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Customer Service Phone Navigation


Mike D
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Ok is it just me, or has calling any type of automated customer service (i.e. credit card co., bank, cable company, etc.) just gotten so bad with the navigation that it has basically just become a complete exercise in futility?

 

Up until now, my two biggest pet peeves were:

 

1. No matter what time you call day or night, you always get the same "due to unusually high call volume, your wait time may be longer than expected at this time". In other words "we're too cheap to hire more customer service representatives, so no matter when you call us, you'll be on hold for a long, long time"

 

2. No matter what company you call, all of them make you sit through that same idiotic message "please note, our menu options have changed, so please listen carefully to the new menu options so that we may route your call correctly". How many times do they think the entire customer service calling population needs this same old tired message drilled into our heads before they decide we've finally "got it"?

 

Anyway navigation with touch tone was bad enough. Now it seems like lots of these companies are converting to speech recognition navigation, and they force you to use it instead of pressing buttons whether you want to or not. And I personally have found this actually slows down the process and makes it more tedious than it already was. I speak perfect english, yet I just called my car finance company and found myself having to yell my SS# or other info at least 2 times before the stupid computer understood it. And then it has the audacity to pause after I repeat myself each time (I suppose to process my message that it won't understand) before it comes back to tell me it didn't understand, which slows it down even more. Is this now the wave of the future? :ugh:

 

Honestly, between being sent to a live person in a foriegn country who I can't understand, and a computer who can't understand me, I don't know what's worse. Do most companies care so little about customer service anymore than it doesn't matter how difficult they make the experience for us now? :Hmm:

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Ok is it just me, or has calling any type of automated customer service (i.e. credit card co., bank, cable company, etc.) just gotten so bad with the navigation that it has basically just become a complete exercise in futility?

 

Up until now, my two biggest pet peeves were:

 

1. No matter what time you call day or night, you always get the same "due to unusually high call volume, your wait time may be longer than expected at this time". In other words "we're too cheap to hire more customer service representatives, so no matter when you call us, you'll be on hold for a long, long time"

 

2. No matter what company you call, all of them make you sit through that same idiotic message "please note, our menu options have changed, so please listen carefully to the new menu options so that we may route your call correctly". How many times do they think the entire customer service calling population needs this same old tired message drilled into our heads before they decide we've finally "got it"?

 

Anyway navigation with touch tone was bad enough. Now it seems like lots of these companies are converting to speech recognition navigation, and they force you to use it instead of pressing buttons whether you want to or not. And I personally have found this actually slows down the process and makes it more tedious than it already was. I speak perfect english, yet I just called my car finance company and found myself having to yell my SS# or other info at least 2 times before the stupid computer understood it. And then it has the audacity to pause after I repeat myself each time (I suppose to process my message that it won't understand) before it comes back to tell me it didn't understand, which slows it down even more. Is this now the wave of the future? :ugh:

 

Honestly, between being sent to a live person in a foriegn country who I can't understand, and a computer who can't understand me, I don't know what's worse. Do most companies care so little about customer service anymore than it doesn't matter how difficult they make the experience for us now? :Hmm:

 

Australia is exactly the same! And now many of the banks have switched to using Indian call centres in New Deli. The Indians there are trained to speak with an Ozzy accent and to use Ozzy slang. They even have special trips to Australia to learn about the culture, just so that the unsuspecting customer will believe that they are talking to someone in Oz.

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I hear you loud and clear! *L*

 

I worked for an insurance company that used that....ah, nothing like having customers royally pissed off and snappy at me the moment they finally find me because they had to spend 15 minutes to a half hour trying to figure out which option they needed and getting lost or terminated because of computer routing errors. And yes, my company was fucking cheap and wouldn't let us hire more CSR's so the wait in the que became hours long no matter what.

 

The next time you call one of these places, try pressing "0". It may hook you directly with a CSR or it may not, but it's worth a shot.

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The next time you call one of these places, try pressing "0". It may hook you directly with a CSR or it may not, but it's worth a shot.

I tried that with my car finance company, but no luck. I read that many companies are disabling the ability to press 0 until you've gone through the entire navigation first, I guess they are trying to get you as pissed off as possible so by the time you get to a real person you're boiling mad :grin: . I know, I try not to take it out on the CSR's because I know it's not their fault, but at the same time I feel like someone needs to know how frustrating it has become for the customers (as if they even care).

 

Just curious, did your insurance co track the number of customers who hang up before they reach a live person? I used to work at a mortgage company and I was told that if too many people hung up it would look bad on their reports (again, as if they really cared.... since hiring more people would solve that problem once and for all!)

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These systems are simply counterproductive from a customer viewpoint. Whenever I hear a company advertising their "24/7 Fabulous, Mercedes Level Customer Service" I just want to gag.

 

One more nail in the coffin of jaded, annoyed customers. Of course, no one in their marketing departments ever have to take a call on one of their idiotic phone navigation systems.

 

I think there should be a "press 8 for the desk of the person who is responsible for this stupid system."

 

:grin:

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I've actually had my calls DROPPED after waiting 15 minutes or more on hold! And two ways no less: I've simply been disconnected and had an automated phone company message tell me to hang up and try again if I'd like to make a call, and I've had the stupid company simply announce something to the effect that they were dropping me because the call volume was too heavy (I forgot the exact wording), but only AFTER I had wasted 15 minutes of my life on hold to talk to a CSR! THIS is how they retain customers!?!?

