Sunday, December 19, 2010

Old tech

I'm trying to take care of things that need to be taken care of before heading out of town for the holidays. One of those was paying the electric bill. I couldn't find the most recent one, but I had November's handy. I know, I'll just call the toll-free number on the previous month's bill to get the total due.

The number is for billing and outage or service inquiries, so you'd think you could get billing information. Problem is, the only options available had to do with reporting an outage from my phone number. I hung up before someone at AEP thought I didn't have electricity.

All right, there's another number for pay by phone. Surely that will give me a total due. I called that toll-free number and entered my account and phone numbers. Then the automated system directed me to enter the amount I wanted to pay. I wasn't given an option to check what balance is due. So that wasn't any help either.

Finally I went online, registered with the site, and got the answer I was looking for. I suppose most inquiries like this are handled online anymore. I haven't done anything like checking bill totals in a long time, but when I did, I used to do it by phone. Clearly that's old technology, but it could still stand to be useful.

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