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Top Ten Telephone Torments

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3:30 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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1. I'm asked what my phone number is. The person on the other end repeats each sequence of numbers as I'm saying them.

For example...

I say 714, they immediately cut in and say 714.
I say 555, they immediately cut in and say 555.
I say 1212, they immediately cut in and say 1212.

Let me finish telling you the number in whole first! Then you can repeat it back to me.

3:41 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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When asked for a telephone number, the standard response is 555 1212.

I hate when someone says 55 51 212.

3:43 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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555 5212?

I would say five double five one twenty one two. ;)

3:55 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"Please send me a catalog."
4:13 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Let me finish telling you the number in whole first! Then you can repeat it back to me.

Sorry, but it's much easier/efficient to go back and correct short sequences of numbers than long sequences. Especially if the line is bad or someone's talking on a cell phone.

You know your phone number and can easily rattle off all 10 digits without even thinking about it. The person you're talking to doesn't know it- it's just 10 random digits to him/her. Studies have shown that most people have trouble remembering more than 7 objects in short-term memory.

So when you rattle off 10 digits without stopping, it's more likely for mitakes than if you say the area code, wait for confirmation, say the next 3, wait for confirmation, then the last 4, wait for confirmation.

4:30 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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When someone you don't know cold calls up and says,

"Hi, how are you?"

Really, are they bothered!

4:45 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Telesales who phone and ask 'can I speak to Mr #*$!' who moved out 5 years ago, because theyre to mean to buy a current database.
4:52 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"You have been pre-qualified for the privilege of being in debt, let us be the ones to stick it to you. You won't feel a thing."
4:57 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hello, Foo Company, please hold...
4:59 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"Can I speak to the person in charge of your telephone services"?

Response: "There is no one in charge of our telephone services, he died in a horrible industrial accident... thank you for bringing the pain of his death back into my life. Is there anything else you would like to torture me with?"

5:01 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Another one, my wife has a different last name then mine, so when they call and ask for Mrs. Mylastname I respond with there is no Mrs. Mylastname... there's always a long silence as they search through their written script to find the proper response.
5:07 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Number one:
"Press one for ...., press two for ...., press three for ....."

Cut the *$%!, give me a real live person.

Number two:
"Please stay on the line, your call is important to us, an operator will be with you as soon as possible...."

Don't pick up my call until you are ready to answer it, just let it ring. I pay the instant you pick up that line so let me hold to a free-of-charge ringing tone and then put me straight through.

5:09 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Cut the *$%!, give me a real live person.

Not until you've had the opportunity to go through 5-10 minutes of prompts before you finally hear...

"To speak with a representative, press the star key at any time."

5:09 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I get telemarketers calling up during the day asking for my husband. They refuse to leave a message or their name, yet they expect me to tell them my name and tell them when my husband will be home so they can call back and bother him as well.

It is soooo obnoxious.

5:38 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"May I speak with Mr."...and then they go on to completely screw up the pronunciation of my name. Come on...it's not "Smith", but there was a freakin' president with my name!

If you can't pronounce it, I'm not talking with you.

6:04 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Automated recorded messages which suggest I look on their web site.....Where the &*%$ do you think I got your number from?

Matt

6:24 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What annoys me most are call center agents doing telephone marketing for SEO companies:

- Hello we offer SEO and can bring your site to the top of the Google search results.

- Where did you get my phone number?

- From your website. I searched in Google for widgets and found your company right on the top of the search results.

How more stupid can you be?

6:47 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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When you call a credit card company and you get the automated phone response to enter your credit card number and other information, then you finally get to a live person, who again asks you for your credit card number and the other information you already entered.
6:57 pm on May 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The telemarketer that calls me for the third time this month. The same guy each time, with the exact same pitch. I remember him, but he is adamant that he couldn't possibly have called before.
1:25 pm on May 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Can I speak with the person in charge of your water chillers/mobile telephones/HR/corporate hospitality/printing supplies/IT supplies?
2:04 pm on May 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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When someone you don't know cold calls up and says,

"Hi, how are you?"

Really, are they bothered!

If I am a bit bored I usually answer "No" and start making up some terrible things that have happened to me. They really don't know what to say!

3:44 pm on May 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You call into a company and it is 1645. They close at 1700. The Operator places you on hold at 1646. You're doing some work, listening to the hold message/music and you realize it is now 1705 and you need to speak with someone. You press the pound button to return to the menu only to hear...

"We're sorry, our offices are closed now. Please contact us during normal business hours which are 0800-1700 Monday thru Friday."

5:15 pm on May 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You call into a company and it is 1645. They close at 1700. The Operator places you on hold at 1646. You're doing some work, listening to the hold message/music and you realize it is now 1705 and you need to speak with someone. You press the pound button to return to the menu only to hear...
"We're sorry, our offices are closed now. Please contact us during normal business hours which are 0800-1700 Monday thru Friday."

So it was YOU who called me! <bg>

Only kidding, but what a way to deal with potentially annoying callers!

Matt

5:40 pm on May 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Everyone knows that it's the most annoying callers who call just before closing, especially on Fridays. Experience shows that picking up the phone at 4:55 on Friday will most likely lose you a half hour of your weekend. :)
5:46 pm on May 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You're on hold (customer support hold) and it has been approximately 21 minutes. Finally someone picks up, you hear voices, breathing, CLICK!

Ever watch the Munsters? When Herman gets mad and starts stomping? That's what I feel like at times. Darn, darn, darn, darn... ;)

11:03 pm on May 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You call a company for technical support. You get placed in the incomming call queue, and get to listen to elevator music for half an hour. Suddenly you get a message saying they are extremely busy and to leave a message, and someone will get back to you.

No option to continue to hold. If they weren't going to answer my call, why didnt they tell me half an hour ago!

11:32 am on May 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Poorly-designed automated voice-recognition phone systems.

I had switched insurance plans recently and the company erroneously sent me a bill for BOTH plans. Called the only Customer Service number printed on the bill. After wading through 5 levels of voice prompts (including an extremely annoying module that didn't understand one of my responses and popped me back up 2 levels), I never managed to locate a "billing" option. Finally, after about 20 minutes of this nonsense, I managed to get a live person who MANUALLY transferred me to someone in billing.

(I didn't try this but I have to wonder if their voice-recognition software recognizes certain irate phrases. "Thank you! I think you said "*&% %*&#%&^ @%%*(^*@#!)". If this is correct, say "Yes" or press "1" now...)

[edited by: MamaDawg at 11:34 am (utc) on May 3, 2007]

1:27 pm on May 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Try being a PROVIDER for one of those insurance plans. My favorite tactic is when you call about a claim and the voice-recognition robot says, "you seem to be having trouble. Try your call again later... click!"
6:52 pm on May 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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voice-recognition software recognizes certain irate phrases

It is a fact that some do. I called a certain phone company, and at the first voice prompt I said "phone company sucks". The response was, "OK, you'd like to disconnect your service, is that right?"

7:17 pm on May 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Rogers and Telus, the two largest cell phone providers in Canada do recognize curse words in there automated phone system, to immediatly get an operator.

When you are dealing with these two companies, you are better to start off your response with a string of curse words right away, cause after a few minutes with their system, you will be doing it naturally anyways!

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