Bad customer service stories are everywhere (this is one of my recent favorites from Basecamp), but this one was such a timely and hilarious doozy that I had to share. I’m applying for healthcare via healthcare.gov (seriously, the ACA is a godsend) and stopped midway through the process last week to do a bit more research on how high level of plan I needed to cover me. Yesterday, I went back to finish my enrollment, and hit a dead end right from the get go: some random, meaningless error code. There was live chat on the page, so I hit them up figuring they’d be able to decipher the code and get me on my way. Then, the following happened.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 5.58.05 PM

Not only was this poor person not empowered to help me with what I imagine is a pretty standard error code (hey developers, PUT ENGLISH TO YOUR ERRORS.), but she suggested something so backwards and outdated she was the opposite of “someone who can help.” Make all of the government jokes you want, these things are so simple and easy to fix, they should never happen in the first place. Talk to me like a human, do your best to get as much information you can about the product you’re supporting, but above all else, don’t tell me to use Internet Explorer. Please.

My hope is that one day we will see disruption of large corporations so vast that they take customer service seriously. Idealism, I get it, but it will be their eventual downfall.

(For the record, I refreshed the page about 20 times so the offending developers would have that many errors in their logs.)