You know what I find funny? (Well annoying, really). It’s when you call business places that claim that its customers are important to them and then proceed to have said customer sort through a list of options to determine who can help.
This is really a problem if the menu offerings don’t sound like anything you want, because then you’ll have to squint to decide which number/choice sounds like the best one. If the list is a long one, hopefully you’ve got a good memory so that you won’t have to start the listening process all over again, because Lord knows, I don’t want to press number 6 to be reminded of what options 1 through 5 were again.
I had to call a furniture and appliance store recently. I have shopped there before but hadn’t in a long while, so I didn’t realize that their answering system was now an automated one. On the face of it, that wasn’t a problem but when the perky recorded voice informed me that I had reached somewhere where I didn’t intend to go, well let’s just say I was taken aback.
However I hung on long enough to realize that the name I didn’t recognize was really the “home” of the place that I wanted to reach, (I guess it joined a family), so I listened as she pleasantly recited the variety of things that I could select from. None of them was straight up customer service, so I had to call back, determined this time to decipher what I wanted from what it was that she had.
Since it didn’t become any clearer to me the second time around, I decided to just go with good old “zero” for the operator expecting to hear an actual voice after the very soothing, “one moment please”.
After tapping my fingers for a few moments more than she asked me to, a voice finally came on the line, but it merely informed me that ALL the customer service agents were busy and could I please continue to hold. Of course, this wasn’t an actual person so I couldn’t tell her that I wasn’t really sure I wanted to anymore.
But since I was really calling to get information for someone else I decided to stick it out. After all, it’s not like I actually had to walk down to the store and wait in line – so I decided to let patience win out. And I was happy when the commercial playing in the background was interrupted because I knew that a representative had now become available.
Except that it was really Martha (that’s what I called my automated friend), breaking in to say that my call was still important to them, but would I mind holding just a teensy bit longer. In the meantime I listened to somebody else (I’ll call him Jason), tell me about all the lovely products that they had available but given that I hadn’t yet spoken to anybody, I didn’t know whether they had any of them in stock.
When I finally got through to a living, breathing human being the second time around (because I got cut off the first time), they didn’t even have what I was looking for.
The good thing is though, that whenever I call again, I’ll be able to breeze through the options since I now know them by heart. I just hope that Martha will still be there to chat me up when – inevitably – I get put on hold.