Thursday, November 1, 2012

Automated Phone Systems

Don't you all hate automated phone systems??

There's a particular number that I occasionally need to call at work and I often find myself pissed during the call.

Automated phone systems are so inefficient! I'm totally fine with systems that ask "For English, press 1. For Chinese, press 2" because it is easy and straight forward. I'm also totally fine with systems that go "For sales department, press 1. For marketing, press 2. For accounts, press 3. etc etc" because such systems help reduce waiting time for the receptionist to pick up your call and then direct you to the various departments. That's the point of automated phone systems (which is to expedite and remove unnecessary time and manpower) but some organizations seem to use it to avoid the customer altogether!

For example, I have a problem submitting a particular form online so I call up the hotline hoping to talk to a customer service officer who will be able to assist me directly.

This is usually how a call will go.

*Phone rings*
Operator: Good morning. Welcome to XXX. We have enhanced our automated phone system to provide you with more services. (Yeah right.)

For English, press 1
For Chinese, press 2

*Press 1*

(Long paragraph of notice that I cannot skip through)
Operator: Our service centre at blah blah blah will be relocated to blah blah blah with effective on blah blah blah. For your convenience, please access our self help options blah blah blah on our website blah blah blah or blah blah blah. If you are checking on blah blah blah etc etc etc etc.

For ____, Press 1.
For ____, Press 2.
For ____, Press 3.

Okay, no number to lead to officer so I *Press 2*

For ____, Press 1.
For ____, Press 2.

Okay, don't have the questions I'm looking for. Never mind, anyhow press one.

For ____, Press 1.
For ____, Press 2.
To speak to a customer service officer, press 0.

(Yay finally have an option to speak to officer. *Press 0*

For ____, Press 1.
For ____, Press 2.

Operator: Please be informed that this conversation will be recorded for quality and training purposes. Blah blah blah (forgot what exactly already)

I waited and then a waiting music comes on for less than 30 seconds and the operator speaks again:
"All our customer service officers are engaged at the moment. Please try again later. To go back to main menu, press 1. To end this call, press 9.


Why isn't there an option that says "To continue waiting, press 2" or something??? I'm now forced to either go back to main menu to RESTART the whole process all over again and listen to that stupid operator voice or end call without having my matter solved -_-

I tried not pressing anything to see if they allow me to continue waiting or not and the operator says "You have not input any option. All our customer service officers are engaged at the moment. Please try again later. To go back to main menu, press 1. To end this call, press 9. "

This repeats for about 3 times and then the call will hang up on its own.

Tell me angry or not!!


  1. Agree! Sometimes I do wonder if companies really do run through their automated system before implementing it. Convenience becomes a hassle..

  2. sounds like MOM to me!