Tuesday, February 5, 2008

If This is Correct, Say Yes

I didn't post last night because I couldn't get an internet connection until 11:00 pm and I was too ticked off to write.

Something happened to my router. Or maybe it was my DSL. Or something. Anyway, I couldn't get online. I learned something about myself when I couldn't get online. I have an addiction. When I couldn't log on, I started hyperventilating, freaking out that I was missing ...I don't even know what I was missing, but I was sure I was missing SOMETHING! Something big and important and terribly exciting! My heart was beating 200 times a minute and I started twitching. I, the person who used to say that computers were evil, was going through withdrawal because I couldn't connect to the cyberworld.

Anyway, that wasn't even the frustrating part. The mind-numbing, maddening, irritating, aggravating, annoying, exasperating, infuriating, riling, troubling, trying, vexatious (thank you thesaurs.com) part of my little extravaganza tonight was the two hours I spent on the phone in a maze of voice menus. TWO HOURS!

Welcome to AT&T.
For Spanish blah blah blah numero uno.
I see you're calling from xxx-xxx-xxxx. Is that the phone number listed on your AT&T account?


ME: Yes.

Thanks. I'll just look that up. Now, in a few words please say the purpose of your call. You can say things like "I want to pay my bill", or "I want new phone service." To speak to a service representative, say "agent".

ME: I can't get online.

It sounds like you'd like to make a payment. Is that correct?

ME: Umm no. Duh. I have internet problems.

Lets try this another way. If you're calling about payments, say "payments".

ME: NO! Not payments. Internet service!

OK which service needs repair, phone, internet, tv, or none of those?

ME: INTERNET!!!

I think you said you're calling to repair your dial up service. If this is correct, say "yes".

ME: YES!

My mistake. Please say one of the following: phone, internet, tv...

ME: INTERNET! It's always been internet. It's still internet!

To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?

ME: Yeah.

I think you said, "phone services." If this is correct, say "Yes".

ME: NO!

To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?

ME: YES!

Just a moment while I look up your account.

ME: You do that. @@

I'm sorry, I do not understand. Let's try this another way.
To get you to the right place, I need to know where you're calling from. Are you calling from the same number as your high speed internet line?


ME: YES!

Main menu: please say the option that best describes the issue you're calling about. For set up, password or connectivity issues, please say "tech. support". For billing questions or account services, say "billing". To hear these options again, you can say "repeat".

ME: GRRRRRRRR!!! You've got to be kidding me!

I'm sorry. I did not understand. If you're having problems with your high speed internet and would like tech support, say "yes".

ME: I'm having problems with this stupid voice menu! Can I talk to an actual person? Do you have any of those there???

It sounds like you want to pay your bill. Is this correct?

At this point, I whipped the phone across the room and grabbed a beer.

I tried calling the customer service line for my router, thinking that maybe someone there could help me. I was on hold for 42 minutes. That's not an exaggeration. FORTY-TWO MINUTES! I heard Rhapsody in Blue, Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven's Fifth, Barcarolle, William Tell Overature, and Danse Macabre. I started having flashbacks of piano lessons as a child. I never did talk to anyone there.

I tried AT&T two more times and each time, after navigating their system for several minutes, I finally got through to an actual person. Of course, when I finally got a person on the phone, they didn't speak English! I guess they might technically have been speaking English, but it was so broken that it might as well have been Greek or Ubbi Dubbi. Why? Why is this? And why do these people act so annoyed that you're bothering them with your obviously stupid questions? Where's the customer service? From the cashier at the grocery store, to the floor help at the clothing store, to the customer service rep. on the other end of the phone, more often than not I encounter someone rude, annoyed, or seemingly bored. What, can no one smile? Can nobody be helpful? Can't anyone at least pretend to care about your needs?

It's so rare to find a person who will not only help you with a smile, but who will go out of their way to give excellent customer service. Whenever I encounter such a person, I make sure to let them know how much I appreciate their help. I also try to find a manager so I can praise the employee that took the time and effort to give great service.

Anyway, at 8:30, I completely gave up, ran out to Circuit City in a blizzard, hoping to get there before they closed, and bought a new router. Voila! Problem fixed. I got back online at 11:00 pm.

It's been a fun two days here. I also learned that my oldest son hasn't turned in numerous assignments at school. He's grounded until the second coming. Today my youngest son, who has been totally potty trained for over a year, decided to poop in the garbage can. Why? Why do they do things like this? For the love of all that is Holy, WHY??? I made him dump it out into a garbage bag. Then, apparently offended by the stench of his own poop, he figured he'd spray some air freshener around. Unfortunately he grabbed a can of lemon-fresh Pledge instead. He sprayed furniture polish into the air and it landed in a waxy coat on the laminate floors. They are now more slippery than the streets outside (which are really slippery because we just got another 5 feet of snow here.)

Speaking of snow - the kids had a snow day today oh joy. Austin and Savannah went outside and instead of building a fort, they made a snowmom and 6 snow babies. Great, right? However, they used my husband's car jack to lift the middle snowball up so they could situate it on top of the bottom ball. My husband was less than thrilled with this.

It's still snowing here. What are the chances they'll go back to school tomorrow? What are the chances I'll stay sane if they don't?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Edited to add - a lot of people have written to tell me that they aren't getting notification from Blogarithm when I've posted. Some people have said that they only get 2 or 3 updates a week. I don't know why this is happening, but I added (actually Angie added) a Feedburner button right above the Blogarithm one. I guess you can just subscribe there to get updates when I create a new entry.
Also, I was nominated for some blog awards. I put the buttons for those along the right side of this blog. If your have the time or inclination, you can vote for my blog in any or all of the categories.
Thank you!

135 comments:

megryansmom said...

Posted by Dawn @ | 11:32 PM

But, but, but, it's only 9:52 PM, why does the time you posted on your blog different from the actual time, if you just posted? But, wait, what I really want to know is when Brooklyn's birthday is?

Gramma said...

I can't stop laughing! I've been on that same customer service phone marathon, but the poop in the trash can did me in. Thanks for a wonderful reading!!!!

Cindy said...

Oh dear, its unfortunate of your router problems. I have used the same router for 5 years now, and I must tell you that occasionally they just need to be reset. To do this you just unplug the router, and restart your computer and as the computer is welcoming you back to windows, you plug the router back in and 99% of the time this solves my problems, or whoever in the house is having a problem...sometimes one has internet but the ohter doesn't..the only way to fix it is to reset!! I hear you with the terrible internet addiction and the fact you cant get a live person (or one that speaks english!)..I continually press zero until finally a person comes on!! Hope your kids have school so you can get your sanity back :)

Black Sheep Dancing said...

Did you try resetting your router? To do this you just unplug it for 30 seconds and plug back in and it will do its self check and then magically work...usually. This usually solves the problem. You can also reboot your computer and see if that helps.

Julie said...

I can SO sympathize with you on ALL fronts, except the poop in the garbage can. My ex husband once peed on the carpet at the end of the bed (long story), and my son recently threw up on the floor outside of my bedroom (which he had to PASS the bathroom to get to), but no poop.
Glad you finally got your internet stuff fixed though. I was missing your post yesterday and was hoping everything was okay!
Enjoy the snow day you're going to have Thursday (we're having one, too).

Anonymous said...

Dawn,
I had to send my laptop to dell for a little over a week. DHL finally fought through the snow and fog to bring it back to me. I was having withdraws because I couldn't read your blog. I just read it and got to LOL again. Thankyou! I can't wait for your book to come out. I will be the first in line.

Sherry said...

