Automated Voice-Controlled Phone Systems
To the asshat who designed the Voice Controlled Phone System at my bank (it rhymes with Bank of Duhmerica / Feral Finch:
You suck. I hate you with the blinding white-hot heat of a thousand suns.
I just want to hear my checking account balance to find out if a check has cleared. Not so very long ago, I could do this surreptitiously at a store or at work by merely pressing buttons on my telephone keypad. It took less than a minute. The menu options made sense. You knew who I was.
Now, though. Now I have to listen to an ad for refinancing before I even get to the menu and tell you that no, I really don’t want to take this opportunity to configure my telephone banking relationship. I just want my account balance.
Now, I have to TALK to the system. No more quietly pushing buttons. Now I have to speak loudly and over-enunciate and everyone in the vicinity knows my business AND my whole account number AND birthdate AND the last four digits of my social security number because YOU MAKE ME SAY ALL OF THEM. And now, not only do I have to talk into the phone, but your menu is cluttered with a bunch of options that I rarely need but can’t be skipped. Really? Do you really think that I want to have the option to order checks every time I call in *before* I can find out what my balance is?
And why won’t you let me say “agent” and give me an agent right at the beginning? I really did need to speak directly to someone the last time I called but you made me talk to the phone system for a full four minutes before your computer suddenly recognized that me saying ‘agent’ 10 times meant that I was asking for an agent.
I realize it’s expensive to have real people answering phones. I realize that an automated system can help route calls to the proper place and that many people prefer it. I was one of those people. But now, Bank of Duhmerica / Feral Finch, now you’ve created what can only be some sort of sadistic torture device. I’m pretty sure this was instituted as punishment for people wanting accountability in the way you spent TARP funds. It’s really the only explanation for the twisted mess I encounter when I dare to call that number.
I imagine your VPs sitting in their offices, listening in to calls, sipping martinis and giggling while hapless customers shout their personal information into the ether and weep in frustration as the needed piece of information is dangled just out of reach.
And I don’t know what YOU’RE laughing at, Office Depot’s customer service line. You suck too.
Until there’s an app for it, we’re stuck with the phone sometimes. So to all the phone system designers out there who seem to take such pride in jacking up a perfectly functional system: give me back my touch-tone option, put press 0 for the operator right at the front, and GET OFF MY LAWN.