Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One of the most insideous things on the face of the planet

is the automated telephone system many large companies use these days.

Of course, the companies will tell you that they are using this amazing system for your convenience but we all know that is a pile of crap. The truth is that these are set up as traps for the both the suspecting and the unsuspecting. They are also set up that way to keep a person from getting through to them to make corrections to their account.

My phone company, which also handles my ISP has one of these user unfriendly menaces to the sanity of the planet installed and I honestly deep in my heart believe that reason they have it set up the way they do is to cause maximum frustration and discourage calls.

I won't bore my readers with the 'push 1 for English through push *#352 for Swahili' opening spiel that all of us are already fed up with. The thing I want to address is the plain and simple fact that it is damned difficult to get a human being on the line to find out what in the world is going on with the family phone/heat/water/whatever bill.

The system of electronic voices directs you to other electronic little voices that ask you to push various numbers on your phone that lead you to yet other little electronic voices, none of whom are able to help you with your problem.

Of course, you can finally get to a human being after several attempts IF you are 100% correct in following all of the confusing directions and jumping through the magnitude of hoops to get through.

It will often take several atempts to get a human on the line because after the system leads you down a dead end, it tells you to either hang up or start all over at the beginning again. Pretty much the same difference.

What I really think is that the system is really designed to make it so hard to get anything done that you simply give up and keep things the way they are.

One of the tricks used is to give you something for free for a while and then when the free trial period is over, they start charging you automatically. Generally you are almost forced to accept the trial service as part of the package which forces you to call them and drop it after the trial period is over.

My ISP tried to do this with some sort of free virus protection. Mrs Pic was smart enough to know what the evil bastards were up to and asked me to make sure they were not going to start charging us as soon as the trial period was over.

I sure have to give her credit because after fighting my way through to a human being that went through my account I found out that Mrs Pic was right and that they were planning on charging us. She sure put one into the X-ring when she called that one, and I had it removed.

It took the human being I had gotten through to a couple of seconds to have the charge removed. I doubt I could have gotten the charge removed by the phone 'push 1 for this, push 2 for that system, although I suppose that if the company had to prove that their system is user friendly to defend it in either court or against governmental charges that some whiz-kid would show off how easy it is.

The infuriating thing is the amount of time it takes to get in touch with a human being. After jumping through all the hoops and several tries to get through to a human, the phone then tells you that all of the people working the lines are busy with other customers and you will have to wait, adding insult to injury.

The entire process took almost 45 minutes. It should have taken about 5 minites, ten at the outside.

Sometimes I think we could clean this up by back charging the bastards at our pay rates for our time.

Suppose that they were ordered to pay us at the rate of, say a buck off of out bill for every two minutes over five minutes that we spend trying to get through to a human I'd just bet that service would improve like you would not believe.

Three rings and you'd hear a friendly warm "Hello, may I send you to one of our wonderful staff of human beings?"

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

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