I feel your pain. It never fails I will get a voice menu when my kids are either sleeping and I want to be quiet, not shout at a voice response program or else my kids are screaming making it even more difficult to navigate the menu. Sorry to hear about all the snow. We're only about 4 hours southeast of Chicago and we've had so much rain on partially frozen ground, that when the temperatures drop to single digits, we'll be able to ice skate in our backyard. You can send a few inches of the white stuff our way but you can keep the rest. :)

Dawn from Sunny California said...

HA! HA! Your AT&T recap sounds just like the menu man! I know, because I too have been there! My kids kept asking me questions and I would answer them and it would throw the whole voice response process off! I would say, "Be nice to your sister." And the menu man would say, "Sorry, I didn't understand that. It sounds like you...." I had to hang up and call back three times before I finally locked myself in the bathroom and gave the kids a cookie so I could get the darn phone issue fixed!
Thanks for the laugh! :)

My Semblance of Sanity said...

ALL i can say is...I AM SO WITH YOU ON THE PHONE thing! IT TOTALLY Pi$$es me off that you can't just talk to a human...one that you can understand the SECOND the phone stops ringing!!

Sarah said...

Is it okay that I found this whole post beyond funny?

I hope so, because I did!

A Whole Lot of Nothing/Angie said...

I've been missing my Dawn fix! Glad you're back.

Can you come potty train my girls? At this point, I don't care where they poop, as long as I don't have to clean it up.

Karrie said...

I 100% agree with you about the lack of customer services these days. Just a friendly smile is all it takes....

holly said...

Haha... I think I've had that same conversation with the AT&T computer person. You know how they say this call may be monitored for employee training purposes? I asked to speak to a supervisor once and they took my number and said I'd get a call back. I just know they are playing that back at the training meeting, saying, "see right there, when she asks to speak to a supervisor, we take her number and never call back."

Anonymous said...

My favorite is when you call and they tell you there name is George or Frank or something like that. You know that is not there name, they can't even pronounce it right. So from the start they are lying to me, doesn't put me in a good mood. And if I receive bad service, what really are the options? After all, even if I complain, who would they tell? How do they know who is George or Frank? It drives me nuts!

Amber said...

I would love to see a picture of the snowmom and babies! Sorry about the slippery floors!

Soulslulluby said...

I hate telephone customer service. I especially hate the automated ones which don't understand anything you say. I think its more of a hassle than just talking to a real person.

Hurray for snow days. I'm a teacher in Phoenix, Arizona and we never get those! It's awful, but even teachers have days when we wish some kids would stay home.

Geev said...

Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.
- Albert Camus

Today my son's preschool called to say he had an earache. I rushed over to take him home but stopped at CVS for some ear drops. My little 4 year old was crying big crocodile tears about how bad his ear hurt and all the while I tried consoling him saying outloud "as soon as we pay for the medicine I'll give it to you in the car, I know it hurts baby, but we need to wait in line" and NO ONE had the courtesy to offer me to step in front of them to get to the register quicker so I could care for my son. I had to wait behind one "price check" who decided she didn't want the item afterall, two teenagers who didn't have enough money to buy candy bars and Mrs. Crabby Pants who was irritated they didn't have her brand of smokes in stock.

Generosity, compassion for the person in line (or in the lane) next to you, kindness to perfect strangers and the use of a blinker are all obsolete.

Oh, the good ole' days. . . .

Kim in Ohio said...

Oh my how I loathe AT&T!!! I have their phone and DSL. Paying my bill each month by phone pains me. They have the worst prompts EVER. Reading what your wrote actually made me shudder in remembrance. They are a PHONE company. You'd think it would be easier! Paying my American Express bill on the phone is so easy. I interrupt her, she never misunderstands me, I talk over her. I love her. I'm in love with the Amex phone prompt girl! If my dog barks while I'm paying my AT&T bill, *lol*, I get that "I'm sorry I didn't understand you? Did you say... blah blah blah?" haha. They have a rating at the end. I always give them a 1! And he says "I'm sorry to hear that. Thank You" hahaha. Here is a link to a place that tells you how to bypass many company's prompts to get to a human. http://www.realtechnews.com/posts/2983

Eileen said...

Dawn - aaahhhh, you do make me feel a bit more normal - I only had to deal with our toddler tearing apart some stamp-art cards I had just finished (ARGH!) and then he somehow managed to find some packaged meds (pain releiver/fever reducer). THANKFULLY he only ate 1/2 a tablet and Poison Control said we are in the clear. THAT was a new experience. Sorry I can't help you out with the snow issue, we have 3 foot drifts in our driveway (Northern Idaho). By the way, kinda nice that the kids used something of your hubby's instead of yours for their "building" project :) Enjoy your blog and your humor. Look forward to your book. Keep it up :)

Keren said...

Your first mistake was not saying "agent" right away. However, sometimes you don't get that option, and I have been told (but I haven't actually tried this), that in many of these automated systems, saying certain choice four-letter words will automatically get you connected to a real person! Personally, my biggest pet peeve on these systems is when they ask you to type/dial in your account number, and when you finally get to a live person, the first thing they ask for is your account number!!!

Rebekah D. said...

Oh my word! AT&T called me - TWICE - yesterday to try to get me to switch to their Internet service, and I promise even the sales guys were speaking Ubbi Dubbi. For half a second I thought, "Hey, their rates are cheaper than what I've got," but then I told the first guy that I liked my Internet provider. (I just hung up on the second guy.) They're based a few miles away in Huntsville, ALABAMA, home of Southern hospitality and friendly customer service (usually), and your experience reminds me why I stick with the local guys. No voice menu! No two-hour wait! No weird unexplained outages! Southern accents that I can understand! People - REAL PEOPLE -who understand MY Southern accent! It's perfect for me.

jen elslager said...

I am a frequent reader (found you during the whole eBay thing), but a first time commenter. I got the following in an email from a trusted source:

How to Instantly Get a Human When Calling Big Companies

Actually, it's probably a weekly occurrence for many of us. What am I talking about? That frustrating, wanna' throw the phone out the window feeling when you call a company and have to speak to robots for 5 minutes before you get to speak to a real person.

...Someone has taken the initiative to create a website called 'gethuman.com' where you can find the 'secret' codes to be put through to a real human in the shortest time possible, sometimes instantly.


Hope this helps...
Jen

Wendy said...

What? You don't think that talking to a machine has simplified your life? Inconceivable! *cough, gasp, wheeze*

I found out about a website that tells you how to get straight to a person for numerous businesses - can you say "sanity saver"?
Here's the web address: http://gethuman.com/

Good luck in your future phoning endevors!

Wendy

Anonymous said...

We had a similiar problem with our Verizon connection last week. My husband was shouting swear words at the phone just to see the idiotic voice system would do next.

Anonymous said...

Dawn,
I FEEL your pain. I too had a run-in with customer service for my DSL service. Went through the same phone tree. Many Many Times! Making it a shorter story, I eventually ended up with an actual technician here in the house working on my problem. The problem was fixed and in the process we decided I needed to be updated with the newest technology. The tech called the business office for me and explained what I needed. All went well. I was set up with a date for new, updated service at the same price. BUT then I needed to arrange to have the current service disconnected. I was transferred somewhere and got tangled up in a Spanish phone tree. The tech was sitting here listening to me trying to get out of the Spanish tree. I asked him if he knew Spanish and he said no. FINALLY a person came on who spoke English with a very thick Spanish accent. I explained my problem and was told that I needed to be transferred to someone who was ALLOWED to speak English!! The story goes on, but eventually all worked out. Don't you love technology?
Sandy, HE, ILLINOIS

pam said...

I COMPLETELY agree with your frustration with calling companies and trying to deal with the computer person. I end up yelling what I want and just say "agent, agent, agent" until I get a real person. So annoying! I also live in the Chicago area and feel your pain with the snow days. They'll make you just as crazy as dealing with the phone computer/people!

