Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Post Number 379 and Pet Peeve Number One

I've made a couple of videos for you that show you what my day was like yesterday. Several situations arose that required me to do some phone work to accomplish the task. First I needed to pay the phone bill. The online function was not working. I spent over an hour online attempting to make a payment. I would prefer to have all my teeth drilled than to talk to AT&T. "Talk to" is a misnomer because you are required to run a gauntlet of the most annoying automated phone system EVER.



I can tell you for a fact that this phone system does not recognize cuss words. Oh, the nasty, cussing words that I've been forced to utter when dealing with this insipid AT&T electronic guy.

Yes, Crystal finally answered the phone and she offered to take my payment over the phone, for an additional $5 charge. She explained that she couldn't waive the fee because she'd offered me at least two other ways to pay. One was to pay via the online system that didn't work (huh?) and the other was the option to pay at a location that's at least 18 miles from here. Duh?

Following on the heels of that encounter I needed to call the company that manufactured our gas powered back-up generator. When we unpacked the unit we discovered that they forgot to include the manuals and warranty packet. I thought AT&T had a terrible automated system. Listen to this:



This was the fourth call I'd made in an attempt to connect with the correct office. One of the automated systems very disturbing music playing in the background - a genre called "Trance" which is played at Rave parties. Sheesh.

I suspect that automated phone systems are a hot topic. I hate them. I loathe them. I worked for a boss that understood that sometimes the only thing you have over your competitor is good customer service and a terrific communicator answering the phone.

My message to business owners - HIRE A STINKING REAL LIVE PERSON TO ANSWER THE PHONE!!!!

30 comments:

Lucy said...

Totally true. And Verizon is the same or worse. I yearn for the days of operators who were alive. I hate these stinkin' automated menus. They usually never work anyway.

Mamahut said...

Hahahahaha, I am not laughing at you, but I am very entertained! I love the dancing phone and your coffee cup...it looks like mine. A person could go crazy trying to find a human.

Miss Lila in Atlanta said...

AMEN SISTER!
I hate, loath and despise automated systems. Is there anything we can do about it?
Miss Lila

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

And when you do get a person they are in India and you can't understand them. OMG... what has happened to the good old fashioned, non-automated, U.S. speaking customer service?

Significant Snail said...

Oh my, I had a laugh at your expense but only because this is way too familiar. You know what I love? I always have to enter a phone number or account number to continue and then when I finally get a LIVE person they ask me for that same information! I want to scream obscenities at them....

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Or, even better advice, hire a real sweet-smelling live person. I am coming back to listen to these videos right after breakfast.

Heidi said...

Not in Canada Ey!?!?!?! I laughed so hard my stomach hurts!!! I wanted to reach through the computer and choke that phone myself Suzanne!!! LOL My peeve is the ones that are in India...God help those poor people, but dont give them phone jobs!!! By the time you figure out what they have said you forget what you asked them in the first place!! Better luck today Eay? LOL

Sand Flat Farm said...

AMEN TO THAT SISTER! I hate dealing with those menus! What's worse - when you finally DO get a live person and you can't understand 'em because you're talkin to someone from India or the Orient!

Lena . . . said...

When calling about my long distance bill at one point, I of course reached India where the person asked me to verify my address. I responded that it was Lena Swenson, 1234 Highway 52, Little Town, MN. He responded, "Sorry, Ma'am, that's incorrect." Well, I knew it wasn't, so I gave it to him again. He responded in the negative again. I had the bill right in front of me and quickly informed him of that fact. Then the light bulb turned on. On his screen the address read Lena Swenson 1234 HWY 52, Little Town, MN. When I repeated the address using H-W-Y he finally GOT IT and we could proceed. I promptly cancelled that long distance service and now just use my cell phone - not that that's any better with customer service, but at least I made a statement to THAT company.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

That phone does a terrific minuet! LOL! You carry on running conversation in the same way that I do whenever I have the misfortune of having to call. (Have you ever had to call DELL? It's pure, well, never mind.)
Glad that Corey sent you that teacup...just in time, I'd say. What's up with using a handleless mug? ROFL!

This all just proves that everything works out...you've made us all laugh.

chocolatechic said...

The girl and I burst out laughing when you made the phone dance.

I hate getting automated systems.

Please...send me to someone who is actually human........and please, I don't understand anyone from India.

Lisa said...

Amen to that!

Kendra said...

I hate having to make customer service calls...between the automated systems, the people who don't speak English as their first language, and other hoo-ha, it usually ends up being a customer NO service call. And I usually have to go take an Advil and a nap because I've been banging my head against the wall throughout the call.

Love the dancing phone. :-)

belladella said...

Don't even get me started. You will find me yelling over and over to speak to a actual person. The other day I had someone call me from some call center somewhere in some other country and they had the nerve to tell me that they couldn't understand me!

Wanita said...

I, too, despise the automated systems. And when you get an agent on the phone you can't understand ~ well, don't get me started on that.

On a more positive note, I love your dancing phone.

Blessings,
Wanita

Jill said...

