Saturday, December 17, 2005

holding the line

“Thank you for holding the line.”

This isn’t a Spartan phalanx, it’s a friggin' customer service line – and you're on hold.

It's a fairly typical scenario: you've been grossly overcharged and want the appropriate rebate. I take the responsibility of doing these sort of mundane-but-necessary tasks so that Steve can spend his time doing more productive things. Meanwhile, a machine is reassuring me that “Personal customer service is our number one priority.”

I know I’m not the first to rant about this sort of thing (and I certainly won’t be the last), but isn’t it a bad sign when a company has to tell its customers that “your call is important to us” when their call clearly isn’t important enough to warrant a human interaction. The most vexing thing about this particular customer service line is that every 4 minutes or so, the recording is interrupted with a *click* one typically associates with a sentient being picking up the phone – it is only a trick. It’s really just another robot (this one is female and with a bit more sass) reminding you that you’re on hold.

Hey, they’ve got high-speed Windows-based hosting…

After fifteen minutes on hold I was promptly disconnected.

To make a long story short, I did finally get through to a human, Richard, but I’m pretty sure he looked nothing like the customer service agent that I was promised.