Speaking to Robots!

Yes we’ve all been through it. You make a phone call to your bank, insurance company or even British Telecom and after a slight delay on comes the recorded message normally asking you to choose from one of the following 2,000 options (ok slight exaggeration) 4 or 5 options!

So, you patiently wait until R2D2 rhymes of the options to you allowing you to select your preferred one. Selecting option 3 takes you to the next hurdle which is another department with a further range of options requiring further selection.

This time you reckon option 2 is what you’re looking for. So you press option 2 which then proceeds to tell you about various new and exciting offers available and of course that “calls may be recorded for training purposes” (love that one!)

After this spiel you’re then told you’re held in a queue of god knows how many people and that the current waiting time to speak to an operator (human being) is approximately 30 minutes. Bear in mind to reach this fairly advanced stage in the communication process has already taken 15 minutes of your valuable time, but don’t despair, you always have some relaxing music to listen while the steam begins to come out your ears.

In a recent call I made to my insurance company I was actually given options on what kind of music I wanted to listen to. 1-Jazz, 2-Easy Listening, 3-Disco, incredible! Isn’t that great, being able to select options from the options to give you more options while you wait for the first option to actually speak to you! But then again there’s no other option!

This is of course progress, doing away with that crazy old system where you phoned an organisation as mentioned above and a human being at the other end answered you right away, which to me seemed much quicker. At least your friendly phone company are making fortunes out of the additional time we spend on such calls, so we must be keeping someone in a job, or is it a robot?

You just can’t beat the personal touch, can you!