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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Thursday
Oct071999

compuserve bureaucracy

I just spend the past hour and a half embroiled in bureaucracy, so please forgive this rant.

A while back, I cancelled my Compuserve account. Or so I thought. I recall at the end of the call that the Compuserve person said he'd throw in a few extra months of service in case I changed my mind. I told him I wasn't going to change my mind, and thought that was it.

It turns out that at the END of these few extra months (during which I did not access my account, assuming it had been cancelled), Compuserve started automatically charging my credit card again, assuming I was once more a happy camper and ready to rejoin the fold.

To discover the reason I was still being charged, however, took me an hour and a half of being transferred from one department to another (the Billing department said my account was still active so I had to get it cancelled by the Cancellation Department, the Cancellation Department claimed my account was already cancelled so I had to get my refund from the Billing Department), talking to a total of seven different people. Each time, I had to verify who I was and repeat my whole story (adding new bits from previous phonecalls during the hour).

When the whole thing was finally cleared up and my account was ACTUALLY CANCELLED, the last Compuserve phone person (yes I DID force myself to remember that it wasn't actually HIS fault, though his perkiness was really getting on my nerves by this point, I have to confess) actually had the audacity to try to convince me to try out the NEW AND IMPROVED Compuserve 2000, which is apparently much better than the old nasty Compuserve I was using.

(long pause)

As you can imagine, my reaction was not entirely positive.

Urban Tapestry practice tonight. I'm bringing Bailey's and Kahlua so we can make boozy coffees and celebrate Allison's and Jodi's birthdays (and JODI'S VERY COOL NEW JOB, WOOHOO!). And hopefully get some actual practising in as well. :)

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