Christmas Joy and the Sales Representative from Hell

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Susuki Sunset 400

A last tuft of Plume Grass encircling the late autumn sun.

And there I was, like a good little elf, sitting at my great, big studio desk, humming to myself and thinking, “Okay, this year I’m going to make an effort to show people I care and let them know that things are quite as bad as they’ve been imagining, and perhaps undermining Santa’s insidious Black List of Bad Little Boys and Girls… maybe I’ll buy myself some Skype online telephony credit and give a few lonely people out there a call.” Stll humming verily, merrily to myself, I skipped on over to the Skype homepage and checked out the deals. “Sounds pretty good!” I chimed to myself (as elves are wont to do), and went ahead to the Skypeout credit purchasing page, clicked the button for $10.00, and, still humming along, coming to the “Billing and Address” page. “No problem!” I fluted (as elves are ever fond of doing), “Just fill out my personal information.” Everything went well until I had to fill out my address form. No doing. The text field only accepted a very truncated version of my rather long address (as elves like doing things the hard way), which would never do, what with the stern admonishments of the credit card company. Again and again I tried different ways of getting the address in there, but no doing.

So I clicked on the LiveSupport link and waited for the Skype representative to appear in the chat window. Here is the transaction:

Please wait for a site operator to respond. We are experiencing high volume of chats. Your wait time may be longer than anticipated

Paula: Hello, my name is ‘Paula’, how may I assist you today
butuki: Hi Paula,I am thinking of purchasing some skypeout credit, but when I try to input my Japan address in the order form, the address line does not permit long addresses.
butuki: Is there something I am doing wrong?
Paula: May I know what is the error message that you are getting?
butuki: Hmmm, there is no error message. I start writing the address and then the window just stops allowing extra letters. Everything else in the order form seems to work fine.
Paula: Please provide me with your Skype user name

butuki: butuki
Paula: Please wait one moment while I check that for you
butuki: Thanks very much

Ten minutes go by in which I resume humming to myself (as elves cannot help themselves doing) and fiddling around with my other computer, trying to get a scratchboard drawing right.

Paula: Presently we accept payments using major credit cards (Visa / Dinners / JCB/master card ). We also accept payments using MoneyBookers.com, and are currently in the process of adding more payment options :)

I smile with uncontrolled glee (as elves forever find themselves doing) at the cute little smiley emoticon. Such friendly service!

butuki: ??? Er, I’m not sure why you are quoting the credit cards… I have to get through the “billing name and address” form first before I can get to the credit card form. My guess is that an extra text field line needs to be put into the order form before people with longer address can fill it out.
Paula: We have recently added a new payment method called MoneyBookers.com which is now available in your account page. You will get this option towards the end of your Credit purchase process where other credit card options are also listed. Please try using this method if your credit card purchases are not going through.
butuki: I think we are misunderstanding one another… Let’s see.. When I click the ten pound button for enteriing the credit purchase process the first page I am presented with is the address page. This is the page I cannot get through. I can’t even get to the credit card page yet.

I pause a long time, during which my elvish earnestness takes a severe beating.

Paula: May I know which country is your credit card registered in,
butuki: Japan. But, I am not referring to the credit card page right now. I’m not sure if you understand what I mean.
butuki: or maybe I’m not understanding what you mean…? (I add this hastily for courtesy’s sake. as elves are notorious for good manners)
Paula: Please try to buy with money bookers

Another very long pause on my end. Elves don’t handle anger very well. So I decide to bow out gracefully

butuki: Okay. Do I just go straight to their home page, instead of going through the Skyeout credit purchasing process?
Paula: Please try with money bookers to buy credit

butuki: Okay, thanks. I’ll see what I can do. Thanks again. And Merry Christmas!
Paula: Thank you for using our live support chat! Should you have any questions feel free to contact us. Please do rate my support after ending this chat session. Bye!

The elf sat for a long time afterwards contemplating the definition of intelligence and communication. Luckily, to the elf’s salvation, the sky had opened with a cape of stars, sprinkled upon it like scattered gems. Time seemed to lose all meaning and the words “skype” and “sky” became one. This is the age-old secret to elvish peacefulness and cheer. Ignorance surely is bliss.

One Response

  1. Two words– automated system. I think they model it on talking with computer programmers, though. :)

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