Automated Phone Systems Suck
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I could tell it’s been too long since I’ve somewhat-whimsically ranted about something, so here you all go. Today the topic is “Automated Phone Systems”…specifically the kind who answer phones and claim to be humans, but fail miserably because they still sound/behave like the computers they are.
These things seriously get on my nerves. I hate how they try to sound like they are human. They aren’t, and they never work the way they are intended to. Case in point, I called Sirius (Satellite Radio) today because my radio mysteriously told me that my service had been deactivated. I’ll rant about Sirius in another blog, they don’t have their act together at all. Everytime I call them they tell me something different about my account – I either owe them gobs of money, or my account isn’t due for renewal until x months from now… anyways, not the topic of today’s blog!
So I call up and hit option 3 (after the obligitory “if your spanish do this for español!”) and then this voice comes on, and immediately I recognized it as one of these whiz-bang wünderprograms and I was like “oh great.” It/She said to me, “I’d love to help you get some information on your account. You can start by giving me your phone number.” If only us guys could have some computer program use a line like that on someone at a bar, the problem of never getting laid would no longer be an issue for a lot of us. So I say my phone number in a somewhat natural tone, and it/she says “I’m sorry, I didnt’ quite understand that. Let me see if I have it right” (all the while using pronouns like “me” and “I”….again, human words! Computers aren’t human!!!) and it/she reads it back correctly. I confirmed it was right, and then I heard something even funnier. “Hmmm.. I can’t seem to find your record. Let’s look another way.” Yes, let’s! You and I will look together! Because that’s what the word “let’s” implies! One problem… you’re a computer and you’re going to search your data banks on your end for my errant information, while I sit here and play with myself waiting for you to come back and tell me you have no idea who I am or why I’m calling….which is exactly what happened. Then it/she said “Let me get a representative on the phone who can help us.” Us? What, are you going to be part of this conversation when the rep gets on the phone? How are “we” going to be helped by a human? I’m the one who’s going to be assisted, not you, Miss Failed-attempt-at-an-artifically-unintelligent-waste-of-hard-drive-space. Good LORD… Whatever happened to just having a human answer a phone and help you out with what you need?
Oh yeah, I know what happened…more and more of those things are being outsourced to random countries where you get Shlabba-labba-nabba-hibbi-jibbi who picks up the phone and says “Hello, this is Bob how can I help you” in some funny accent.
Bottom line, I hate those stupid things. Call centers need to live on! Down with the fake humanoid automated attendants on the phone. Us Americans need jobs, stick us in cubicles and put headsets on our head so we can avoid these fuckin’ things from ruining our lives!!!!!!!!