This is a sad little tale of frustration. It’s made even sadder by the fact that for almost 30 years, I managed our company’s voice mail system. I know that when you don’t have an option to escape to a live operator, it’s the result of a conscious decision by some executive.
I had to interact with a financial institution, to correct an error my previous employer made. To gain access to my account, I had to “enter or say the numeric portion” of my account number. Then I had to “enter or say” my five-digit zip code. Then, because there’s no good way to enter letters, I had to “say my last name.”
I expected them to get this wrong, since my name is pronounced “An-ton” but is spelled “Antion” – nobody every gets that right. When it said my name back to me, it was unrecognizable. I was hoping to be routed to a representative.
No such luck:
“Please spell you last name slowly and clearly.”
“Ay En Tee Eye Oh En”
“I heard, “A n t o n i o i n e – Is that correct?”
This went on for six cycles and that spelling was as close as the system ever got to my name. I tried pressing zero. I tried asking for a representative. After the sixth attempt, the system gave up on me and transferred me to a human being.
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