Over time, we've all had our stories of things that just seem... well, sort of illogical with our favorite BORG. I know, it is often a subject of bewilderment, scorn, and often just humorous events. Yesterday I had another one of those, so please excuse my RANT:
About a year ago, my wife and I decided to get a HomeDepot "rewards" MasterCard. The long-used Chase card simply never offered anything beyond the monthly credit use. What started it all was getting collared by one of the orange aprons when we were buying bamboo flooring for the new kitchen. Anyway, we went through the procedure and the task was done quickly. I've been using that card since then.
Well, here we are a year later and I'm now looking for a cheap, portable table saw, for short-term use here in Painted Post. We were talking and remembered the "rewards" and was happy to discover that we had enough "points" to pay for the Ryobi BTS21. So, we were over at the local HD and decided to inquire about redemption of those points. As I figured, the three associates at the service desk didn't have a clue, so they called the store manager who was also clueless and between the four of them they reasoned that the lack of knowledge must be because such cards no longer were offered. My wife presented the latest billing statement and from there we were directed to go home and check the internet.
Well, on the statement they did direct us to a particular website.... unfortunately, that doesn't exsist... I tried three times! So, I decided to just sign on to my "account" even though I haven't done so, since the first day we set it up.
Hmmmm... what's my sign-in? Is it my account number, my name, my E-mail address? After a year, I don't have a clue. I usually use my E-mail address, so I tried that.
Now... what is my pass word.... I tried the three "usual" ones that I use, and it didn't accept it. So, I tried my account number in my sign-in name and again my three most used pass word... nothing.
So, lets sign in again with my name and for a pass word, I'll click "I don't remember" the password.
Okay... now we're talking... it asks for my account number. Got it.
Now, it ask for the 3-digit security code on the back of the card... I'm there! So-far-so-good.
Now, it asks for my "security word". Okay, I think I know what they mean, but let's click for an explanation. Ahhhhh, just as I figured... It's that question that they ask when you went through the registration process: You know those questions like, "What's your mother's maiden name." or "What's your pet's name?".
Okay NOT A PROBLEM.... that's what most all accounts do today. I'm ready. So, what's the "hint" question you're going to ask me? Nothing! Just the blank space asking for the "security word" to the unknown question.
So, I call and tell them I have this little problem. The Customer Tech, tells me, she can't help and switches me over to "customer service". The new "she" steps me through all the necessary stuff: name, address, age, SS#, account number... then she asked me for my "security word". So I asked her what was the "hint" question. She asks what I mean and I tell her that it's the question or "hint" that the security word is the answer to.
She replies, "I'm sorry, I can't tell you that."
What? Well, that's the whole point I tell her... you go through registration process and just in case you can't remember your sign-in name and/or password, many accounts, like my bank, insurance, and you HD folks, have a "hint" question for which the security word is the answer. You know like "What's your favorite food" and the security answer is "Ice Cream".
Once again, I get told... We can't tell you the question... you should just know the answer. Yes, but my accounts all give you the "hint" question, that way they know it's me! "Well, we don't do that at Home Depot" you should just know!"
We went a couple more rounds and I thanked her and called back... in the end, I was told to just start over from scratch and register again. Okay, let's see, it wants a sign-in name.... "CWSmith" "Sorry, that's already been used." Okay, let's try the account number...."Sorry, that's already been used!"
So, one last time I call.... "We're sorry, we can't tell you what your sign on name is, what your password is, what your security hint question is and NO, if you setup a new registration, we can't connect you with your existing account information!"
So now that I feel lost and helpless, I pop a couple of Xanex, go sulk for a while until I regain my composure... then I call Citibank... where I get directed to website where I simply fill out the online redemption application, including of course my account information. My gift card should arrive within ten days. Thank you Citibank and please send my regards to the idiots at Home Depot!!!!