O.K. I understand the rationale. I understand the logic. It makes a lot of sense having lots of people crowded into one room to answer telephones.
One person writes a script with lots of possible combinations of answers.
Everyone has a computer screen to work from.
Even the numbers are automatically dialled.
It's easy, it's cheap and it's very nearly foolproof.
In fact, if you trained monkeys long enough you could probably use one voice over artist to record the entire script, and then get the trained monkeys to push the right buttons. That would be even cheaper, because instead of a thousand people sitting in a room in outer Mongolia, getting hot and bothered by irate customers that they haven't been trained to deal with properly, it would be a thousand monkeys in London zoo who they wouldn't even have to pay.
This would have many advantages.
Firstly, London Zoo could make it a special attraction for visitors to see the monkeys at work, and could make lots of money from it, which they could give to a nice animal rescue charity or something. Rescuing animals from call centres. That sort of thing.
Secondly, monkeys wouldn't be able to understand that the customers on the other end were irate and wouldn't therefore get upset themselves.
Thirdly, most importantly, it might finally bring the entire call centre system nonsense crashing down.
Yesterday, my sixteen year old daughter received three phone calls from our mobile phone provider, whose name I won't reveal in full, but starts with the letter T and ends in bile. She does have a contract phone with them, but her calls are charged to my bill, and always have been. I set up the contract for her. Have always dealt with them and am the account holder.
The payment was due. A bit overdue really. It's after Christmas and as anyone who reads my blog regularly will know, things are, hopefully temporarily, a bit tight at the moment for a number of reasons.
The company who starts the letter T and ends with bile however don't ring the acount holder for such calls (they clearly have lots of people like me). Instead, they just go by an automated system to dial out to the mobile concerned of any overdue bills. As the account holder, I myself had spoken to them earlier that day to sort out the problem. The system of course wasn't actually as quick as the humans involved on the case, and as such, it automatically dialled my daughter's number to ask for payment.
I was cross.
I was very very very cross.
I rang to tell them. They gave me a full expanation of their very complicated and inadequate computer system, which of course they think is just fine, but no apology. (They just shouted at me to not shout. So I am shouting to you instead.) Now of course, had hubby rang up on my behalf to complain, they wouldn't have spoken to him, because HE is not the acount holder.
Now do remember, that in order to speak to anyone in any call centre you have to give out a hundred security questions which make the word "security" a bit of a nonsense really. I am almost wondering if there is anyone left in England that DOESN'T know my date of birth and my postcode. Maybe next time I'll ask them to guess and then I'll tell them when it's the right one.
NatWest bank it seems have finally cottoned on to the fact that people like people. You can now speak to the branch manager at a moment's notice. We changed bank account last month to them for that reason. What a relief! They are still thieving b**t**s of a bank (I HATE banks), but at least they do it with a smile and some personal contact.
Sadly though, for now at least, NatWest do not provide mobile phones or fridges, or supermarket checkout people.
But perhaps as they have taken the lead in the race against time, to ban the call centre, they will indeed see sense and provide the other things too. One day.
p.s. Momo who comes from Romania, but whose written English is so good that I hadn't realised until her last post, sent a me request to Me Me myself in a different way. The challenge was to identify three of my posts that show my personality. Well, I've given you one those challenges. You know the sort, like that rabbit they hid in the countryside or something, for a rainbow, or a pot of gold. Can't remember the details. Lots of rabbits in the countryside too.
Anyway, the "personality" giver awayers are in this blog as hyperlinks. Go find!
p.p.s. I pass the challenge to Beccy of Minty Tea!
6 months ago