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Monday, December 04, 2006

Automated phone menus serve up heartburn

Why do companies' automatic phone answering machines make you long for a busy signal? Last week, I made a motel reservation with a national chain and was told by the clerk that my rewards card didn't have my full name. It seems Lawrence and Benjamin were just too long, so my last name became Benjam. However, it didn't interfere with my reservations or delay charging my credit card. Could the clerk change it? Of course not, but she gave me the rewards line number.

So off to phone menuland I went. As with seemingly all 800 numbers, the menu has changed. (Would anyone remember what it used to be?) The sugary voice offered several options, but nothing about the name on the account. Talking to a person wasn't among the options, but there was an "other'' button to push - which landed me back to the menu-has-changed voice. So I started all over again and had to make up a reason: changing my address. Somehow, lying did the trick and a live voice came on the line to add the last syllable of my last name to my account.

Estimated time to make one simple request: 10 minutes. Anyone in the blogosphere have any automated phone answering tales to share?


Anonymous olderand wiser said...

Grrrr-don't get me started complaining about having to deal with computers instead of live people because I won't be able to stop. I called AOL last night because they were freezing my screen when I tried to go on line. I was offered several options and one of them worked but the noodlehead computer just kept telling me to say "No" "Yes" or "Go back". I created my own answer "Hang up" Almost never is the problem you called about among the ones mentioned but then you are asked if you want to hear all those wrong ones again. It's an abomination.

1:08 PM, December 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you press zero at some of the menu points, you may end up with a person.

9:57 AM, December 07, 2006  

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