paying the bills

My mother had a vendetta against the Post Office. She would always blame the P.O. if a payment she was mailing in was late (no matter when she actually mailed it).  Also, in her business she often mailed packages. When they arrived to her customers late, it was always the P.O.’s fault. We used to laugh and say the workers must dread seeing her walk in when she was mad – which was usually about once each week.

My daughter has a business now and we think she may be carrying on this feud in the absence of her grandmother. She has had similar problems but does behave better. She’s still young, though. We will see what time brings…

My husband says that I have transferred this grudge to the phone company – AT&T. He says the phone operators there should be on alert when I call – they don’t know who they are dealing with. I guess I can be short with them, but honestly, sometimes I wonder how they stay in business.

My most recent run-in was today. Grrrr. And so, I am sending this letter in with my payment this month:


We did not receive our bill in December. We have an account online so I could easily find the amount to pay. (Not sure why it has increased, someone at UVerse said it would be reduced, maybe you have increased it now so you can lower it next month. But that’s another story.)

So I continued to look online to find the address to send the payment. It was hopeless. I entered our zip code and got this message:

We’re sorry. No payment mailing locations are available in the ZIP code you entered. Please check your ZIP code and try again, or try a different ZIP code.

Hmmmm… We only have one ZIP code, so I had no other options. And seriously? No payment mailing locations? I mail it every month.

So then I chose the “Chat” option. Here it is in its entirety, although the name of the employee has been changed to protect the innocent. It really wasn’t her fault. Yes, I eventually got the information, but had this to go through:

Please wait for a site operator to respond.

You are now chatting with ‘Lucy LaRue’

Lucy LaRue: Hi Mr.Wayne Merrill, thank you for chatting with AT&T today. I can definitely help you with your issue today.

Lucy LaRue: I am sorry for the inconvenience, do not worry I can definitely help you with your concern. Let me go ahead and pull up your account to check on some important information that would help us resolve this issue, please stay on this chat until we have this issue resolved.

Lucy LaRue: Thank you for waiting. Once again I am sorry that you did not receive a bill, is this happened for the first time?

Wayne Merrill: Yes. I just need to know the address where I usually mail my payments. The online wizard said there is no address for my zip code.

Lucy LaRue: I am sorry let check on that, If you want Sir you may also pay online to your online account or dial *729 directly on your phone.

Wayne Merrill: Guess what – I want to mail the payment. Can you please send me the address????

Lucy LaRue: Yes Mr. Merrill I apologized, I am checking on your location right now kindly give me 2-3 minutes please.

Lucy LaRue: Here is the address where you can send you payment: AT&T Mobility P.O. box 536216 Atlanta, GA 30353-6216, is there anything else that I can assist you today?

Wayne Merrill: Nothing else – thank you.

Obviously you do not prefer to receive payments by mail. But that’s how I prefer to send them.

And you are welcome for the trouble I went to just to pay my bill – the one I never received.

I am thinking there has to be better service out there somewhere….


That last line is one of my favorites. I have used it when I call about the UVerse cable bill. I do this every time they raise the rates when my “discount period” has expired. The first time I called (and persisted through three people) the last person actually told me to say, on future calls, “I am thinking of changing services,” and then you will always get a favorable response. And guess what – it works!

I know my words in the letter lean towards the smarty-pants side but am I wrong in expecting better service? After all, I do pay my bills, even when the Post Office is slacking. (Yes I know, my mother is smiling right now.)

3 thoughts on “paying the bills

  1. elsie says:

    I can laugh now, but I know this scene all too well. I hope you get a good resolution. 🙂

  2. b says:

    Good help is hard to find — especially on the phone. This tidbit won’t help with your bill payment, but shopping at Overstock has been a refreshing experience because of their excellent customer service!! 🙂

  3. Carol Wilcox says:

    I go through similar stuff with our cable/internet provider. Usually, though, it’s not about how to pay the bill, it’s about how to make the internet or cable or phone work. Last time, after thirty minutes of, “Press this button, hold for 8 seconds, then restart, etc,” I ended up telling someone I did not want to be a cable repair girl when I grew up, and they needed to send someone out! Not one of my finer moments!

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