Letty said...

I could totally relate to your fustration! I have a coronary if I can't get online! Then, I have spent many aggravating moments trying to navigate the At&T menu- I.HATE.IT. I understand that it saves the company money by not providing a live person to talk to, but it is horribly fustrating. Then, once you do get to the non-English speaking person, they immediately transfer you to someone else, who immediately transfers you back to who you were just talking to. I have never spent less than 45 mins on any call with them. Seriously, I think I would rather take all three of my kids to the grocery store!

And I loved your customer service rant too- I totally agree! And what is worse- even my daughter's school has no "customer service". You walk into the office and they all ignore you- maybe hoping you will just go away? Then they treat you like a criminal for trying to pick your child up a little early! Anyway..sorry, this is your blog...not mine!

Will we get to see a picture of your kids' snow family? That sounds so cute! Thanks for such an entertaining read. You make me laugh so hard! I really think God is using you to brighten up my stressful life! I am going to go vote for your blog right now!

Letty

Heidi said...

You. Make. Me. Laugh. SO HARD!!!!

Thank you. :)

(And welcome back to cyberworld!)

BoufMom9 said...

OMG! I am dying...mostly because that is so me as well! I used to say computers were the "devil" but now I am so addicted it's terrible and I have had mine crash on more than a few occassions and feel your pain. UGH! You know what I did that worked? I yelled into my phone , by the 15th or so stupid automated questioned, that I wanted a human being to talk to and POOF they put a person on the line. i couldn't believe it. (of course, like you said, non Engish speaking and rude, but a person) LOL
PS What's with the pooping in a trash can? Last week my daughter PEED in a bag in her bedroom because she didn't want to get out of her room at night to go...WTH???

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I always feel like I'm missing the blogging party when I can't log on at night. It's pathetic.

I'd still like some of that snow, too. You guys are hogging it all.

Serial Mommy said...

i also have att, and i have found that with their system, once they verify your number, keep saying "operator" over and over again, it seems to work for me here, i get to a person and then tell THEM what i am wanting...and i can't find the buttons for the awards, i guess i'm blind or something...oh, and i'm hoping for school tomorrow as well, we had 2 snow days last week and that's all i can handle for the entire year i think

Mum-me said...

Hear, hear! I completely understand what you're talking about. It is exactly the same here (Australia) and I do the same as you (thank someone in customer service who has actually been helpful). Glad you got it all sorted out anyway.

Darla said...

Dawn, just writing to tell you that I feel your pain when it comes to internet issues with at&t. I live in Oklahoma and also have their dsl, everytime I have issues it takes me 3 days and numerous non-english speaking represenatives to get to the bottom of it, if at all! And usually it turns out to be something that the company has done wrong... after 3 days of them telling me it was my fault I'm usually ready to tell them to take my modem and stick... well you get the idea!

Sharon said...

Oh my GAWD Dawn! That stupid AT&T automated thing is enough to make me want to rip someone's arm off and beat the electronic fake man with it. Every time I have to deal with that system, I end up screaming at the phone and my kids look at me like I need to be locked in a rubber room with an I love myself jacket. I have discovered, though, that if you refuse to talk to him long enough, he'll get you a real person. If you are unlucky enough to have Homezone, like we do,l just tell him Homezone repeatedly and it should transfer to someone that may be able to actually help you. I thought I was the only one that thinks that automated guy is Lucifer himself!

AZtutti said...

Oh My! You have perfectly described the nightmare of phone company voice systems!! My husband and I are sitting here crying we are laughing so hard!
I am also addicted to the Internet. I fought like a mother bear against the changing over of our home office system to computers 15 years ago. Now I can't go through ONE day with out Googling, Asking, or Wikepediaing something. We turned off the TV last August to reclaim some time for other things. Now we have a two hour a night Internet habit!! I thought you fell in another snowbank and the snow drifted over you ;) Glad U R back!

Anonymous said...

Huh - not turning in assignments? Does that sound familiar! I used to find papers in the bottom of DS's locker, bookbag, under the bed, in the closet - anywhere but turned in. We got tired of yelling & got him a (very expensive!) ADD evaluation. Bingo. Too bad we didn't think of doing it until after his 1st semester in college. He's doing much better now - they do eventually grow a 'responsibility bump'. Really. As for the car jack, that's only logical. The poop in the garbage, that's unexplainable. Using lemon pledge to cover up the smell - priceless!

Jeremy Machetta said...

Hey there Dawn, just wanted to get you a little advice on the next time your internet don't fee like working, and trust me being a geek in this field I've seen it happen lots of times, usually when I'm not home, so the whole family starts to call me and yell my ear off, but here's somthing you can do. Just reset the Router. there's two ways to do the but the fastest way is just to rip the power plug from the outlet wait literally seconds and plug it back in. A couple seconds later and your internet should be running just fine. On the off chance that this don't work then you might get stuck talking to the lovely phone records from AT&T. But for me usually just pulling the plug and letting it start over again works just fine. :)

~Jeremy~

Leon said...

After reading of your travails with AT&T, I guess I should be thankful that when I have to call earthlink, all the Techies I reach in India are relatively articulate and amazingly polite. Now, that doesn't totally make up for their general lack of knowledge when I explain the problem, but it at least results in a somewhat less blood pressure raising encounter. :~)

Anonymous said...

I went to bed CRYING because of this huge snow dumping we just got! I am in mid Michigan, so I know what you are talking about. My huge irritation is the snow plow who dumps boulders of snow (about the size of your kids snowmom's middle) at the edge of my driveway. I shoveled just IT 3 x today, and gave up crying and to bed I went.

I also TOTALLY agree with poor customer service here in the midwest. I lived 30 years on the West Coast, and it is 100% better there. Guess the lack of snow sure helps!!!

Kristin said...

Ooooh, I hate calling in and talking to that voice that can't understand anything I say! And, it's some chicks voice that is totally calm and you just want to reach through the phone...
Anyway, I've been there and I feel your pain.
Thanks for the laugh though.

Brianna From Indiana said...

At least I'm not the only one that would rather have major surgery, some dental work done, and shampoo my carpets by hand with a toothbrush before i will call AT&T.

When we have issues i just make the husband call. Less people end up getting yelled at that way.

Yvonne said...

Ugh, I feel your pain! Getting through to anyone or getting any kind of customer service is next to impossible nowadays! In fact, the waitress who brought my family their dinner tonight was really not very nice about it...oh, um...
sorry, that was ME! Good luck with the kids home..I will pray for you.

Jessi said...

Oh boy, can I relate on so many levels!! Not only do I have the addiction (the last time my internet went out, it was for over 8 hours and I was in tears....I couldn't focus on anything else and I spent half the time on the phone with tech support, knowing damn well it wouldn't help).....but I also could've told you every automated recording that you just repeated.

What gets me most is when I mumble something under my breath and it picks up on it, sending me back through more questions....but when I yell "yes!" it can't freakin' understand. What gives??

JenH said...

Oh man do I LOATHE those automated systems that want you to say things instead of just pushing a number. I dunno what the rationale was behind everyone switching to that system but I definitely think it is WORSE than pushing numbers to navigate menus. For one thing, I feel like an ass talking to an automated system. Am I the only one who feels stupid talking to nobody?! For another thing, those systems are clearly not made for moms. Most of them "malfunction" if there is ANY noise in the background. Which with kids... yeah like it's ever going to be quiet enough?! Anytime I call one of those systems with the kids around half the time I don't even get to say ANYTHING but the system picks up my kids screaming in the background and just incessantly repeats "I'm sorry I didn't understand that. Did you want to make a payment? If that is correct, say yes." I'd be willing to bet your problems were related to the same situation. I mean I have to assume you were not calling from the complete supreme silence that is required to navigate those things... were you? Oh... and don't breath too heavily when you call either, lol.

