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Voice Mail Mania

The other day I bought a lamp online. When I noticed one of its components was missing, I called the company to see if they could send it to me. When I dialed the customer service number on the bill, the voice mail system was a nightmare. I pressed so many numbers I began to think I was in Las Vegas playing a slot machine!

When I finally got through, a voice announced that a relationship manager would be right with me. As I waited, another recording informed me that my call would be answered in the order it was received and that there were two other people ahead of me.

This information may be useful if I were in a doctor’s office. But here on the phone, I was unnecessarily wondering how long it was going to take the other two people to get what they needed!

And if that weren’t enough, another recording described some other products I might want to buy as hellacious music blared in the background. I desperately waited, hoping I wouldn’t have to be medicated after I completed this call.

Finally, after about a half an hour, a real person came on the line and said they would send the lamp’s missing piece asap.

Who came up with the term relationship manager anyway? When I called about the lamp, I was not looking for anyone to help me through a family crisis. What’s wrong with the term customer service? I am a customer and I need service. Simple and to the point. But simple is no longer the goal.

I remember a time when I called a phone number and a real person answered. If they were busy, they called you right back. Now, businesses have rid themselves of real, live people in lieu of puppets that deliver their electronic messages.

I remember being hired to boost morale at a company because they had decided to downsize. This was a new term at the time and I thought they were talking about putting everyone on a diet. But the executives at this company were only using downsizing as a nicer word for firing. As if that would make anyone who was getting the boot feel better!

Lighten Up Your Week:

Let’s bring back real people giving real service. Any ideas on how we can start? I would love to read your comments here and on my Facebook page.

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