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I hate calling customer service so much that I only do it as a last resort if I can't find the info on their web site. I can find the info on their web site 99.9% of the time, so I don't call customer service for anything very often. I do feel sorry for the people in customer service who have to answer those irate phone calls, though.

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Don't you just looooove it when first you hear a few ring tones, then you get the automessage "all lines are busy"?! If you're gonna lie to your customers with a straight face, at least do it with some talent! :banghead:

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Australia is exactly the same! And now many of the banks have switched to using Indian call centres in New Deli. The Indians there are trained to speak with an Ozzy accent and to use Ozzy slang. They even have special trips to Australia to learn about the culture, just so that the unsuspecting customer will believe that they are talking to someone in Oz.

 

As pathetic as it is, that's actually better service than most U.S. companies I've had to deal with offer. They don't even pretend to convince you you're talking to someone who's been speaking English for more than 3 weeks, just transfer you right on over to the call centre in New Delhi--conveniently located directly adjacent to Quick and Shitty English, Inc.

 

I'd honestly rather deal with an automated computer. It may not understand me, but at least I understand it, which is one more avenue of effective communication than I share with the Indian phone reps.

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Ah yes, the customer service phone menu maze. With bell canada they have a feature that shunts you off to french language service if you dont hang up in despair within the first 10 minutes.

 

My ISP customer service line conects me to people who speak Punjabi, and ONLY Punjabi.

 

And my member of parliament has a phone menu maze specificly designed to stop anyone from calling his office EVER.

 

But wait, theres also phone solicitors. most of whom are either mental patients, or kashmiri tribesmen.

Dont you just love how they call at all fucking hours of the evening??????

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The gethuman project is a consumer movement to improve the quality of phone support in the US. This free website is run by volunteers and is powered by over one million consumers who demand high quality phone support from the companies that they use.

 

From HERE.

 

COMPANY LIST

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Don't you just looooove it when first you hear a few ring tones, then you get the automessage "all lines are busy"?! If you're gonna lie to your customers with a straight face, at least do it with some talent! :banghead:

 

I especially love it when I've been on hold for 20 minutes already, THEN the phone rings and I get this glimmer of hope that someone may actually pick up and talk to me....

 

ring...

 

ring...

 

ring...

 

'All our agents are currently busy. Your call is important to us; please hold for the next available agent.'

 

*sarah throws something*

 

Yeah. HATE that.

 

There's this book I read by Laura Penny, it's called 'Your Call Is Important To Us: The Truth About Bullshit.' It was really good, you guys should check it out. She looks at all sorts of different ways in which we get BS'd every single day, including a lengthy bit on customer service.

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I tried that with my car finance company, but no luck. I read that many companies are disabling the ability to press 0 until you've gone through the entire navigation first, I guess they are trying to get you as pissed off as possible so by the time you get to a real person you're boiling mad :grin: . I know, I try not to take it out on the CSR's because I know it's not their fault, but at the same time I feel like someone needs to know how frustrating it has become for the customers (as if they even care).

 

Yeah, it still works sometimes, but a lot of companys are weeding out the "0" options. The reason? Seriously, they really DON'T want you to call them. Call centers like that are jammed to the hilt with work as it is, so they are trying to weed out all callers but those with the most serious problems. Plus, the billing department might be in Milwaukee while the accounts might be in Los Angeles (or Bangladesh), so the "phone map" is often trying to locate where in the world you need to go.

 

Just curious, did your insurance co track the number of customers who hang up before they reach a live person? I used to work at a mortgage company and I was told that if too many people hung up it would look bad on their reports (again, as if they really cared.... since hiring more people would solve that problem once and for all!)

 

I'm sure they did, but I never saw the stats (HUGE well known insurance company), but we were also constantly bitched at about going "Faster! Faster! Faster! Get as many of those calls as possible!" And it was really an impossible level of work to acheive.

 

That company was total crap. Our supervisor left and they wouldn't let us have a new one, so our "boss" was in Connecticut while we were in Seattle. Everytime someone was fired or quit, they wouldn't replace them. Oh yeah, did I mention we were the ONLY office on the West coast able to handle calls till 9pm EST? After 3pm our phone lines were insane, and yet we were the ones they kept gouging from.

 

Oh yeah, originally their plan to teach me insurance processing was to hand me an out of date training manual and tell me to study it. Except that manual didn't have any critical law information insurance processors are supposed to know....like say, HIPAA? It was only after I ended up violating a couple of federal laws that they decided to revise that idea and have someone train me....except my trainer was also in Connecticut and it had to be done entirely by phone.

 

I got out of there ASAP. And I just got the shaft at the company I'm at now too. My kingdom for a company that isn't run by retards.

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Actually, I wish Wal-Mart would have a recording answer the phone.

 

"If you need the electronics department, press 1. *beep* If you're asking if we have any Nintendo Wiis in stock, if we can reserve you one, how many we will have in the next shipment, or when we will start selling them again, we cannot answer your question. Please place the handset into the cradle of the phone to live with it. If you want to know why a computer program you purchased here isn't working, hang up and call the manufacturer just like the instruction manual tells you to because we aren't a fucking tech help desk. If you're just calling to be an asshole, are drunk or are a pervert, go fuck yourself."

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