Mellon Odyssey Ends, I Think

I set out to do the simple task of certifying my taxpayer identification number at the request of Mellon Investments, and ended up spending nearly an hour over three days and it’s still not done. You can see the earlier posts here and here.

Today I tried again to log into my account. Couldn’t, but noticed they have live chat, so I joined the conversation. A gentleman named Ed came on to help. He was very good at chat, clear and to the point. He was able to take me through a process whereby I could log in. Why I suddenly couldn’t is a mystery.

I’m in and so tried one more time to certify my TIN online as instructed in the mailer. Once again I was locked out, although I used the same credentials submitted at log in. I got this message.

I navigated to the forms section and downloaded the appropriate PDF, which is what the phone agent told me to do the day before. They had two nice controls at the top of the form. One that highlights the fields you need to complete; pretty nice. The other allows you to fill in the form online and print it prefilled, which means you only have to sign and mail. I selected this choice, keyed in the information and hit print. The form came out of my printer completely unreadable. The SSN was filled in, but it wasn’t mine. Who’s was it? Where did mine go?

I reloaded the PDF, printed a blank form, filled it out with an ink pen, addressed an envelope (I’m guessing on where it should be sent), and stamped it to be mailed. Hopefully they will receive and process it. Please let this be over.

Follow Up to Mellon Disaster

Yesterday I wrote about the problems I encountered with the Mellon Investor web site. I was forced to call today to conduct my transaction. Got through to an agent quickly, but she couldn’t help. Couldn’t explain why I go the error message, confirmed my account was not locked, and informed me they were having problems with their Interactive Voice Response System, which is why I didn’t hear the prompt. Her only offered solution was for me to go back to the site, download a paper form, fill it out and mail it in.

So this evening I went back to the site to do this and I was unable to log in. Error messages indicated that either my investor number or PIN were not valid. Triple checked my entries. They are correct. Now I have to call them again tomorrow. I’m too busy for this.


Another Cross Channel Failure – Mellon

I received a mailing from Mellon Investment today with a request to identify and certify my taxpayer information. I was provided with two ways to carry out this request; over the phone or through the Internet. I had already set up my account so online was an easy choice. I logged in and followed the instructions. I verified my information and entered my PIN to complete the transaction. I received an error that my PIN was invalid, although it was the same one used to log in not 2 minutes before. Three attempts and I was locked out. So I guess I’ve got to use the phone.

I called the toll free number and listened to a series or prompts, none of which matched the instructions on the mailer. Eventually I got to the “for all other issues press 5,” So I did. I entered my ID number and PIN and was promptly told, “We’re closed.

Lots of things wrong here.

  • The mailer lists the phone option first vs. the cheaper online channel.
  • If you are going to drive people to the phone as a first choice, you better be on the other end when they call.
  • The online certification process was full of financial jargon and unclear.
  • The system would not accept my valid PIN.
  • No phone hours of operation were printed on the mailer, which is fair since they say the have an Interactive Voice Response system, but the expected prompts never came.

I am an experienced Internet user and work in financial services, and I failed to complete the transaction in both channels. Now I have to take the mailing to work, find time to call, wait in the cue and then conduct the transaction. So frustrating. True, the cross channel game is tougher to master, but it’s not that hard. Get it together Mellon.

I will give them one positive. When I logged off after being shutout they asked for feedback through an online satisfaction survey. Do you think I took it?