Thanks Progress Energy



  • Here is an email I just sent to Progress Energy (my power provider) after making an online payment last night and talking to their horrendous customer service.

    <font size="2">I am sending this because your customer support services
    by phone are past inadequate. I repeated asked to talk to someone to
    verify that there is some record of the payment I made last night,
    however, the woman I spoke with (Jackie) refused to transfer me / point
    me in the correct direction because she said the system is currently
    down and being worked on.



    I realize the system may be "down", however, it was nice enough to
    deduct money from my visa account even though there appears to be no
    record of it. Her  response was that I should wait a day and see if the
    payment posts to my Progress Energy account. I happen to be
    knowledgeable about web services and Oracle and I know that anyone
    using your EasyPay Siebel system is going to encounter this problem.
    When I submitted my payment, it brought me back to the original https://peceasypay.siebel.com/easypay/onetimepay/show.do
    page with a nice little oracle error: ORA-01653: unable to extend table
    EDX_DBA.CREDITCARD_PAYMENTS_HISTORY by 2048 in tablespace EDX_APP_DATA
    ORA-06512: at "EDX_DBA.EDX_PKG_CCRD_PYMNT", line 157 ORA-06512: at line
    1




    Even worse, if I had not realized what happened (as most no tech savvy
    people wouldn't) it would allow me to submit my payment again and
    again. I don't know how you might have run out of disk space for this
    table, or why Oracle's autoextend feature is not enabled, however, I
    would like some confirmation that my payment is going to post. (If it's
    not in that table, where in the world is there going to be a record of
    it? Progress Energy sure doesn't know about it.) It also seems pretty unprofessional to leave the site still
    functioning and deducting money if you know there is a problem with it.



    Please contact me for information regarding my account number and other Progress Energy information you might need.



    Thanks,



    MorallyLost

    (phone) xxxxxxxxx

    (email) xxxxxxxxxx



    p.s. Here's the line from my current holds on my visa/check card account:

    12/15/2008       4900 PEC*EZ PAY SIEBEL          $xxx.xx</font>

    And to make it better, they don't provide an email address, just a form on their site which, of course, had the to email address simply in a hidden field. Someone getting that email is going to wonder why the subject is not from their little drop down list of options...



  • @MorallyLost said:

     Someone getting that email is going to wonder why the subject is not from their little drop down list of options...

     

    That is if they are not blocking / filter out spam messages that do NOT have the expected subject line 😞



  • @MorallyLost said:

    I repeated asked to talk to someone to
    verify that there is some record of the payment I made last night,
    however, the woman I spoke with (Jackie) refused to transfer me / point
    me in the correct direction because she said the system is currently
    down and being worked on.
    So, their system for checking on payments, etc is down and being worked on.  And you want an update that your payment was logged by the system?

    You're the kind of admin that requires email requests to open a ticket for non-functioning email, aren't you?



  • The WTF is that they prevent their CSR's from accessing any financial information because "the system is down for maintenance", yet their website is still online and issuing EFT holds and potentially even EFT deductions while not keeping its own records.



  • @TwelveBaud said:

    The WTF is that they prevent their CSR's from accessing any financial information because "the system is down for maintenance", yet their website is still online and issuing EFT holds and potentially even EFT deductions while not keeping its own records.
    The status of their accounting system does not change the due date of your bill, nor does their [or your] bank care about that.  Presumably they are logging these events, and once the accounting system is brought up, it will be brought up to date (though if not, that would be a WTF--but the OP didn't say anything about that). 

     You and the OP are arguing that the CSRs should somehow have access to these logs in order to see if they have recorded the payment in their accounting system. If you make the payment when the system is down, it should be self-evident (some would even say axiomatic!) that it hasn't been recorded in the accounting system, which is what the OP was concerned about. 

    Suppose that the CSRs had access to the raw logs (and could find your payment in there, somehow) or that they had a backup system that gave them an interface through which to do this (and that it was working, etc, etc).  They still couldn't answer the real question the OP wants answered from Progress Energy:  Does Progress Energy (i.e., its accounting system) acknowledge receipt of the payment he made?  Since the system was down, the answer is obviously no. Even if the payment is in the logs, that doesn't mean that it has (or will, when they restore service) been recorded, to prevent things like late fees, etc.

    Given that his CC company knows about the payment, he has a pretty high confidence that the money's actually going there (or maybe its just a hold, and the accounting system needs to take the next step to make the payment final).  But he really has to wait until the service comes back on line before his question will be truly answered.  And, of course, just because he saw an Oracle error message doesn't mean that's the root cause, or that there's a simple fix.



  • @boomzilla said:

    So, their system for checking on payments, etc is down and being worked on.  And you want an update that your payment was logged by the system?

    No, their system for checking on payments was working just fine. In fact, they told me they had not recieved any payment (payments from their EasyPay system post immidiately).It was their payment system that crashed halfway through the process, but obviously got far enough to charge me.

    @boomzilla said:


    You're the kind of admin that requires email requests to open a ticket for non-functioning email, aren't you?

    This is completly different since their billing/accounting system is totally separate from their payment system.

     I simply wanted to know why they deducted, or even held my money if they cannot get that record from the payment system to their billing/accounting system. Or for that matter, why it was able to hold/deduct when the billing system obviously couldn't keep track of what it had done.



  • @MorallyLost said:

    @boomzilla said:

    So, their system for checking on payments, etc is down and being worked on.  And you want an update that your payment was logged by the system?

    No, their system for checking on payments was working just fine. In fact, they told me they had not recieved any payment (payments from their EasyPay system post immidiately).It was their payment system that crashed halfway through the process, but obviously got far enough to charge me.

    But as long as the system has not been brought up *and* declared healthy again, they have no way of being able to tell if the grunts working on fixing the problem are going to be able to properly parse through the transaction log while the problem was ongoing and recognize all of the payments.  If they can do that, you have no problem.  If they can't, you probably have a court case.

    Harassing them before they get their system back up and working is only going to slow them down and cost them money - a cost they'll pass along to all their customers, such as yourself.

    @MorallyLost said:

    I simply wanted to know why they deducted, or even held my money if they cannot get that record from the payment system to their billing/accounting system.

    Ah.  Ok, I can take that, despite having nothing to do with them.  Someone suggested to them they didn't need to support transactions properly in their application, and they went with it.  Who told whom, exactly, and where they were in the org structure doesn't really matter.  The fact is, it's not properly transactional.  There you go.  Have a nice day.



  • @tgape said:

    @MorallyLost said:
    I simply wanted to know why they deducted, or even held my money if they cannot get that record from the payment system to their billing/accounting system.

    Ah.  Ok, I can take that, despite having nothing to do with them.  Someone suggested to them they didn't need to support transactions properly in their application, and they went with it.  Who told whom, exactly, and where they were in the org structure doesn't really matter.  The fact is, it's not properly transactional.  There you go.  Have a nice day.

    Oh, there I go, breaking my own rules1, and not realizing it until my edit time expired.

    The question you really wanted to ask was, "Who thought it was a good idea to implement a non-transactional financial system, and can I yell at that person."  The answer to that is, of course, "It doesn't matter, because they won't let you yell at that person regardless of whether the system is operational or not."

    1 I'm supposed to try and figure out what people really mean, and not assume they know things that I take for granted (for example, like WTF is the rule I broke.)


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