Yesterday I called customer support at a rather large company to get help with something I had ordered. It’s a friendly company, but I was shocked when I got a live person right away. Seemed this company had ditched the usual recorded voice and endless menu options that usually greet you.
I don’t even remember the last time I got someone on the phone at the beginning of a support call. Could there really be that many people waiting on the line? What about off hours? Are you more likely to get some immediate help then? Somehow I doubt it. The phone system probably hasn’t been programmed that way.
And what’s with the message that tells you the menu options have changed? Changed from what? And why should I care what they used to be? This unnecessary piece of information is often followed by another message that says my “wait time” is some number of minutes and that a customer support representative will be with me shortly. How short is 10 minutes? I sure have better things to do than listen to the bad music that usually follows this message. Even if I put the phone on speaker or keep it away from my ear, I still have to listen carefully in case someone real suddenly comes on the line.
When out of the menu loop and messages, and into the ears of a real support person, I might or might not get the help I actually need. If this happens, I will most likely be transferred to someone else and my wait time will start all over again. The next live support person had better be extremely nice because at this point, I sure have much less patience than I had to begin with.
Some companies apparently have so many calls that they cannot even give you a wait time. In this case, they offer the choice of leaving a message and waiting for someone to call back. I guess this guarantees a real person and no wait time, but I usually get the call a day or two later, far past the time I needed the help in the first place. I think it’s just a ploy to opt out of any calling queue.
If help from someone live isn’t imminent, I have to control myself from hanging up and calling customer support again. Odds are not good that the outcome will be any different, and I’ll be stuck listening to the endless menu options, messages, and bad music until my wait time is really over.