Press "1" to Speak to a Human Being
We've all dealt with frustrating phone systems when we're trying to accomplish something with a bank, large corporation, customer service issue, and more. A few days ago, I was dismayed to realize that dialing "0" even got me into a series of options, one of which was to dial "0" again to speak to an operator. I am not making this up.
My wife was trying to transfer some funds today from a bank in another city. It was like pulling teeth, only less pleasant. It was much like speaking to someone who was trapped in a concrete box with earplugs in, maybe? I don't think I've ever heard her get that loud on the phone when repeating herself.
It made me think of a few choice options that should probably be added to corporate phone systems worldwide:
- Press "0" to speak to someone with a higher IQ than the person you're currently speaking with.
- Press "1" to speak to an operator who is not hearing-impaired.
- Press "2" to apply a mild electric shock to the operator. A nominal fee will apply.
- Press "3" to apply a severe....well, you get the picture on this one.
On a serious note, I really wish that the people who design these phone menus were forced to use them and test them frequently, as I think that would cut down on a large part of the problem.
Here's another pet peeve while we're on the topic - I don't like the ones that make me spell the person's name to speak with them. I'm a good speller, but I seem to have a knack for getting this option when I don't even know the person's last name, and this is the requirement. In other words, if I need to reach Sherry _______ at the title company, it's asking me to spell her LAST name. Dang it.
One company that I've called a handful of times (they shall remain nameless here, since it might deserve a post of its own) has one of the worst phone experiences around. You get one person on the phone, explain fully what your issue is, then they try half-heartedly to help before transferring to a specialist. Upon reaching the second person, you must RE-EXPLAIN EVERYTHING again, since they can't access the notes of the first operator. Ugh.
I'm sure that companies pay big bucks for these labyrinthine systems. I think I might develop a program to navigate these menus on my behalf, perhaps with an "auto-escalate" feature, since it seems like the most common outcome ("Can I speak to your supervisor?").
Thanks for reading my semi-rant.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mwichary/2276533956/