just do it?
Whatever they’re going to do.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO DO!! THEY WILL SEND YOU A LETTER INFORMING YOU OF WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO DO!
But why don’t they just “do it” at the same time?
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE?!?
Well, did they send it FedEx or DHL or USPS or UP–
THEY SENT IT IN THE MAIL!
Well, alright. Do you know how long it’ll be before I get my letter?
[She hangs up on me]
Good to know that she still has a full work day ahead of her.
And so do I.
Of all the slogans that the MTA has run into the ground, there are 2 that always stick in my head:
Courtesy is Contagious
If You See Something, Say Something