call cantre

Call Centre Chaos and the Phones from Hell

As if life isn’t short enough we seem to have accepted life with menu-based phone systems as the norm. You know, the kind of thing that presents you with a series of options, press one for death, two for hell etc… Where did the real people go to? If I have to spend another minute listening to bloody Greensleeves I fear that my brain will turn to shit and start pouring through my eyeballs.

I’d love to be in the planning meetings when project managers and analysts decide how to direct people through the maze of departments they have.  I mean, who came up with the Voice Activated system idea anyway? I’m sure we’ve all had to experience these at some point or another:

“Please speak the name of the person into the handset”


“You said “Alison” – I will connect you now”

“What? No, no I don’t want Alison I want John”

“I’m sorry, I don’t recognize that name. Please repeat the name you require”


“You said “Alan” – I will connect you now”

Oh for f**k sake it’s not like I’m asking for Baron Von-Munchausen is it?. And so it goes on, one redial after another until the veins in the side of your head burst like party poppers. I can use my IBM ViaVoice software on my laptop happily all day and it recognizes all of my words, even the smutty ones yet some faceless, corporate bum-wipe in a suit spends a fortune on presenting the public face of his company and it becomes a farce. This is NOT progress people, it’s stupidity. He deserves a bullet through the head. It gets worse.

You will eventually get through on a voice system, even if you stay silent, however, the same cannot be said of ones that require you to press numbers on your phone. OK, so I want to check my balance on my gas and electricity accounts. Simple right? Oh sure. Do I want accounts or perhaps payment enquiries? Oh crap, why doesn’t the system give me an option for billing? Why do options to hold for a ‘Customer Service Representative’ come after every other option? It’s because the menu system is so awful at directing people that the only way to stop customers from imploding is to toss them a lifeline by tempting them into holding for a real person. Of course, the real person is only a myth designed to keep you paying 40p per minute so that this ridiculous system can help recoup some of the astronomical money it cost in the first place. The people who put these farcical projects together should be rounded up in a field and cleansed with a fire hose – just to wash away the thoughts that push-button phone systems were ever a good idea.

To add to the misery the worst situation to be in is where you eventually get through to a department and then get given a new number to ring. What? You mean I have to do this all over again? Why can’t companies put the right number on the documents they send you in the first place? How hard can that be? My posts get passionate about the faceless society we live in. This is yet another example of profit before people. For the record I have dealt with UK and overseas call centre systems and they are all the same. Hopeless, frustrating and rage-inducing at the best of times.

Oh and by the way, if all your ‘agents are busy‘ – get some more you greedy slave-driving retards.

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