Ada said...

There's a great web page at http://gethuman.com/ which lists how to talk to a real person. Of course, you were not able to access it since you were offline. So memorize the one for AT&T: press 0 at each prompt, ignoring messages.
While I'm at it, can I just say that I wish there was a way to turn off voice recognition?!? For all of us who have tried calling those numbers while the kids were screaming in the background, there are certain advantages to using the touch tone buttons.

Hands-Free Heart said...

UGH! We've dealt with those same issues with Verizon. We have ongoing connection problems that no one can seem to fix. We decided to pay $2/month more to get a different Internet Service Provider. We still have connection issues, but their customer service is much more responsive.

Sometimes I click on the wireless connection icon down near the clock and choose a wireless network other than my own... there's one within range that is unsecured. Now I would never pay any bills through it, but I do a lot of more general online stuff that way when our connection is acting up.

On the feed note, I use Google reader, which works fine. And you don't need to type in or paste a feed link, you just type in mom2my6pack.blogspot.com and you are all set up!

FUN-ky Mama said...

I'm just impressed that you can even use voice-activated lines. With kids and dogs, those things drive me CRAZY! If the dog barks I get, "I think you said, woof?" and if the kids sneeze, I hear "I think you said, shoes?"

roseys madhouse said...

when we first moved here we had no internet for two weeks and let me tell you we did not like it at all. My husband and I both realised that we are serious internet junkies....
I totally understand the whole voice operated trouble I cant stand it and then when you finally get through that you end up (like you said) talking to someone that has no idea what your saying and as if your not frustrated enough by going through the previous ordeal grrrr. Glad to have you back though. Im so sorry its snowing there, I hate it when it rains here and the kids cant go outside.

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to computer problems...Here's a tip I learned after calling ATT for the 6th time in 2 days - after each prompt hit #, it brings you to an operator.
Ali/IL

Kim said...

I always press 0. No matter what and it usually gets me to some sort of live person. Also, we have a router and it burns out quite a bit and has to be replaced. I know how you feel when you can't get on line. I do the same thig and not sure why. Yes, I do believe it's an addiction or maybe it's just the stay at home moms only link to the outside world!

cakeburnette said...

IT'S THE NAME...

My Austin came home (AGAIN) with a weekly grade sheet that noted he had 2 missed homework assignments! Which he did! His issue is that he's too lazy or inattentive to turn it in when this one particular teacher asks for it. Or rather, I think she has a standing policy for them to just turn it in first thing, and she's not reminding them a zillion times now that it's the 2nd semester. Anyway, mine is grounded, too.

Hoffman Family said...

Sounds like you had a case of "Connectile Dysfunction". We are all glad you got it cleared up.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just thought I'd let you know about a tip I learned a few years ago. If you must go through any phone system, don't press anything! A real person will talk to you because they assume you don't have a touchtone phone or that you're sick (throat infection). I know it doesn't help now, but it could help later =)

My Kids' Mom said...

I understand the addiction. My email isn't working right now and I'm getting about two of every ten emails sent to me. Just enough to know that I don't know what's happening in the world. A wonderful friend should have had her baby by now and I should have gotten an announcement. I sent off an email that started a firestorm of heated conversation at my church, but I only received one of the follow-up emails. I'm going crazy. I'll know when it starts working again because I check it every two minutes.

Snow days? I never understood why parents of school aged kids so disliked days off school. But now I have some of those kids myself. I get it now.

Multiple Mom T said...

Your phone call to AT&T sounds word for word exactly like my call to Verizon. I HATE VERIZON. I have learned to not answer those questions, but to just repeat over and over and over "customer service". It seems to work.

Anonymous said...

Dawn! I so feel your pain. It really is sadistic what they do? I posted on this awhile back ... enjoy! Allison at Amomthing

http://amomthing.typepad.com/weblog/2007/12/call-center-cha.html

Anonymous said...

Lurker here, but I thought I'd tell you that once, i too, was on the phone with the automated customer service line from hell. After repeatedly "saying aloud" the answers that they needed to "help me" and getting no where, the mechanical person on the other end said something like, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear that. Can you repeat your answer?" to which I replied, "i would just like to talk to a fucking real live person"
and what do you know?? "she" said, "ok, I see you'd like to talk to a customer service representative. Hold on, I'll connect you"

Might want to try that next time.

:)

Anonymous said...

So funny! We haven't had poop in the trash can yet, but I wouldn't put it past my son (almost 3) to pull a stunt like that. Thankfully he's still fascinated by putting his poop in the potty!

And what the crap is it about AT&T (and other companies) telling you to push 1 for english, then transferring you to someone from Afghanistan or wherever? AT&T is the worst offender. Hence why we dropped them like a hot potato.

pamibe said...

In the 'it's funny because it's true' category, this rules! I almost fell out of my chair laughing!! :D

GE is me said...

I'd say oh yay, I'm first, but I'm sure that is far from the truth.
I sooo feel your pain & totally agree with you as far as a customer svc. rep. Usually, when I get those really aggravating recordings I don't do anything. I just hold on the line. Eventually you will get a live person.(not that they speak English.)

While I understand your husband's lack of amusement at the kids using his carjack to lift snowballs; I have to appreciate their ingenuity! :)
If they tell you their bored threaten them with chores. :)
Good luck & God Bless.
-Gail

Vivian M said...

I really dislike automated voice prompts at customer service lines. Usually I just press the "0" button on the phone a zillion times until a human responds, or I end up screaming "customer service!" or "operator!" until I get a live person or the system hangs up on me. It doesn't matter anyway, because I just end up at the wrong department and end up getting transferred right back to the automated voice. UGH! Glad you fixed your problem, what would we all do without our daily dose?

Laura said...

I so dislike those voice people. It's funny though, because when you need help all you can get are recorded people. But when you are even just one day late on your bill, you get lots of real people calling you.

Tabitha said...

I hate those automated voice repsonse thingies too! It never fails that one of the five children, who keep calling me Mommy for some reason, begin to make noise and screw the darm thing up. Then I'll get the "I don't understand" from the system.

A little trick however . . . I have found on many of these systems that if you just start saying "Operator", even if it doesn't offer that option, it will immediately transfer you to a live person! It doesn't work on all systems, but it works on a lot of them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn! Hysterical as usual. Just wanted to share that I had to go down that same road a week ago with At&T for my high speed. However, about 1 1/2 min after trying to navigate their system for the first time, I heard a little voice say, "mommy?" and turned around to see my 2 1/2 year old holding a handful of blood under her lip that she had cut trying to "shave like Daddy." She had just been watching Clifford for Pete's sake and the razors are practically out of my reach in the medicine cabinet! So 1 hour, 1 bath, and 8 dora bandaids later her little lip was clotted. It did however inspire me to finally start a blog which I have been wanting to do. Cute pics of the incident are at lifewithspirit.blogspot.com So in the end I guess AT&T provided me with something--the inspiration to get going. Of course when I called back it took 55 min to finally get my high speed up and running. LOVE your blog. I will definitely stand in line to get you to sign my copy of the book!
--Lara :-)

Anonymous said...

That story is so funny because it is true. Those voice activated phone jails usually pick up what my kids are screaming in the background but not what I am trying to tell it into the phone. I sometimes lock myself in the bathroom and repeat "help, help, help" until it gets me a live person (that does not speak english).

-Donna W.

tigerbcc said...

I have learned from working in an industry where we need to call customer service many times a day is that if you just say Macaroni and Cheese to every question you get to a real person much quicker.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I'm using Google Reader & I get your posts just fine :)

kristen said...

