Thursday, February 2, 2012

Can I PLEASE just speak to a human being?

PubPinkby guest blogger Nancy J. Cohen

How often have you tried to reach customer service on the telephone only to be transported through multiple levels of automated replies? Not only does this take up your time, but it raises your aggravation factor tenfold. 

“Just give me a person,” you shout into the phone to no avail.

When that doesn’t work, you punch the “O” on your keypad. Instead of bringing up the operator, you get a message that says, “I’m sorry, I don’t recognize that response.” And the litany of automated choices begins again.

A while ago, I came across a post online that mentioned a website called This useful site lists companies with instructions on how to bypass their telephone tree.

A miracle!

Of course, every time I want to call someone, I’m not going to look up this website, scroll down to the company, and read the instructions. Too much rigmarole. But the site does give some general tips that may be useful. For example, repeatedly say “Customer Service” or “Representative”, and you might get connected to a live person. Or push the zero key. As mentioned above, though, this may not get you the operator, in which case the automated choices are read to you again.

It’s just so annoying when we have to talk to a machine these days instead of a person. Trying to get hold of someone in your doctor’s office is probably the worst. You end up leaving a message, and if you’re lucky, you might get a call back by dinner time. The cable company? Forget it. We’d finally reached tech service and scheduled an appointment. The night before, we received an automated phone call that said the problem in the area had been fixed and our appointment was canceled. What problem in the area? I had to call up all over again and reschedule, then wait for two more automated confirmation phone calls.

Give me back the old days when real people answered the telephone.
ShearMurder_(518x800)Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries. Her popular Bad Hair Day series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Here latest entry in the series is Shear Murder:  Who knew weddings could be murder?  Hairstylist Marla Shore is weeks away from becoming a bride herself when she walks down the aisle as a bridesmaid at her friend Jill’s ceremony. Things take a turn for the worse when the matron of honor ends up dead, the cake knife in her chest. Now what will they use to cut the cake? BUY NOW!

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