Friday, January 14, 2011

Automated Call Handling

I hate automated call-handling systems. I know, "who doesn't". However, some call systems are worse than others. The least odious are the ones where you only have to go one or two menus deep. Then, you get the ones where you punch in more menu options than the numbers you dialed to get to the damned call system. Seriously: who thought that was a good idea?? Other fun ones include the ones where you have no option to hit "0" (or equivalent) to speak to just get routed to someone. Or the call trees that force you to wait till they stop reading menu options before it will accept a key-punch (if I know I want option #2, why the fuck do I have to listen to you tell me what option's 3-9 are?). Of course, the ones that send me into a murderous rage are the ones that make you navigate a byzantine call-tree and then dump you either into a voice mailbox or to a bad extension.

The call system my one doctor's "Patient Care" line implements is really hateful. After you navigate the call tree, you get dumped into a wait-queue. Every twenty seconds or so the (oh so) lovely hold music stops, and you're given the option to "press 1 to leave a message or any other key to be placed back in queue." And, then, it just waits for you to do one or the other. It's not entirely clear that you retain your place in queue if you fail to punch a number in time. Making it even more hateful is the fact that it keeps doing this, ad nauseum. Here's a hint: if you've re-prompted me to continue to hold more than twice (and almost definitely if more than six times), chances are I want to continue to wait for someone, so stop bothering me!

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