We need a little help with some upcoming veterinary bills. For the first time in many years, I sought a line of credit to help with these new expenses. After finding a provider online and completing the application, I was provided with an application reference number and told to call Phone Number #1 to complete the application process. I dialed the number to hear a robot announce three options:
- Press 1 if you have account
- Press 2 to check status of an application
- Press 3 to apply for a new account
The last two choices already offer some confusion because I am calling to “check the status” of an application for a “new account.” I went with Option 2, which turned out to be the correct option, and the robot voice told me to hang up and dial Phone Number #2 to continue.
OK? Why couldn’t we just do this here and now? Anyway…
I hang up and call the next number and get to talk to a real person. The operator mostly asks me questions I already answered in the online application. When she was satisified, she told me to continue verification from a mobile device with a camera at a second website.
Once there, I was immediately prompted to share my location (denied!) and forced to provide access to my camera to take a “3D” video of my lovely mug. After that, I was required to share clear photos of the front and back of my photo ID. Now I get a 9-digit transaction number. Note that this is different from the 11-character application reference number I got earlier after completing the online application.
Great! I’m finished now, right?
Nope. When I finish sharing all of my private information for the third time I am prompted to call a third number at Phone Number #3 (these are all different phone numbers) where a second operator asks me for a “number.” I assume he wants the most recent number, the transaction number provided after sharing my video and photos. Wrong! He told that’s the wrong number and was apparently requesting the first number. It turns out the second transaction number was useless to this process.
He goes on to confirm the information I already shared:
- in my online application on the first website,
- with the first operator, and
- with the video and photos shared in the second website.
Finally, after two websites, three phone numbers, two human operators, and a robot, my application was approved. I mentioned to the last human I spoke with how odd this process felt. He said it was for security to prevent identity theft. Maybe so, I told him, but I certainly didn’t feel safer having provided my personal information to so many people in so many different places. He apologized for that and wished me a nice day.
Are all applications like this now?