Customer Service, My. . .

Customer Service, My. . .

These automated call directors have gone way too far, IMO.  Today, we gave up trying to get new phone service over the phone, and used the internet instead.  Verizon has installed this sweet-voiced computer to direct your call in so many directions that you eventually give up.  I wonder if they’re really saving money on payroll to justify this.  First, you get to press a number to decide if you want your menus in English or Spanish or TDD.  That’s straightforward enough.  Then you get a bunch of menus asking you to say what your question is.  Then the computer says it doesn’t understand you and tells you the acceptable things to say.  (If it understands only those things, why not do this first?)  Among them were tons of options for getting new features, and then finally one for customer service.  Bingo!  (I think – I was wrong. . .)  Customer service again asks me to describe my problem. . .and again tells me it doesn’t understand and gives me a list of acceptable responses.  Do I want to. . .pay my bill online?  Pay my bill by credit card?  Find out the balance of my bill?  Sign up for a different kind of billing service?  Give them more money for no apparent reason?  Ask for a duplicate copy of my bill?  On and on and on it goes, and not one of the “Customer Service” options actually has anything to do with customer service.  At this point, I’ve wasted almost 15 minutes, and I’m no closer to getting new phone service than if I’d scrubbed toilets or poked myself in the eye with a stick.  And the toilet or eye-poking things would have been more fun, too. 

It reminded me, painfully, of the last time I called PSE&G – I don’t remember why I called, only that I went through multiple call directing prompts, and entered in my account number FOUR TIMES during the process.  When I finally managed to get through to a person, the first thing he asked was “May I have your account number, please?” 

Given the choice, I’ll drop any company that give me a telephone runaround in favor of one that actually staffs the phone line with humans, but in some cases, you have no choice.  And if it’s difficult for those of us who’ve been keeping up with technology, imagine how impossible it must be for the 12:00 flashers out there. 

This must be stopped, you marketing megalomaniacs!  You must repent your evil ways, or there’s going to be a new circle in hell for you – and it’ll have a call director system you’ll never be able to get through!

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