Dawn- I had this issue with my AT&T cell phone, and got terrible customer service trying to get it replaced under warranty. I found the CEO's address on consumerist.com, wrote him a letter, and a week later, got a personal phone call from their exec. office with apologies and a free month of service. I suggest you do the same! Here's the info: Randall Stevenson
AT&T
175 E. Houston
San Antonio, TX 78205

The SLUSHPILE Blog said...

Dawn, I was once a phone company customer rep for about six months. My take on the situation is that they run you through all those voice menus so that you're really good and p---ed off by the time we get you. Lovely way of doing business.

Your story of the car-jack and the snowmen brought back some fond memories:

My husband and I had four children and five years (yeah, I know, we don't know what we were thinking either). They had the habit of pulling everything out of the garage during the summer months and slewing it all about the yard on various 'projects'. Of course come winter, many of these items were still in the yard (our neighbors loved us). During one particularly bad cold spell, our toilet line froze. My husband went to the garage to get the plumbing snake, and of course, it was somewhere out in the yard, buried by snow. "I think I saw it over here around August," I informed him. We were then out in the yard with snow shovels and a flashlight at midnight, digging through three feet of snow in search of the plumbing snake.

Ah, the good old days. Thanks for the memories.

Rebecca Melvin
http://theslushpileblog.com

Luann said...

I cannot STAND those voice response systems. They especially don't work well when you have a two year old next to you shouting out everything you say.

Erica said...

Wow...what a frustrating night for you, but a funny story! :o) If you dial 0, usually it will take you straight to a representative...I can't guarantee that's it's not gonna be the guy that works at the Kwikee Mart, but...it usually works! :o)

omystarling said...

You are a girl after my own heart - I had that type of day too. I was so frustrated. I was on my way into church yesterday and a friend called and asked about my day and I let her have it. Is it acceptable to be pissed off as you are walking into the sactuary?

I could go on about the details of my day but they might be as long as your entry.

Anyway, I feel your pain.

I beat you though. I was on the phone with Linksys (wireless router) for 4 HOURS. After the second hour of 'Yes, I understand' I said, 'Look, you need to get a new phrase becuase apparently you do not understand. If you did understand you would have my problem fixed.'
Response: Yes, I understand.

Really, I feel your pain!

Kim W. in Austin said...

Dawn...I am so sorry to hear about your AT&T experience! I can understand because I have gone through the same thing with their stupid voice mail system more times than I can count. I usually just say "agent" or "customer service" right at the get-go with ALL voice mail systems now so that I can talk to an actual, live, human being, regardless of what country they are in...lol!

Needless to say we are glad that you are back up and running. Also, thanks for the additional blog subscriber...I think FeedBlitz is having multiple issues because your blog is not the only one this is happening too.

Stay warm,

Kim

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, It is a snow day here to in Michigan. Our school has an answering machine telling if they are closed. I love that because I can predial the # the night before and in the morning (with one eye open) push redial. I refuse to sit in front of the TV and wait for an hour to see it listed. Another thing.. I dislike AT&T! I have had problems with them in the past. I bet you will get lot's of comments on the telephone answering phone services. Why can't they speak English? Kristine in Michigan.

The Miles Family said...

Yep, I too hate the voice menu at AT&T. It's enough to make you scream ugly words at the top of your lungs!! :)

English speaking representatives would be nice... and when I say that, I mean it would be nice for English to be their primary language!!! I called the company that holds my student loan to "talk" to someone about making some changes, but I couldn't because I couldn't understand anything he said in his broken English with Indian accent!!! UGH!

www.themilesfamilyadventures.blogspot.com

crystal said...

I just thought I would tell you how much I understand the feeling of the dsl problem. Several months ago I had problem after problem after problem with our DSL. When my husband got home I told him and I quote, "I just spent my entire day talking to someone in India about my computer that bought in America but was made in China that now has a faulty part that we can only get in Twain!" Sorry you are having so much trouble.

Morrighan said...

Oh, bless your hear, you sound just like me. I've discovered that yes, I am addicted. And AT&T Internet actually has really good tech support if you can get through and get someone who HASN'T been outsourced. Usually if I call and get someone I'm having trouble understanding, I straight up tell them "Transfer me to someone with less of an accent"

Deb in OPKS said...

I so understand what you mean when I can't check my internet. I've turned into a monster about it!

Most of my prior jobs have been in customer service in some way or another. I have always tried to help people and get the answer if I didn't know it. It amazed me how people even in my own office would just pass them on, even when they were the person to help them. I would often have to send them back and tell them what to say to make the person help them. I'd want to go over and smack those people sometimes! Customer service is a lost art and I'm with you, I want to kiss those people that actually give it to you!

Janet said...

We had the exact same "conversation" with AT&T a few years ago when one of our kind neighbors stole our mail and signed us up by cashing the check AT&T mailed out. We didn't know about it for a couple of months when we started getting a bill and it took us another 2 months to get it straightened out. Scott spent literally hours on the phone just trying to get to a human being. And then more hours trying to get someone who spoke English and wasn't an idiot (not necessarily the same person). It was horrible. I'll never have AT&T again.
Good luck with the snow days!

CompaniaHill said...

I sympathize with your phone-maze plight. Here is a reference that may help you with similar situations in the future: Get A Human.

You may want make a print of this list and keep it near your computer, in case you can't get online the next time you need it. :-)

Mrs. Flubberboot aka Heather said...

I am so sorry you had to go through that! I hate those menus and I think they are designed to make you hang up. I don't think it works with AT&T but sometimes just hitting 0 will work or even any random number.

Krys72599 said...

We are oh-so most definitely related somehow, somewhere!

Warning: All caps to come. I SO HATE AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEMS.
The minute I hear one, my voice changes, I grind my teeth together, and I get stressed. My responses include something along the lines of: "Agent." "Operator." "Main menu." "LIVE PERSON!"
At this point, I've already heard repeated versions of "I'm sorry, I didn't understand that. Would you like to pay a bill, change your address, or slit your wrists?"
There is absolutely no situation on God's green earth where I would prefer to talk to a machine instead of to a live human. No way. No how.
I actually changed my mom's wireless service from Virg*n Mob*le to Spr*nt just because of the automated system: "Wuss uuuup?"
AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

Nate said...

Technology is a wonderful thing... but you can't tell an automated phone system "yeah" or "Umm no, Duh" or you start having your kind of evening. Broadband internet service for $15.99/month dictates that there be less people employed to give a pleasant, non-digitized experience... but that's no excuse for the people working at the stores. I'd be interested to know your experiences with the automated check-out lines that are popping up in every kind of store where there is a very set way they must be used in order to keep them from being punched in with the heaviest item in the shopping cart. Then again, those are usually express lines and I don't imagine shopping for a family of 8 lends itself to the 15 items or less very often.

KarenKal said...

Hi Dawn,
Next time you can't get through to a "LIVE" person, check out this web-site.
http://www.gethuman.com/us/
It is a cheat sheet for most 800 numbers to get a real person.
Hopefully it helps!

Char said...

I hated when AT&T went to the automated voice system they have. Your entry reminds me of some of my own frustrated phone conversations I've had with them. THis is why we now have our phone over the internet. The only person I have to deal with is my husband!

Midnite Scrapper said...

Oh sister! I am just nodding my head in agreement to your whole post. The only place I can really find good customer service these days are at Starbucks or In 'n Out Burger. Being that I need to stay away from both these days, that's not a good thing. Thanks for sharing and letting us know that it IS.NOT.US. It is THEM. Hang in there and if they get another snow day...well, I dunno. I am in So. Cal. and have no idea what you should/could do on a snow day. Good luck! =]

ashley nicole said...

We have AT&T for internet service also...they really didn't help my mom when she called about out internet problems either...

Yay for solving the problem on your own though!! Boo for a snow day!! Thankfully, my brothers didn't have one today...I might have gone insane...

