Endless Automated Operator Options, Eternal Hold, and Surfing the Void

I have to say I am the least “emo” person I know.  I know pop music has always been a bit on the fru-fru side, but the stuff they’re playing on pop stations when they aren’t playing rap is almost more nauseating than rap if that is possible.  The new pop songs all sound alike- like techno soundtracks for  really poorly produced porn movies.

I detest three things about so-called “customer service” call lines: wading through a maze of endless “press this button for everything except what you need” menus, being put on eternal hold, and having to listen to the most abominable music imaginable all during the hold time.  No, I do not want to dance while I wait, nor do I want to visualize in my mind the porn movie that particular soundtrack was inspired by.  Silence is OK with me. Better yet,  just answer the damned phone in a reasonable amount of time.

I also don’t need to be reminded every thirty seconds that I only have to wait seven minutes longer to talk to someone in some foreign country who can neither speak nor comprehend the English language.

Then once I do get through to Jamal or Shupadingding or Sinderatpuriikman, or some other poor soul unfortunate enough to be living in some third world country and working for 25 cents a day, I’ll get to spend another seven minutes to get that person to put me on hold for another eternity as they attempt to hand me over to someone in this country who speaks English as a first language.  For all I care, send me to someone in England who speaks English as a first language. Or send me to someone in Japan- their English is usually better than most rednecks’.

Let me talk to someone who can actually help.  Screw your damned electronic mazes and foreign call center help who are not fluent in English to whom you pay starvation wages to offer downright shitty service- in every language other than English.  I want to get my issues resolved, but my desperation is tempered  depending on how long I want to stay on eternal hold being tortured by techno porn movie soundtrack music, how long I can stand fishing through vast menus of issues that don’t even address my concern, and being just bitchy enough to insist on talking to someone who can speak the language.  Just because they tell you to say your name is John doesn’t mean it is, Shalulapondarieki.

Maybe the worst thing about eternal hold is that endless void you seem to enter into.   You’re tied to the phone, afraid to escape the torture music for even a second lest they pick up and you aren’t right there so they hang up on you.  This is frustrating as hell.  Even if you have the Bluetooth and can move about freely (which is a vast improvement to being tied to a landline for hours) you are still getting blasted with the bad hold music and thirty second “you’re going to be on hold a long, long time” reminders.

Of course eternal hold is a good time to play a word game on the DS or better yet, to answer e-mail if you’re sitting at the computer.  It’s still a big time waster.

The saddest thing about  shitty customer service lines is they do nothing more than underscore the fact that particular business doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you.

I won’t name the worst offenders by name but I will say that health insurance companies are some of the worst, followed ironically by phone companies and cable companies and other utility companies.  They must figure that since they have you by the short hairs (a captive audience if you will) that you are just going to bend over and take it.  To a degree, we must.   This is why capitalism must be allowed to work.  A little healthy competition might improve customer service.  If you don’t like the foreigner who doesn’t understand why you’re pissed that your health claim was denied, then you should be able to find a provider who does care about your problems.  The problem is nobody cares because nobody has to compete for your business.

I’d like to tell them all to bite me, once I get through the maze, endure the techno porno music, get past the foreigners, and find someone who can understand English.

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