Friday, July 17, 2009

The Automated Attendant

Very few companies employ receptionists or switch board operators any longer. Automated attendants have been "answering" the phones for many years now - even prior to our economy going south. Some of them are pretty simple: For directions, press 1; for operation hours, press 2; for accounts receivable, press 3; for deliveries, press 4. Some are not so friendly: press 1 if your service is out. I press 1. Next message: please enter your account number. I enter it. Next message: enter your zip code. And on, and on it goes. Sometimes I have been in this pattern for 3 or 4 minutes before getting to speak to a "live" person. Then there are the times when you can only leave a message. Am I the only one to find this irritating?

Check out this website: gethuman.com. Finally someone has cracked the codes for over a thousand companies. I haven't had the occasion to try any of these numbers yet, but here's hope.

1 comment:

-Peder said...

I have to go through a number of these with different airlines. And I'm on the other side of a phone tree at my job. It's frustrating for us when someone has just pressed buttons without listening and ended up on our line. We almost always have to transfer them to a different person.
Phone trees can be a real pain. I just wish that companies would keep them short. Two numbers are reasonable. Five are not. And don't get me started on the awful 'speech recognition' ones. Terrible!