I would like to nominate the Student Loans Company as having the worst phone interface either.
I got a letter from them last week stating that I have overpaid my loan, and that I “may” be entitled to a refund, and should call them.
You are presented with 3 options: “If you are calling on behalf of a borrower, press 1. If you want to change your bank details, press 2. Otherwise, press 3”. So, if I’m a borrower, am I calling on behalf of me? Do I press 1 or 3. I went for 1. Wrong. I was politely informed that due to customer confidentiality they couldn’t talk to me, and disconnected my call.
Next time around, I pressed 3. Now I had to enter my “automated response ID”. If I don’t know what it is, I can press 1. Of course, I have absolutely no idea what one is, or even why I might have one. So I pressed 1. Now I was informed that it was an 11 digit number which would be at the top of any recent correspondence (why they couldn’t have just said that without needing me to press 1, I’m not entirely sure).
So I checked my letter, and there was no such thing on it. There was a “when you call us quote the following reference – REF.” that just ended there with no reference whatsoever, and there was the loan account numbers from my 3 loans (all of which are 11 characters long, but contain letters as well as numbers). So I pressed 0 to just get an operator. 10 minutes of being told that I’m still in queue later I hung up.
Next time around I tried my most recent loan account “numbers”, and was told it was invalid. Then I tried the earliest one, and hey presto, got put into presumably the same queue with the same annoying voice telling me that I was in a queue every 30 seconds or so. Ten minutes later I hung up again.
I think I’ll just write instead. And probably make a Data Protection request too…
Strange that google leads me here when trying to find more information about this elusive ID.
I see they haven’t changed their phone system much in over 2 years!
I was more fortunate than you on the phone just now. While I went through the same questioning about what the hell this ID is supposed to be, I managed to get mine be giving my name and address and was then politely asked to call another number.
But what is it called? ‘Arc ID’ was the best my ears could discern!
Anyway, bad phone interface or not – writing is snail’s pace compared to waiting in a queue for a couple of minutes.