Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Kingdom For A Live Body

Here's a phone center for your typical company that deals with the public in some shape or form.

Notice anything?

The photo was either taken in the middle of the night.   Or might simply show us just how people used to work there at one time.

Only to be replaced by that most hated of all telephone responders.

The recorded voice.

We've all been there and it's getting worse, I think.  We're always told the following:

"Please stay on the line.  Your call is important to us."

Well, apparently not.  Because if they really cared, I'd be talking to a living, breathing human.

There are a number of places and services I need to call from time to time.   Banks.  Health insurance.  Wi Fi provider.   None of them connects you to a real person within the first five minutes of the call.   Of course, the very first thing you are asked?

"To continue in English, press one."

It is a matter of time before this option is switched over to...

"To continue in any language but English, press one."

Of course, you are then forced to listen through a myriad of options and numbers.   The one you are calling about is invariably last.   But, always, you hear...

"Please listen to our menu because it has recently changed."

What if I liked the old menu and list of options?   Did I have a choice in this?  What happened to the nice lady I talked to back in 2005?

I am told by one friend that all automated menus include this mention of recent changes.   It gives the illusion that they are technologically ahead of the curve.  Even if that same message has been there since the Clinton administration.

When these recordings offer you the ability to respond in voice, I immediately demonstrate no patience.   I start screaming into the phone.



"Fucking human being!!!"

Sometimes, it works.  Most times, it does not.

I give kudos to one company I deal with.  Direct TV.   Oh, they start with a recorded announcement but you can circumvent that pretty quickly.   And when you do get a live body, there is an added perk.   

The person is based in the United States.   They speak perfect English.   And they thank me for being a customer since 2002.

Can you imagine that?  Only in America.

But, most of the time, only in India.

Dinner last night:   Vegetable stir fry.


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