Have a great day!!

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I am sorry you were having problems. With those type of menus, your best bet is to say representative. This usually works. Also, if you have any backround sound or say anything the automated system doesn't recognize, you will be in some type of loop forever.

Hopefully, your snow will take a break soon. I am in Memphis. We are just glad the tornado didn't touch down near us. My 3 kids and I spent lots of time in the closet Tuesday night.

Sarah said...

You probably already know about this, but here's a website telling you what to do to "get a human."
http://www.gethuman.com/us/
This is a great entry; I'm sure all of us can relate. (Scroll almost to the bottom under "u s telco" to find AT&T.

Aubrey said...

I'm so glad we don't ever have snow days here in Utah, unless it has drifted all the way up our doors (which rarely happens). A jack to lift a snowball--that's funny. And the poop? I just heard a story about a little girl who took off her poopy diaper and the dog licked her bum clean! It's a true story, too.

Anonymous said...

Dawn...........

~~~ You CRACK ME UP! ~~~~~

Thanks for the morning laughs :)

Donna in NY

Anonymous said...

Har, Har! Reminds me of the times my cousin would poop in his bed because he didn't want to take a nap. His mother gave him a spanking (this was 40 years ago and socially condoned), and the next day he did it again. This time he decided to HIDE the poop - in the heat vent in his room - it was wintertime. This went on for several days until someone noticed a "funny" smell in his room, especially when the furnace was running. He grew up to be normal and well adjusted father of two.

Cat said...

VERY funny - i haven't read all the comments, so maybe someone has already said this but there's a trick i learned a long time ago. those automated voices aren't very smart, so really only one word answers work. i always say "representative" or "operator" regardless of what they ask... you get to a live person that way.

also, sometimes with DSL a surge can knock out your modem and/or router. always unplug the two devices from power, plug in the modem [wait 2 minutes], plug in your router... that fixes me up nearly 100% of the time.

good luck!

Bethles said...

Next time you need a number quickly and want to talk to a real live person right away, you can call one of your friends to look up the direct dial from Get Human: http://gethuman.com/

You might also want to just print out the page and keep it handy. It saves me HOURS when I want to talk to a real person.

Comeaus said...

I just spent the weekend dealing with the same AT&T voice menu. AAAAA. It took them three days to fix our internet. I thought I would LOSE MY MIND with no internet!!

Sarah said...

Oh, Dawn, thank you again for lightening my heart! Your stories involving Clay remind me so much of my youngest daughter! And I apologise for the length of this post... I just have to share my own experience dealing with those automated systems... It's in my blog, but my settings are on private because I've had to deal with harassment in the past...

In an attepmt to place an order from Columbia House DVD club using a special code to receive 60% off additional items, the automated answering service wouldn't recognize my special code. It told me to try going online if I was experiencing trouble.

I had the same problems when I tried to order online, and when I get an offer like 60% off, that means I can get 2 or 3 or even 4 movies instead of just 1 or 2... I didn't want to give up on it. I called again, and I was informed that the call center was closed, but I was provided with an answering system that was designed to perform like an actual representative, complete with fake typing sounds during the pauses after "he" said "Ok, let me look that up for you." Sounds pretty nice, huh? Well, it wasn't. The first thing "he" said to me was "If you can't provide me with your correct account information, I will be forced to disconnect this call." I had not even been asked for my account info at that point. So I finally got past that stage and was sternly repremanded for my failure to pay for an order that I had not even received yet. I tried to place my order, but was constantly interrupted with the same rude message, but with variations. I was reminded repeatedly that my new order may not be processed if my current balance was not paid. So I tried to report a missing order. It took 4 or 5 tries, and then the same irritating machine told me that it could not be reported as missing or lost until 4 weeks after the ship date, and would I like to pay my outstanding balance at this time in order to avoid any delay in future order shipments? I would like to say that I did not utter a primal scream as I slammed the phone back in the cradle.

But I persisted. I called every day at least once beginning a week before Thanksgiving with the same lack of results. I figured the trouble getting through might have something to do with the short amount of time I was able to remain on hold, so on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I planned to spend the whole day in the kitchen getting ready for the meal, and I called at 8:30 in the morning, determined to wait until someone actually answered the phone.

THIS is how long I waited on hold, listening to the same 5 songs over and over, and heard all about how I could now pre-order 2 movies which have already come out... not to mention that a nice recorded voice assured me every 5 minutes or so that someone would be right with me if I continue to hold.

Finally, after 5pm, I gave it up as a lost cause.

That was the last day before my order would automatically go through, without my additional videos at 60% off, because I couldn't manage to get them ordered, despite my valiant persistence.

So I took a break over the holidays, being out of town and a national holiday and all, and resumed calling on Tuesday this week.

Then, something truly amazing happened. A real live human being answered the phone this morning!! Yes, I could hardly believe it! I almost fell out of my chair...

I gave her an abbreviated version of everything I had been through in the past couple weeks, and she had to transfer me to someone more senior who could override the system since my full-price movie had already been ordered. There followed a full 18 minutes of listening to the phone ring at the other end. I am not kidding. I fixed macaroni & cheese for the kids and serve it to them, including strapping the girls into their booster seats and putting their bibs on and barrets in their hair to keep them from eating hairy noodles. I ate a nice, warm, depressing piece of apple pie. Still the incessant ringing. I was despairing, sure that I had been abandoned once again, when another real, live human being answered the phone!

I ran across the room and took the phone off speaker, at which point Cherie and Livi Carinne decided to start arguing at the top of their lungs over who needed shoes on at the table and that noodles don't belong on bibs. Then my mobile phone rang; it was my husband Tim calling...

Stuffing a finger in my other ear and voicing a short warning as to what the consequences of yelling at the lunch table would be, then discreetly telling Tim I'd call him right back, and I got my 3 movies for 60% off!!! I didn't even care at that point that the woman who answered made it plain by her tone and manner that talking to me was the last possible thing she'd like to be doing. I wonder if she had actually been sitting there listening to it ring on her desk for the 18 minutes...

And now I think a Merry Christmas is assured, for my kids and my wallet : )

rachel said...

I just wanted to write a quick note to say "Bless you." You are one of a precious, precious few who actually commend employees for their good work. I have worked in the customer service industry for 5 years, and have spent the last 3 at a call center.
In my field, we have identified four types of callers: the whiners, the victims, the idiots, and the normal people. The whiners are just calling to complain. They don't really care if their problems get fixed or not. The have suffered inconvenience and someone is going to hear about it. The victims feel that they are one little person against the big, bad corporation. It doesn't matter whether the CSR (customer service rep) is genuinely trying to help them or not. They want their problem fixed but they will have to threaten a lawsuit for that to happen because noone cares. Or they feel that whatever the problem is, it is entirely the fault of the employee who did it on purpose because he's an evil, sadistic devil spawn out to get them. The idiots are those people who God chose not to bless with common sense. They are the people who truly think that the power going out has nothing to do with their computer not working or believe placing a potato on the television will make it work again (this one actually happened to a co-worker of mine). They are the people who have a million phDs in electrochemical engineering, rocket science, brain surgery, and software design but still think that the little tray that comes out of the computer is a cup holder. The normal people are just that, normal. They are rational, intelligent people who understand that call centers don't intentionally mess up their stuff because they're bored or whatever. These are people who are willing to go through the steps that will 99% of the time fix whatever is broken, and will actually thank their rep for helping them.
