Stupid Corporate Policies

Corporate AmericaAmerican business is run with such boneheaded policies that I marvel how some companies stay afloat. Actually, that's not quite correct. Many of them do not survive. What's amazing is that some do, in spite of trying everything they can to drag themselves down.

Curse you, MetLife!Imagine you have a life insurance policy through MetLife. The premium has been electronically withdrawn from your checking account since the day the policy went into effect.

Imagine you move to a different state and acquire a checking account at a new bank. You want the electronic withdrawal to continue. You know you need to advise MetLife of the new routing and account numbers.

You start with MetLife's web site, where you try to set up a user name and password so you can review your policy documents, change your address, and enter new banking information from your computer, just like you can for GEICO, Mutual of Omaha, your electric and gas utilities, credit cards, Verizon, your investment broker, your internet service provider, even PayPal, fer the luvagod.

The web site won't let you create a username/password, complaining that your information is invalid. You check it and re-check it. The information is correct. You call technical support. They tell you do do all the stuff you've already done, to no avail, of course. They tell you to spell your name a different way. That's not only lame, but it doesn't work. They shrug and tell you that your browser is at fault and you should try again later.

You give up on the online access strategy and conduct a search on "change banking information" on MetLife's public site. You end up at the forms section, where you find a form for changing your banking information. You click the link. The form comes up as a file you can fill out online. Yippee! You peruse the form and discover it contains five (count 'em) pages. You can't submit the form online. You have to print it and fax it or mail it. View it here (pdf file).