Sigh. Why use voice or automated phone answering systems

. . . when I just have to repeat the responses to a human?

OK, maybe it wasn’t every response, but close enough. I am about to move*.

As a result, I have been making calls to people like the phone company to ask them to disconnect my service. The Verizon automated voice thanks me for my call, asks me for my phone number and asks me to briefly state the purpose of my call (Um I’m moving and I want my service to end) (Sorry, I didn’t understand pick one of these eight options. Not enough? Try one of these other options) (Finally! Disconnect my service). (I can help you with that. But first, I need to identify you. give your three digit customer code or the last four digits of your social security number and your area code). (I do so ) (Let me connect you to a person who can complete the service)

put on hold. Wait, listen to advertizing for services.

Man comes on. “What would you like to do?”

“Disconnect my service”

Man “why?”(note: I think I answered this question for the automated voice as well, but maybe not)

“I’m moving out of state”

He asks my phone number, my name and various other questions which were reasonable and not previously asked by the automated voice.

Still, espeically since this was the second time I had to call (the first time I got disconnected after the automated voice but before the human) it left me wondering why bother with the voice If I still have to tell the person who eventually picks up why I’m calling?

Please note: This is primarily mundane and pointless- not ranty enough for the pit. With a dollop of M personal SIMS - if you don’t see me around as much for a while, don’t be surprised. I’m moving and I may have less time to spend reading the boards. Although, despite the disclaimers- if you have a good answer to the question, please share.

*back in with my parents. I’m a boomerang child. One of these days I’ll get a “real job” and move out, but right now not being tied to a lease and paying a lot of rent while sitting around and being lonely sounds like a good idea.

This happens with nearly every company I deal with. Automated voice asks you to enter your account number, confirm all kinds of other information, then when the live voice FINALLY gets on the phone, they ask the exact same information. When you ask, “Why did I just enter all that information only to have you ask it again?” you get this dramatic “duh” pause on the other end. They don’t know either. I think the whole automated thing is just something to keep you busy until your either hang up in frustration from waiting, or get someone on the line to actually help.

“Your call is important to us. We’ll answer sometime in the next hour. You don’t have anything better to do anyway, and we know you’ll wait because you have no choice. BWWWAAAHAHAHAHA!”

The most specific example of this that drives me batty is:

Automated voice: Please use the touch tone pad to enter your 16 digit account number now
[punch in number]
AV: Thank you. I have your information. Please stay on the line. The next available representative will be with you shortly.
Human being: Thank you for calling Conglomercon. This is Tim. May I have your account number?

My new dishwasher had a recall earlier this year. So I call the toll free number that was provided, and settle in for a long session of telephone.

“Thank you for calling the automated recall repair scheduling number. Please enter your home phone number.”
“Thank you. Please enter your zip code, so we can confirm your location.”
“For a dishwasher, please dial 1, for a … blah blah blah”
“Thank you. Now please enter the model number of your dishwasher”
“Thank you. Now please enter the serial number of your dishwasher”
“Please hold for the next available service personal”
Music music music, add for an extended warantee, music, ad for a new line of dishwashers :dubious: music music
“Hello, this is Suzy. Can I get your name, address, phone number, model number, serial number, fortune cookie lucky number” (ok, maybe not the last one)

:Umm, why did I just spend 10 minutes entering numbers into you system?

I’m voting for the “Give the suckers something to do” idea.

The whole concept is to really annoy all customers and potential customers. But they have a secret agreement with almost every other company to do the same.

Update: This afternoon I decided that maybe I better make sure there is enough money in my checking account that I can write a check to pay for the moving truck if neccessary. (I’m hoping my parents will pay, but I’m not holding my breath).

So I log on to the computer and load up my banking website - type in the number on my ATM card, and attempt to type in my password. It used to be my PIN, but now it’s my PIN plus a magic word. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to remember whether it is PINword or wordPIN and after three tries I got a warning message that if I got it wrong again, my card would be deactivated (for my protection, grr. good idea, but not what I needed today).

So, I hang up and try calling the customer service number to make the transfer over the phone again.

This is what I had to type in:

4 phone numbers
2 wrong ATM numbers
4 correct ATM numbers
1 wrong PIN
4 correct PIN
2 savings account numbers
2 checking account numbers
2 sums of money

Unfortunately, almost all of this was due to stupidity on my part, (what kind of idiot assumes that having my ATM card and my PIN is enough information to transfer money?) and not due to bad design of the automated system.

I should have quit while I was ahead. But I didn’t. Only 15 minutes late, and minus my shoes(I was wearing sandals, but I don’t like to drive long distances in sandals) I headed out the door for a two hour drive. First, I buzz by the library to drop off a stray book. I then stop at my apartment long enough to grab the shoes and put them on. Next, I hit the road again, get honked at for not accelerating fast enough at a light and muttering to myself observe a pickup in the next lane decide it wants to be in mine. Said pickup almost sideswiped me. At that point, I burst into tears, turned off the road immediately and returned to my apartment. After I calmed down, I called my brother and said “Guess what. I’m not coming today. See you tomorrow” (Brother lives two hours away. the plan was (and is) to visit him one last time before moving further away). My mood has improved dramatically since them. Wonder how much eating a Sundae with Skor bits, caramel and hot fudge with whipped topping contributed to that.

The one that just kills me is when I have to positivly establish my identity before the let me pay my bill. Let me say this just one more time:

If some imposter really wants to pay my bills for me, PLEASE ALLOW THEM TO DO SO!