Answering Machines

How many companies are there that do not constantly put on their answering machine:

1. “We are experiencing high volume of calls”- if it’s constantly higher than expected maybe they should update the expected?

2. “Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed “- if it constantly changes when was it stable that it has to be changed? Also why do they assume you called before and even memorized the menu options? If it’s my first time why should I listen carefully?

3. “We are currently attending other calls. Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line and a representative will attend to you shortly” – how do they know it’s ‘shortly’ if your place in line is 12? Do they have a software that if your place is less than 5 it’s ‘shortly’ and otherwise they take off this word? I don’t think so because all of them put the word ‘shortly’ all the time.

4. “Please let me know in a few words what are you calling about” – almost any way you are going to describe the issue will not be one of the options. The most annoying ones are those that after you yell ‘representative’ reply with “ I understand you like to speak to representative but first in a few words tell me what you are calling about?”

5. Keep the representative option till the end to make sure you listen 5 minutes to the menu options? And the worse are those that give representative option different than 0. For those who try to outsmart the system and press immediately 0.

6. Representative asking exactly for the same details you typed into the phone like account number? The number hasn’t been changed in the last 3 minutes… so maybe it was just another way to earn time before transferring you to a representative?

7. “For account balance press 1, For check transfer press 2,…….,For all other options please stay on the line” – how come I usually find myself with the “other” options?

8. If you need to talk to the answering machine shouldn’t there be one that expect different accents? Like it should ask: if you are Indian press 1, if you are middle eastern press 2, if you are Chinese press 3, if you are Hispanic press 4, for all other callers including white American, African Americans, and any other minority’s which lives in the US more than 10 years and speaks with a reasonable accent please press 4. Anyhow, The word representative is kind of long and there is no way you are going to pronounce it without your accent. Can’t they find shorter word to make it easy for accent people? ‘Anyone’ sounds much better. If you like to speak to ‘Anyone’ please stay on the line.

Groupon canceled customer support phones

A big company like Groupon canceled their customer support phones. The only options they give is chat/email/call back in 24 hours. This is the first time I think such a big company take such a step. According to the names of the guys in the chat they moved the chat support to India/Mexico. They probably got rid of all the American phone operators because they earned the minimum wage $9-$10 and caused unnecessary expense in the balance sheets. I just had a chat about minor thing which took 45 minutes compared to a 10 minutes phone call.

It’s amazing how some companies treat the advanced technology as a substitute for human interaction. Until you have Artificial Intelligence which can provide phone call experience like a human being those actions are way before their time. As usual big decision makers live in a dream that technology is ready to replace everyone. It will happen but let’s wait 50 years. Let the next generation handle the mass unemployment.

When Robots become Standup Comedians

One day robots will replace not only cashiers in wholefoods but everyone, including standup comedians. And then, their jokes will be something like this:

“Yesterday a human came to me and told me ‘you stink’, I told him ‘Am I the one that poops?’

“I am fed up with all those humans that don’t know the square root of 2,345,549. I mean, I know we should help them but how about go to school? Ohh, I forgot, they go 16 years to school, every day, and still stuck in the square root of 49. The advanced even know the square root of 121″

“I dated a human girl for a few months. She fell in love with me and wanted to get married. I told her ‘with 16 CPUs why should I commit to someone with one CPU. What am I supposed to do when you have your 8 hours maintenance every night?’

“Yesterday I saw a dead cat on the road and started crying. A human came to me and told me ‘Get over it, it’s only a cat’. I told him ‘patience, I am still in the subroutine CRY no more than 30 seconds’

“A human asked me ‘Why didn’t they program you to have kids?’, I told him ‘Would you want something that is smarter than you and have better technology? I mean robots don’t start from a state of being dumb like your babies’

“I saved a human that had a heart attack. He said ‘You saved my life. What can I do for you?’ I told him ‘How about extra battery?’

“A human came to me and said ‘we are bored, you took all our jobs’. I told him ‘you are bored? Try being able to calculate how much is 2,245,378 multiplied by 6,754 in nano second but explain a first grader how much is 2+2 for one hour?”

“A human came to me and asked ‘Do you know what is to believe in God?’ . I asked him ‘What is believe?’

“A human came to me and said ‘At least we don’t crash like you’. I told him ‘At least we restart after 5 seconds. Do you restart after we dig your graves?’

“A human told me ‘I don’t like your new operating system, it is not user friendly’. I told him ‘At least you suffer until my next upgrade. I am stuck with you for 80 years’

Thank you for coming. Please don’t forget to get your free upgrade on the way out. I heard at last the humans listened to our requests and programmed us to say ‘Shut your mouth!’ when they annoy us. Please come to my next show ‘Humans, Do we still need them?’