Failure To Communicate

I am sure that most if not all of you at some time or other, have had a phone conversation with a customer service representative, and came away with mixed emotions. This of course would have been when you could still speak with a real person instead of a machine. Now we get to listen to endless lists of options after which you either push a button or make a verbal response, which normally results in another list of options. However, if you are persistent, you may ultimately be transferred to a real person, frequently in another country. Having reached this milestone however, is no guarantee of success. 

I have talked to some of these people and wondered if it was worth the wait. I recently was on the phone with a rep at an insurance company. He, fortunately, was here in the states, but definitely not in Maine. When he asked for my address, and I gave my street number as 2, he replied “I’ve never had a number that low before. You must have very short streets up there”. Um, no, we just figured we had to start somewhere and 2 sounded reasonable. 

And then there is something called a “live chat” where you correspond via texting. I recently tried one of those with the local cable company. In part, it went something like this. 

Me: “Can you tell me how much it is to lease a VCR and if I need any special equipment”?
Them: “Thank you for contacting XYZ cable. How may I help you”?
Me: “You could answer my question”.
Them: “Yes sir. But first I need a little information. Are you currently a customer”?
Me: “Yes, I am”
Them: “Please provide me with your address and zip code”
Me: Is all this necessary to answer my question”?
Them: “I am trying to pull up your account sir”
Me: I typed in my address and zip
Them: “I have it here. Now, you are interested in adding whole house DVR to your account. Is that correct”?
Me: No, I just want to inquire about the cost of adding a DVR to one TV set”.
Them: Did you know that for just a few dollars more,you can have whole house DVR and enjoy any recorded show from any room in the house?”
Me: I don’t care about whole house. I just want to know how much it costs to lease a DVR. Can you tell me that”?
Them: You will need to return your set top box and exchange it for a DVR. It would appear that the nearest office is in Windham. Would you like me to set that up for you”? 

Well, you get the idea. Oddly enough, the next message I got told me my chat had been inadvertently interrupted and to please stand by as they tried to re-establish contact. I thought that funny as I didn’t think we had ever made any.

Originally published July 2013

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About oldmainer

I am retired and live in southern Maine with my wife and two dogs. I started Oldmainer .wordpress.com as an outlet for my occasional opinions and random observations, with some poetry thrown in. I welcome anyone that wants to kick back and join me here on the porch, exploring all the gifts we have been given and the memories collected. Thanks for stopping by.
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2 Responses to Failure To Communicate

  1. George says:

    Yes, incredibly frustrating at times. But this is the world we live in today…:)

    Like

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