Bad: Bell Canada
"Hi, I'm trying to set up an online payment, but my customer ID number has 14 digits, and the bank requires 16 digits, and"
(cutting me off) "Call your bank."
"Call your bank. Or pay it in person."
"I'm in the United States, and"
Good: PC Financial
"Hi, I'm trying to set up my online account to pay my Bell bill, but there are only 14 digits in my customer ID, and the website requires 16 digits."
"Are there Z's in your account number by any chance?"
"Yes, there are, actually."
"Try setting it up as a "Bell - One Bill" instead of as "Bell - Residential Bill", that should work."
(navigating the website as I talk) "Thanks. You'd think the Bell guy could have told me that."
"In their defense, they've recently changed their billing format, and some of the bills have been coming with the wrong number of digits, so they might not really know what the problem is."
"Okay, it worked. Thank you so much."
"No problem. Have a great day."
Thanks, PC Financial. Not only did you fix my problem, but you actually stood up for the jerk at Bell who blew me off. That was a Macy's Santa moment if there ever was one.