Daily Archives: August 5, 2014

Automated Phone Hell

I don’t know about you, but having to deal with big companies’ automatic phone answering systems is wearing me down. It’s gotten so bad that when I hear that woman’s computer generated voice, I start looking for a tranquilizer.

At the end of June we had our credit card’s number stolen. How? I don’t know but the bank decided not to call us when someone made 14 one dollar purchases along the road from La Valencia to Palm Springs. I would have thought that was suspicious, but what do I know?

Because of this theft, we had to get new cards and also change every automatic payment we make. Several I could do online, but others I had to call. And go through listening to the voice telling me to choose my options: one, two, three and four. But I couldn’t just choose—I had to listen to what each option was. Invariably I was Option: Other. It didn’t end there with a person to help me. When I went to the option, I had to enter more data. Or answer stupid questions.

One day I lost it and started shouting into the phone, “I want to talk to a person!” Another time, after waiting patiently for Option Three I got this response: “Due to a high volume of calls, we suggest you call at another time. Goodbye.” That was not a good day.

I just got off the phone with our credit card company. Yesterday my card was denied at the grocery store, which is always a pleasant occurrence. So when I called to check on it, I had to go through the whole rigmarole of options. Finally, a young woman came on the line and asked me every question in the book except my bra size. When she began to explain company policy, I put my head on my desk. By the time she was done with me, my eyes were crossed.

I’m beginning to believe this is a Soviet plot. (Yes, I said Soviet. Live with it.) It’s a sneaky way to drive formerly sane Americans to commit acts of violence. No wonder there’s so much road rage.