IF there are two things seemingly designed to annoy us, surely they must be ‘robot’ telephone voices, and call-centres employing people we can barely understand. “If you are calling about…., press one; if you are calling about…., press two”, and so on, with the one thing that interests you not having a place in this robot-generated list.
If you’re an optimist, you break in at the end of the recital to explain your problem, but the robot merely says: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” and goes through the entire menu again.
In desperation you press ‘One’, hoping this might put you in touch with a human, but,…”Please listen to the following options,” says a clone of the previous voice, proceeding to drone through another almost interminable list.
By now you probably have steam coming out of your ears. You have been on the telephone for some 10 minutes, and you’ve got nowhere.
However, if you persevere, you might be told by another robot, that you will be “connected shortly with one of our operators.” Music ‘entertains’ you, then another robot says: “Please hold on. Your call is very important to us.” So you hold on, listening to the repeated message for 20 minutes – and you are paying for this, don’t forget – before you slam down the phone, with your problem still unresolved.
Happily it isn’t always like this. Telephone companies do seem to be making an effort to improve matters.
A while ago I returned to
My computer, a laptop, is programmed in English, and for a good 40 minutes this young chap worked, taking me through the re-installation procedure. I was receiving instructions in Spanish, translating them for the benefit of my English computer, and hopping back and forth between the two languages. Finally we succeeded, and I felt very proud of myself. But I wouldn’t have had a hope without that young man’s almost angelic patience. No robot could have done that.
Another time I returned to the
His English, although accented, was good, and he not only corrected my connection, he arranged a rebate for the period of what had been an intermittent BT fault. Then he told me that a free up-grade was available from Microsoft, and proceeded to shepherd me through the entire up-grading process – at BT’s expense!
Last year, about to leave the
Would any robot have taken the trouble to help me? I think not.