Unfortunately, there are so many completely normal people in the worold who go through some kind of biological change when they dial an 800 number. They take on some kind of Hulk persona, and turn into at least one of the first three types of callers. I must admit that I am one of those people.
The point is that call centers have an incredibly high turn over rate. At the call center where I work, more that 83% of employees fail to complete their first year. The rest become so jaded by the overwhelming rate of bad callers, that some take on the mentality of 'what can I do to get this person off the phone?' The voice response menus only make it worse. People tend to be so frustrated by the time they get to an actual person that they take it out on the poor employee who just happened to answer the phone.
This is my long-winded way of trying to say thank you, thank you, thank you. People like you, who actually take the time to mention that the faceless person on the other end of the phone did their job well, are precious to people like me. Please keep doing what you are doing. If more people did, maybe there would be fewer employees leaving call center jobs with a hatred and contempt for humanity.

Dana said...

I sit here trying to keep quiet because I have 2 kids sleeping(wonder why my 8th month pregnant butt can't go to sleep??)and I am trying not to wake them up but it has been really hard reading this post. I have the same problem with my insurance company it drives me to want to hurt someone!!! My husband is constantly complaining that the kids can't leave things in his garage alone. And poop in the trash can does me all in!! I know I have had similar what in the heck were you thinking moments with my kids. One where a kid put a hammer(again from the garage) into the freezer then stuck his tongue on it. He ripped taste buds off his tonge and bleed all over the place. Thanks for making me laugh!!!!

Sara said...

Wow. That's why I live in a small European country where none of that happens :)

angie said...

I cannot stand going through those automated menus, either. The next time that you end up with an Ubbi Dubbi speaking representative, let me know. I used to have a book from Zoom, so I can probably translate for you. It's been awhile, but I am sure that it will all come back to me. :)

~Ubangubie
Subouth Ubelgubin, IL

Rick said...

Wow! Lot's of comments. You've hit on something here - more material for another chapter in book 2

I didn't quite understand your post, so I pushed #3 for West Coast English interpretation, and this is what I heard...

Blah, blah, blah, blah @#(*%# AT&T!

Blah, blah, blah, blah @#(*%# AT&T!

Blah, blah, blah, blah @#(*%# AT&T!

I need a beer.

Blah, blah, blah, blah @#(*%# AT&T!

Is that about right?


http://organizeddoodles.blogspot.com/

Shan - from Colorado said...

Back before Christmas, I was at The Container Store, and bought my 2 year-old a ball, which he promptly lost out in the parking lot on the way to the car. I was so mad (truthfully, I liked the ball more than him), and my husband stopped by on his way home from work to buy another one. When he got to the counter, he told the cashier what happened, and the cashier just gave it to him. No charge.

I was so pleased with them that I called the manager the next day to tell him how happy I was, and the poor guy answered the phone as if Hell itself was coming down on him. When I told him that I was calling to compliment them, he was so excited and thankful. So, even though I love The Container Store anyway, I will always go back and tell all my friends about it because of their fabulous service. (And, BTW, in their bathrooms they have a stainless steel changing table that actually looks as if it's been cleaned!) Have a great day!

Sharlyn said...

Our weather in eastern Idaho has been crazy. Our kids are on their sixth (count 'em, six, might be seven, I'm losing track) snow day in three weeks. This hasn't happened for as long as we've lived here which has been five years. I have five children, so I know what a busy house is like, but they're actually getting along really well today. They can't go out to play because the wind is blowing about 500 miles per hour at the moment.

janetcc said...

A couple weeks ago I called ADT, went through 4 levels of punch 1 for this, 2 for that... to get a recording that said they were closed for the Martin Luther day holiday. They couldn't have said that on the FIRST darn recording?

Heather said...

Dawn- I am dying laughing here! You totally made my week!!! Thought I'd add there is no reason to switch to Verizon because they use the same stupid system. So does my cable company! They are all in league against us. Once I did get an actual American who spoke English and I told her I hated the voice system and she said they had trouble with it not understand women's voices for some reaon (why???? maybe it was designed by a man???) Feeling your pain here...

ummmhello said...

Ah, yes, the dreaded AT&T automated system that doesn't seem to understand English. My husband works for AT&T and we even have to use that same awful system for employee related things!!

Queen of My Domain said...

I feel your pain, I just spent two hours trying to wade through voice menus also.

Michelle said...

LOL - how many times have I done that, even resorting to cussing at the automated system only to reach someone named Lalijama in calcutta India who can't speak a word of good English.

Just a tip - often if you press 0 (sometimes several times) or clearly say "customer service" it will get you to a live customer service agent.

korkie said...

My first comment started with
an hysterical rant about having to deal with a person in customer service with such a thick accent and an 'attitude' because you can't understand them, that you end up hanging up because your increasing blood pressure has your eyeballs popping out your head and blood spurting out your ears!!

I started, but then I decided to erase the 10,000 word rant and just say ..."I hear ya girl... I feel your pain."

BYW, try constantly punching the 0(operator) key. I find that eventually leads me to a 'real live' person.

And Fun-ky Mom... I love you 'CoExist' logo. I use it all the time. I even have a cool bumper sticker of it that gets a remarkable amount of comments on it.

nutralady2001 said...

OMG I'm hysterical here over the calling your ISP!......and yes there is coffee sprayed all over my keyboard and monitor.

I usually get a call centre in India (when I eventually get past the voice recognition/pushing buttons)which when you live in Australia is very logical........yes????no????

I wait til I get off the phone before having my nervous breakdown

Anonymous said...

I have had that exact same, word for word, conversation the computerized voice at Verizon.

mommycomedy said...

I'm going to skip past the phone menu and go right to the pooping... my problem is peeing! My 3 1/2 year old who has been potty trained for over a year started 'spotting' a few weeks back. I feel like a adopted a new puppy! A couple places in the living room, his room, his little brother's room, my closet! I'm a floor person - the rest of the house can be destroyed, but I like the carpet clean... I'm trying not to take his behavior personally! Anyway, I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and couldn't get the smell out. I've had professionals out three times... each time they get it cleaned, but then we go a couple days and he 'spots' again. We've talked and talked and disciplined and tried positive and negative reinforcement, etc... I even asked the carpet guys if they were slipping him $5 each time they showed up so they could come back and get some more business!!! It would help my sanity to know that someone else has dealt with this puppy behavior! Between the smell of pee and his brothers poopy diapers, my house is starting to smell like a public restroom!

momtwiceover2002 said...

This is from the website www.gethuman.com It has tips on how to bypass the automated system. It does work. My husband and I used ot for the IRS and got a human with in 5-10 seconds.

For ATT worldnet: 800‑400‑1447 Press 0 at each prompt, ignoring messages.

For ATT: 800‑288‑2747 Press 0 at each prompt, ignoring messages.

Lauren said...

Dawn - You bring me so much daily joy. Thank you! If you ever feel like you could add another organization to your ad section, Im working part time for the March of Dimes...had no idea their impact on all humanity for so long. Im also a therapist for Hospice. I work weird hours to be home with our boys but after having two preemies and a best friend lose her son at birth, I decided to get involved with the March of Dimes. Did you know the US has a higher infant mortality rate than Cuba? March of Dimes found a cure for polio, found out about folate and they will cure infant prematurity and mortality. I hope so. Their walk is coming up which is huge...they were the first walk back with FDR. Soundy preachy, I know...sorry, Im so passionate about saving all babies. The walk site is www.marchforbabies.org and they will happen throughout the country. Our personal walk site is http://www.marchforbabies.org/s_team_page.asp?seid=492990 and my home site is www.hallsey.blogspot.com. I know you might not approve this preachy comment and that's okay. Just have to give a plug for babies :). Take good care! You're an inspiration to me. Lauren

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

One of my sons, not saying which one, but there is a blog on my site about his wetting the bed--pee'd on the wall. Every day.

Finally I told my husband there was a leak inbetween the walls but no, the leak was from the child.

His reason? "I was afraid to pee in the toilet." But the WALL was okay? Sometimes you just clean up the mess and don't ask questions. It's easier that way.

