RE: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing

Subject: RE: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing
From: "Downing, David" <david -dot- downing -at- fiserv -dot- com>
To: "Keith Hood" <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 08:16:05 -0500

I vote for the incompetence theory. I'm reminded of the following definition --

Policy: An established order of doing things, which tends to take the place of common sense in most situations.

David Downing
Senior Technical Writer
Credit Union Solutions
Fiserv
 
 
________________________________________
From: Keith Hood [mailto:klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 5:55 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com; Downing, David
Subject: Re: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing

It's the kind of thing that Scott Adams calls a "confusopoly." They force you to wade through a sea of selections that never seem to get you anywhere because they know that some people will simply give up and let you keep the money because that's less annoying.

I had that experience just this morning. I had to return a product I was shipped and it was the wrong thing. I had to call their 800 number to get a return authorization code, instead of them putting one on the packing slip. First I had to spend about 10 minutes going through their beep tree to find they didn't have an automated option for what I wanted. Then I had to press the button to speak to a rep and hang on hold for another 15 minutes. When I finally got through with the process of getting the !$##! -at- # rep to understand what I wanted, I got the code I need. But then he told me that to actually use the authorization code, they would MAIL me a tag with the code printed on it and I would have to include that tag with the packing slip when I shipped the thing back.

There can be only two possible explanations for such a ridiculous system: total hopeless incompetence on the part of the people who handle their merchandise returns, or evil genius that seeks drive me to despair so I'll give up and leave them alone. I prefer to go with the evil genius theory. If I believe this kark is the result of intelligence, albeit evil, I can think there is some tiny little chance of fighting back. But there's no hope of fighting back against incompetence; it's like punching Jell-O.


--- On Mon, 3/9/09, Downing, David <david -dot- downing -at- fiserv -dot- com> wrote:

From: Downing, David <david -dot- downing -at- fiserv -dot- com>
Subject: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Monday, March 9, 2009, 12:39 PM
There is, in fact, a reason why those automated telephone support systems are so nerve-racking. I read about it a long time ago in an article in TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION. It seems that those systems are actually doing something that the police do to try and break criminals in a hostage situation -- repeatedly force someone to make choices among alternatives. The police do it with the intention of making the kidnapper finally say, "I give up! I'm coming out!" So those automated systems are breaking you down in a similar fashion.

David Downing
Senior Technical Writer
Credit Union Solutions
Fiserv
 
 

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References:
Re: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing: From: Keith Hood

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