I’m not sure I’ve ever called a company that has an automated message system that hasn’t had their menu change recently. Must be difficult to keep the menu the same, because no one, I mean NO ONE, can do it.

I’m no fan of these automated systems in the first place. They go under the guise of being a service for the customer, when if fact they are nothing but a convenience for the company you are calling. They are supposed to get you the information you are looking for, or to the department that can get you that information, but more often than not they are just delaying your trip to a “live” person.

That live person may not be any better, I’m afraid, but at least you can plead your case, assuming they actually understand English. Sorry, I’m not a fan of the foreign call centers either, but at least the Filipino call center employees are comprehensible, for the most part. Problem is they don’t usually have the ability to solve your problem. The call centers do provide lots of jobs in the Philippines, so I always say “salamat”, whether I get satisfaction or not.

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I’ve noticed a few companies that seem to “get it” and have moved away from these automated systems, back to a real live person answering the phone. My insurance company, Pemco, is one of those. It certainly makes me think more of them now. There was a period when I felt their service had really deteriorated, the automated answering service was a part of that, and I had considered changing companies. I’m not sure what happened, but I feel their service has since improved once again to the point that I’m happy to be with them still.

I guess if a company is doing so well that they don’t need to be concerned with their service, or how it is perceived, then more power to them. Just don’t tell me that it’s for my benefit. Let’s at least be honest about that.

Photo credit: catherinesherman.wordpress.com