Tuesday, September 11, 2007


The cartoon above has nothing to do with the post other than I am discussing automated phone systems. Just amused by the cartoon. :)

The inspiration for this post came from Dr Keagirl over at her Urostream blog which has a new post up about her frustration as a physician in dealing with automated phone systems.

(Chuckling now) Once, I accidentally ordered life insurance while trying to respond to something from J C Penny when trying to discuss something on my credit card. One of my sons interrupted me when I was listening to the number sequence and so I hurriedly pressed a number thinking that was the correct one. Then when I got my credit card bill in the mail I was puzzled as to why I was now being charged for life insurance. Then it took a while to get removed, but I don't remember why.

The most awful one is my current credit card. You would think that when you call the customer service# on the back of the card that it would be user friendly. You know...customer s-e-r-v-i-c-e. But ohhhh n-o-o-o. Suffice it to know that any internal bliss I may have been feeling pre-customer service call was shattered in short order.

I needed, wanted and desired to speak with a customer service rep...a living, breathing thinking live human being. It was important! There were 5 numbers to press and I did keep trying to press 0, but to no avail. Finally, I gave up and pressed one that I remotely thought might give me a live person. FIVE more options but nothing that offered a customer service rep. I also had continued pressing 0. I then pressed another option which brought me back to the first menu. I am muttering out loud now and really hitting the zeros hard. I kept looking at the customer service number on my card as though it were going to reveal some secret code to get through. Silly girl! I press another number which I KNOW isn't what I want and it brings me to yet ANOTHER menu??? HOW MANY FREAKIN OPTIONS DO THEY HAVE????? Still HITTING ZEROS but to no avail. Practically apoplectic now... I go back to the main menu again. I honestly don't know HOW or Why but THIS TIME somewhere in the first menu- hitting A ZERO ACTUALLY WORKED.

The customer service rep comes on. I admit that at that point I was testy and I vented! (I am someone who is nice to telemarketers on the phone and Jehovah's witnesses when they come to the door, so for me to vent like this I was ticked!) She was polite and calmly stated that I could access them on line. Hahahahahahahaha! I didn't laugh, but I was beginning to feel like what Richard Dreyfus must have felt like in his role of the crazed Psychiatrist in "What About Bob?" Did I not just tell her that I was extremely frustrated because I had such a difficult time getting a customer service rep??? I make 3 payments a month on line to my credit card. I K-N-O-W I can access them on line!!! I can't talk to them on line!!!!

I don't get it though. Why don't they automatically give that option? I feel like canceling the card just on principal! And they DO have a number for that! :)

In keeping with the topic of this post, the following is an old joke that had been passed around the hospital years ago:

Welcome to the psychiatric hot line.

If you are obsessive compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

If you are codependent, ask someone to press 2 for you.

If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

If you are paranoid we know who you are and what you want. Please stay on the line so we can trace the call.

If you are schizophrenic listen to the little voice inside you to tell you which button to press.

If you are manic depressive it doesn't matter which button you press because none of them will work anyway.


Elaine said...

1.) With my credit card, customer s-e-r-v-i-c-e has been outsourced to the Indian sub-continent. Now I have difficulty hearing, so I ask them to speak slowly and clearly. This has no effect - they continue to talk fast with an accent I find very hard to follow; also they appear to be unable to divert from a set script!

2.) Chortle - that was very clever and funny.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Elaine- I know what you mean. I have encountered that in the past when they called me offering and admittedly good sounding package but I would not give out my social security #, something which this person did not seem to understand.

I won't give it out over the phone to anyone in this country (U.S.A.) and I am certainly not going to give it out to someone in another continent.

I am glad you appreciated it. :)

keagirl said...

I'm only glad to hear that my post inspired your very funny one.!

SeaSpray said...

Haha! Thanks Keagirl. :)

It really does take a lot to get me to that point. I guess you could say non user friendly phone systems are a hot button with me. ;)

Chrysalis Angel said...

Funny Seaspray.

The doctor I see just went to one of those systems and I am not digg'en it. I have two minutes to make a fast call and have to wait, and wait, and wait...I don't have time to sit on the phone. I need someone on the line quickly, set up an appointment, and then get back to work myself. It is so frustrating.....

SeaSpray said...

Hi Angel- yes quite frustrating when there are time constraints. I don't know why it all flows so well (no pun intended-haha) at my urologists office, but it does. They are just all so efficient and the system works for them.

Have you seen some of the stuff PP-MD has written over at the Independent Urologist and Urostream? That Doc is efficient with a capital "E". He has me in awe of his processes. I don't understand it all, but still...in awe. :) Also, that system (VPN)I.U. is talking about in his most recent post is so efficient. Truly amazing what technology can do! :)

Princess Heidi said...

I like the drawing, they're funny. But I love the flying bird on the right side with your name written in the sand. Hello.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Ha, ha,
If you want to read my comments - dial 1
If you find it trash, dial 2
If you are annoyed by the exercise, dial 3
If you want me to evaporate, dial 4
But if you want to experience God's blessings dial, p-r-a-y-e-r.
Have a nice day.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Princess Heidi-yes, the drawings are funny. Thank you for your Kind words about the bird and my name in the sand. I like to write in the sand and have taken pictures of things I have written.

The 1st time I ever did that I wrote "Hi Gary" in the sand and had a friend take my picture next to it. He was in a place called Vietnam far away from home. He showed it to his friends and had it hanging up where he lived. I also think it is fun to play in the sand.

Thanks for stopping by Princess Heidi. :)

Hi Mel- That's funny and thanks for sharing it! LOL! You have a nice day too. :)