Krissy said...

Dawn - I'm glad your router problem is fixed. I didn't realize how much I love reading your blog until I went and looked for a new entry yesterday and there wasn't one! Thanks for the laughs. :)

Anonymous said...

I have to deal with that stupid voice system sometimes too, I hate it, And then when you get to a human, they still cant understand you, because they are not even in america, or tell you to call back during regular hours, to take care of the problem.

Dawn said...

Oh, Dawn, you are WAY more patient than *this* Dawn! Long before you threw the phone across the room, I would have started cussing at the machine to give me a real (add a few expletives in here) person already. Yes, that's actually how I handle those voice systems. I keep thinking I'm going to get a nasty call back one of these days when they bother to listen to those recordings, lol.

Anonymous said...

I almost posted a comment last night but deleted it when I realized I was kinda spazzing out.

I am a tech rep for a major pay tv provider. Our automated systems are supposed to be there to help. I understand that they are difficult to work w/ but maybe 60% or more of calls are easily fixed by resetting your receiver. We dont put an "AGENT" option bc everyone would use it. You go thru the menus to try to get you to someone who is trained for your issue w/ the least amount of transferring possible. If you went straight to an agent they maybe Billing, or Customer Service. Then you have to be transferred to tech support, or vice versa.

This is a hard topic. Its one of the things I dont think people truly appreciate until the live it first hand. Like working in fast food, or retail, or waitressing.

Just try to remember once you get to an live agent its not our fault.

Anonymous said...

Amen sista!

I am so glad I am not the only one that never gets understood by those stupid machines!

babywoo said...

I wonder if people in India ever need to call customer service??? Do they get an American??

I tell you what. You should have saved the poop present and sent it to AT&T as an anonymous gift for such helpful customer service!!! LOL

Terra said...

Ah! I recently went through the same thing with my internet and you know, you should be thankful - when I called them and waited on hold for over an hour, they only played ONE song over and over and over again. Needless to say, I now harbor much hatred for my internet service provider :)

Colleen said...

This might start a fight, but um, the customer service reps in my company don't give a care because they're unionized and will get a raise each year no matter how poor their performance is or if they actually resolve the customer's issue. So many companies are like this, and it just seems to breed apathy. And the few that aren't unionized are paid so little to deal with the public that they don't try, either. It's very frustrating all-around.

Lisa said...

Someone may have already commented this (there are too many to read through, I don't know how you do it!) but my husband came across this site that will go through all the automated stuff FOR you, then call you when they have a real person on the line!

We tested it out by selecting a company, putting in our phone number, and about five minutes later our phone rang--we answered and immediately heard "AT&T, this is Jane, how can I help you?" It was amazing! They also have in their privacy policy that they will not use your phone number for anything else. They have hundreds of companies listed (you can just click on the link to lst all the companies by category or in alphabetical order).

Anyway, the site is http://www.nophonetrees.com/ and is a life-saver!!

Anonymous said...

Usually when I call these lines I say OPERATOR and they just transfer me to an operator. I dont dink around with the voice menu.

Anonymous said...

OMGsh I laughed until I was in tears and on the verge of actually puking. If this chair has no arms I would have been in the floor in some herking, jerking, laughing seizure of some sort. Can you come to Dallas and do a book signing. PLEASE!

Hannah said...

I use to work for Verizon, and this sounds a lot like there voice options as well. I swear all of the telephone/ internet/ cell phone companies must use the same options only with a different, calm sounding voice. Working for them I use to have a bunch of numbers that by passed all of the prompts. When thoughs didn’t work I found screaming into the phone AGENT, worked just as well. It was one reason why people got placed on hold, to get them to the right place. Then there’s the problem that once you get even an English speaking American rep, they all sound like robots due to reading the same 100 point checklist that they have to go through for each call or risk being fired. I’ve actually told phone reps after calling that if they give me any “Verizon Verbiage” and I’m surveyed I will instantly give them a 0 for service no matter how well they do. Talk to me like I’m a human being, not a robot!! I usually get moments of silence, followed by them going back to the freaking verbiage. I’m waiting for my first survey to start handing out the zeros.

Anonymous said...

I work for a large retail company's customer service department and I can say that most of the time you are correct about people NOT wanting to help! The mgmnt have customer service agents on a limited amount of time we are to spend per call. Say 2.35 minutes. That's it and if we are longer than that they are popping in and asking what can they do to get you on another call when all I ever wanna do is scream, "LEAVE ME THE F ALONE SO I CAN DO MY DANG JOB!!". So sometimes it isn't that they don't want to help you it's that they are under pressure of job loss to just get you off the phone and on to the next caller. I personally think that mentality SUCKS and am always on the cals 5 or more minutes so I can be assured when the caller hangs up with me they are on the website or happy or whatever they were calling about. I am in the minority here...

Anonymous said...

This is a reply to
Anonymous, at February 8, 2008 8:36 PM
Thats why I'm glad I'm in tech. We still have are expected "goal" but its much higher, and its so easy for our calls to average out. Bc one call maybe 30 mins then the next one 2 mins. So by then end of the day your close. And we cant lose our jobs over it.

Anonymous said...

Just LOVED this post!!! I can truely relate, as I had that same phone conversation with a Time Warner computer myself last week. Every time I get those darn computers to speak to though, I run to get my copy of:

http://gethuman.com/

You should check it out. It lists many common numbers that everyone calls, and tells you what to do in order to talk to a real human being!!

Janet

Sarah said...

OMG!!!!! I'm not the only one. We had a Tornado hit here in Macon county TN on Tuesday. They are now saying no school until the 19th. WHY ME!!!! I am ready to duct tape them to the ceiling, maybe then I will have a spare moment in which to complete my homework (why did I want to go back to school?!! OH YA to get away from the kiddos) Don't let them drive you too insane Dawn, it only eggs them on.

mommeeof9 said...

I work at a computer help desk for the army. We are supposed to create a repair ticket as soon as possible and get off the phone. I got called by our manager at the other call center because I sopent too long on a call. My response, I solved their software install problem and got their remote access for our system working, didn't I? Yes, but you should have created a ticket and gotten off the phone sooner. Another tech could have called them back.

ARGH! At least my direct supervisor backs me up. I can just see what an uproar there would be if I blew off the secretary of the army or a 3 stars office, rather than troubleshoot their problem. :)

NeedleDancer said...

When I get stuck in that stupid automated answer loop, I just start saying "Agent" and/or hitting zero, or zero zero, until it transfers me to a person....

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine sent me this website http://gethuman.com/us/ It's a list of different companies, from credit cards to government to ISP's with phone numbers and the different prompts that you have to go through to get a real person.
I never got a chance to try it, but hopefully it will help you!

Anonymous said...

You are indeed a kindred spirit. I have had the same experience. I spent 2 hours on the phone on 2 occasions just trying to get my phone service moved. (4 hours of my life I will never reclaim) I finally got so frustrated I decided to buy my daughter and I cell phones and forget the land line. When I called to disconnect the service I got right through. I asked how can this be? and the gal said, you are learning how the game is played. I don't want to play with them anymore. I got cable phone and internet instead. When I had ATT, I set up my online account and I tried to use the username ATTsucks, but it was already taken. (when calling tech support ask for a second tier rep, because 1st tier reps can only read the script).
I work in customer service. I worked in a call center (L's End)and they had fabulous training. Now I work in retail and I have witnessed even the managers being rude to people over a stinkin' coupon. Good grief, these are huge corporations. A couple of bucks isn't going to break them. I have fun with my customers, mostly elderly, who aren't in a rush. I love them! Once in a while I get the customer from he** but usually if you are nice, they return the favor.

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