A real eye-catcher
bash.org quote of the day: 08/17/04

Here endeth the twitching

Called Questar about the wildly incorrect bill I received Saturday afternoon.

Questar 75th Anniversary insigniaThe call was a mix of mild annoyances and amazingly fast service:

  1. Their phone system is voice-activated. I felt like a fool as I stood in my great room shouting my gas account number into my cell phone, followed by random words like "Yes!" and "No!" and "Agent!" and "Billing!" to get to the right part of the queue.

  2. The initial wait estimate was 42 minutes. When I've dealt with Questar before, I've never had to wait anywhere nearly that long, but their estimates have always been lowballed. So I thought I'd be on the phone a good hour anyway, but seven minutes into the wait period, the estimate suddenly changed to ONE minute. The agent picked up the line less than a minute later.

  3. Agent Nancy's reaction: "Whoa!"Agent Nancy's first reaction when I told her I had a problem with the billed amount and she brought the bill up on her screen: "Whoa!"

    "That's exactly what I said when I opened the bill," I replied.

  4. She wondered aloud why their billing system, which is set up to catch discrepancies of this nature, didn't catch this one. In my experience, billing systems that are allegedly programmed to watch for mistakes NEVER catch them.

  5. She arranged for a special reading of the meter later this week and told me she'd call me back by Friday with the corrected bill amount. In the meantime, I should hold on to the bill I had now; she'd make a notation that the amount was disputed, and I should fill out a form to that effect on their web site.

Not five minutes later, my phone rang, the caller ID flashing "Questar." It was Agent Nancy: They'd found the source of the problem in their internal records and would be issuing a corrected bill forthwith.

After I picked up my jaw from the floor—I've never received service this fast from any utility company—I thanked her for the speedy response.

Total time spent, including hold time: 11 minutes.

Gotta be a record.