Attention Customer Service Representatives:
Please help me not kill you. I don’t want to hurt you, but you are so fucking frustrating! I hate to put it so bluntly, but I don’t know how else to say it. I have been rendered nearly speechless by your constant foot dragging, bullshitting, buck-passing and time-wasting. Also, your hold music has made my brain numb.
We never had much of a relationship. I’m always angry when we talk, and you never have any answers I want to hear. I’d apologize for my rudeness, but I feel as though it’s deserved in some way. When I call for help, you leave me on hold for 30 minutes of Kenny G. hell. Enough is enough! You heard Barack Obama; it’s time for change!
Believe me; calling you is not something I want to do. In fact, I try to fix problems on my own before I take that route; of course, this means that I am usually frustrated by the time I do call. Being pissy already, the last thing I want to do is deal with your overly generalized menu. Press 1 for this or 2 for that”¦ what if I don’t need 1 or 2? Where is my 3? And if I don’t choose something fast enough, you hang up on me. If I make it past level one, I am immediately hit up for my personal information. Some computer with the voice of June Cleaver wants my full name, date of birth, address, social security number, weight, height, eye and hair color and the code for Mike Tyson in Punch-Out!! (it’s 007 373 5963).
After the data raping, I am placed into a holding pattern to enjoy the minute-long loop of Muzak that you so graciously include free of charge. After what seems like days later, I hear a voice in my now-reddened ear—finally, a person! The conversation starts with a promising, “How are you today?” and I respond, “Fine, thanks, but I’m having trouble with your product.” At this point I am ready to spill every conceivable detail about the product malfunction in question, but you have a different agenda. What do you want? All the personal information I just told your computer before I heard that wicked John Tesh solo.
After we’ve gone through my full medical history, taken my suit measurements and discussed my favorite flavor of ice cream, it’s time to get on with it. I tell you my problem, and you follow up with questions like, “Have you checked to see if it’s plugged in?” I am not an idiot; please, do not treat me like one. After reassuring you that it is, in fact, plugged in, I explain the problem again, this time including details that I thought were painfully obvious. Finally, you acknowledge that there is a problem, but add that you are not the person who can fix it. “Please hold, while I connect you to someone who can help; and in the meantime, enjoy the soulful stylings of Yanni.”
Twenty minutes later, I am introduced to the next rung on the ladder. Of course, he knows nothing about my problem and needs me to explain it again; but first, he’s going to need some personal information: place of birth, mother’s maiden name, date I lost my virginity and how many times I have been to Disneyland. I try to reach through the phone to strangle him, but the holes are too small. (Note to phone companies: make bigger holes!) After 10 minutes, I am told that this person also cannot help me and will need to transfer me to the manager. He then proceeds to hang up on me, allowing the process to begin anew.
These problems can be solved in three simple steps: 1) stop asking for information you don’t plan to use; 2) put people on the phone who can tell their ass from a hole in the ground; and 3) give them a little authority to make decisions. Please, for the love of God, stop this madness.