Wow!! I've been out of the States so long that I've forgotten that there could possibly be horrible customer service there.

Charging the $5 because their online system was down just kills me. Oh the frustration!

Cindy L said...

It was cool to hear your voice on the video, but I totally understand your frustration. Don't get me started on the demise of personal attention and real, live service in big business today. Bob Seger's song "I Feel Like A Number" applies to so many situations like this. And we wonder why the economy is in trouble ...

Princess S said...

Amen Sista!!! I spent 30min just trying to get someone from the cable company so I could ask a couple of questions yesterday.....then when you do get a hold of someone it is like you are on a speed call!!! Automated phones are going to be the downfall of America.....OK maybe not the down fall but it sure keeps us more disconnected.

Jenni said...

Don't forget to hire a real person who can fluently and *clearly* speak the official language of the country from which they will be answering phone calls. I am not fooled because you say your name is "Bill". I can tell you're in a call center in India. Which is fine. So long as you can speak English clearly. This goes for people whose native tongue *is* English but you'd never know it because they don't know how to enunciate. Don't make me yank that tongue ring out of your mouth!

Anonymous said...

You are a HOOT! And I sure needed a couple belly laughs tonight!
......Got my hair cut this afternoon, new hairdresser....and she cut Way-y-y-y-y too Short!
SHEEEESHHHHH!
Thank you Suzanne!!

Now to tell you another horror Phone story. My husband's cell phone kept getting Text messages sent to him....all Advertisement to order more bells and whistles!
Hrumphhhh! NO Way...Joseh?
..I called the Cell Phone Co. and said remove the text messages, etc. from my husband's cell phone.

TO MY DISMAY: This person asked me to verify twice my name, How I was related to the owner of said cell phone, address, the Cell phone I needed attention to.
THEN THEY TOLD ME: They could not
make any changes to that account because I was NOT the person who purchased said contract.
I told the person, my husband is at work.....won't be home until way after 6pm....

They informed me of their office hours.......

.........I just said..
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER:
"I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER".

So.......after 30 plus minutes of crap and wasted time......Finally--they said....they would try to direct the function that I was calling to have cancelled.

I said Good....make it ASAP.
If I get another bill showing that this Texting has not been cancelled as of this date:

THE CELL PHONE WILL BE TOSSED IN THE LAKE and they can stuff their contract! :-)
'Nuff ssid!
Liz in PA

StitchinByTheLake said...

It's contagious! My latest post is an account of my day with Walgreens - unbelievable! Mine wasn't on the phone...it was face to face. The automated system may not be all bad. :) blessings, marlen3e

LDF said...

You handled both calls with GREAT patience, I must say! Up here in northwestern Canada (eh), we get people in the Philipines when we try to phone our phone company ... and it's every bit as annoying! The organization that I work for MOVED (distance about 8 city blocks) 3 years ago, and we're STILL trying to get the phone book people to change our street address in the ruddy phone book! Come on people ... hire some REAL PEOPLE! Get rid of those blasted automated systems!!!!

Mary said...

I just spent way too long with ATT on the phone tonight. I was trying to cancel Mom's long distance service. She is in a nursing home and hasnt made a long distance call in well over a year. Finally after way too many offers of deals on internet, etc I said. Listen she is in a nursing home and I just want to cancel. So then he said i'm sorry and offered me a cellular phone for long distance calling. Then I need to call a number from that phone. (which just happens to be 2 hours away) AND call her local provider to make sure they know too. GRRRRRR AGGGHHHH

Ruta M. said...

GOOD NEWS there is a website which tells you the numbers/symbols to press to go direct to a real person. The site is www.gethuman.com .

Silvia said...

I don't know why you hassle around with the operator system, when as a matter of fact you can have your re-acouring phone bill each month paid automatically from your checking account???
The "agent" can even help you with stuff online faster than waiting on him untill he is back from potty and ready for you!:)

TinaTx said...

LOL - laughing with you! One of my biggest pet peeves. And I hate it when there is no option for what I am calling about. The one that really ticks me off is when you finally get a real live person and they barely speak English and what they do speak is with such a thick accent you can't understand a word they are saying. Come on people! Argh.
Thanks for the laugh.
Oh - and I am totally jealous of your French tea cup.

Sabina said...

I can't tell you how amused I was by this post and the videos. I guess we've all been there and it does help to "laugh about it" or as my mom says "you'll cry".

Louise said...

When online doesn't work, I am an unhappy girl. I don't like people, either. They never get it. (Crystal didn't.)

The first video had me laughing out loud. The dancing phone was too much!

bj said...

Oh, I have to tell you that the EXACT thing happened to me with ATT..I paid our bill thru the auto. guy...then, several days later, I received a notice that my bill was overdue. OK...I called the home office, explaining I had pd. the bill over the phone and even had a confirmation number. Well, the bubble gum chewing blonde said the conf. number didn't mean a thing...but, that, for 5 bucks, she could take my payment, while her nails dried. Talk about cussing...the air in my kitchen turned a bright shade of BLUE...I hate those automated guys and girls just every bit as bad as you do!!!!! What's a girl to do??

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