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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I often hear people complain that they can never reach a "live human being" when making a phone call for any sort of customer service.

I'm just the opposite.

I recently had to activate my new credit card and was grateful it was an automated system. The last time I tried to activate a credit card, I had to talk to someone "live" who tried to sell me some other services while he had me on the phone. Even though he was obnoxious and 99% of other customers probably turned him down, I don't like to be put on the spot like that and listen to a sales pitch. I said 'no thanks' but still, it's very awkward.

Anyway, I'm guessing a lot of people here prefer an automated system as opposed to talking to a real human being? Any thoughts?
 

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SnotRocketTime
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yes i agree. if i know something will lead to a "live" person i will try and see if they have an online chat person instead, as many do nowadays.
 

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I sometimes have a hard time saying no to people so I usually don't like when I have to listen to someone pitch their services when I call.
 

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Absolutely prefer a non-human phone interaction. I usually hang up when the automated voice says, "please hold so an operator can assist you."
 

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Automated phone services are soooo annoying. They're really not much different from people except that they have an excuse to be stupid and annoy the crap out of me.

But I avoid operators and the such at all costs...usually just use the internet if I can.
 

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Yeah, I love automated systems, its such a relief to NOT hear another person. On another note I work retail, and people will call and complain about trying to get a real person on the phone for 45 minutes! Why didn't they just drive down to the store if they really wanted a person, and honestly I don't care about customers who call on the phone, there always the yucky ones (I usually transfer them to appliances lol) seriously.
 

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Starlight and moonbeams
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I feel the same way. I get anxiety when I think about calling and talking to a strange person, even if it's about a credit card or something like that.
 

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In a way I prefer the automated system, but I've found that talking to customer service reps can be a good way to practice talking to people.

I've also worked jobs providing customer and technical support over the phone. In some ways it helped me with my anxiety and in some ways it made it worse.
 

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The telephone is one of my biggest fears. When I try to explain it to people close to me, I can't even give a reason why. I guess we can't give any specific reasons why we do (or don't do) things because of SA.

I avoid phone calls as much as possible. I've been lucky to have a very understanding mother who will make all my calls for me (appointments, customer service, etc.) but as I get closer to my 30s, I'm worried about when I won't have the excuse to use my mother any more.

But yes, to answer your question, I MUCH prefer an automated message. I don't care if it's a longer or harder process. As well as some others, if I can use the internet instead, like internet support or e-mail, I will most likely chose that method instead. E-mail is like my best friend when contacting strangers. As soon as I'm given just a phone number, I automatically panic.

When I absolutely have to make a phone call, I will spend hours "building up the courage". I've had situations where I've had to have a drink before making a call.
 

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Yes, yes, I always pray that it will be an automated system when I call to pay a bill or something. I actually need to call my tailor back with instructors for a skirt of mine that she has, and I'm going to call her after business hours tomorrow so that I can just leave a message!

Talking on the phone is one of my biggest fears!
 

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It doesn't really bother me much. I'm making payments to a seedy credit company who mysteriously received my payment late despite the fact that I'd mailed it two weeks earlier. I spent 40 minutes arguing with the poor call center girl because I refused to submit anything in writing like they ask. I finally sent a letter, but they still refused to refund the late charge because I didn't allow a full 7 business days for delivery. My plan now is to write them again telling them that I'll keep calling and tying up their customer service personnel until I cost them $39 worth of their time. Next time I'm going to ask their hourly wage, so it shouldn't be too difficult. :)

COme to think of it, damfino, they're located in New Jersey (someplace called Mahwah).

Here's a draft of the next letter I'm faxing to them. Please comment/suggest if you wish (and sorry for hijacking this thread.)

Thank you for your reply regarding my inquiry about the recent late fee I was charged. Although you state that I am a valued customer, I feel I am not being treated like one. You also state that you are "unable" to refund the charge. I suspect I am correct in assuming that someone is in charge there, and that this person has the full ability to refund any late charges he/she wishes without regard to the terms and conditions. The fact is that you won't refund it, and I respect that.

However, understand that you keep records of calls made to customer service, which means you have a record of the conversation in which the representative stated that your company was having problems with the mail. This implies the late delivery was no fault of my own and may, in fact, have been the fault of your own company. Because of this fact, I cannot accept responsibility for this problem, and I cannot accept your decision.

I am a very reasonable person, but I respond negatively when I feel someone is taking advantage of me. The fact remains that refunding this small late charge would be a very easy and painless task for your company. That's all I am asking. However, your company currently has no incentive to make its customers happy, so I'll offer one.

My own legal knowledge is admittedly limited, but I plan on pursuing legal action after consulting with an authority on the matter. Until action is taken, I have every intention of making weekly, or even daily, calls to your customer service department until I get a reasonable explanation. I plan to continue making these calls until the cost to your company of paying your call center personnel far exceeds the $39 I have paid in late charges. I hope you realize, then, that refunding this late charge would have been a far simpler and more cost-effective option for your company. If not, I'll be able to sleep at night knowing that at least we're even.
 

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i work as a 'real person' in an inbound call center. believe me, most of the people who do that job are just as afraid of you as you are of them!

- the calls are monitered though, and we have to have a genial attitude. 95% of the people you speak with in CX service will be very friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It doesn't really bother me much. I'm making payments to a seedy credit company who mysteriously received my payment late despite the fact that I'd mailed it two weeks earlier. I spent 40 minutes arguing with the poor call center girl because I refused to submit anything in writing like they ask. I finally sent a letter, but they still refused to refund the late charge because I didn't allow a full 7 business days for delivery. My plan now is to write them again telling them that I'll keep calling and tying up their customer service personnel until I cost them $39 worth of their time. Next time I'm going to ask their hourly wage, so it shouldn't be too difficult. :)

COme to think of it, damfino, they're located in New Jersey (someplace called Mahwah).

Here's a draft of the next letter I'm faxing to them. Please comment/suggest if you wish (and sorry for hijacking this thread.)

Thank you for your reply regarding my inquiry about the recent late fee I was charged. Although you state that I am a valued customer, I feel I am not being treated like one. You also state that you are "unable" to refund the charge. I suspect I am correct in assuming that someone is in charge there, and that this person has the full ability to refund any late charges he/she wishes without regard to the terms and conditions. The fact is that you won't refund it, and I respect that.

However, understand that you keep records of calls made to customer service, which means you have a record of the conversation in which the representative stated that your company was having problems with the mail. This implies the late delivery was no fault of my own and may, in fact, have been the fault of your own company. Because of this fact, I cannot accept responsibility for this problem, and I cannot accept your decision.

I am a very reasonable person, but I respond negatively when I feel someone is taking advantage of me. The fact remains that refunding this small late charge would be a very easy and painless task for your company. That's all I am asking. However, your company currently has no incentive to make its customers happy, so I'll offer one.

My own legal knowledge is admittedly limited, but I plan on pursuing legal action after consulting with an authority on the matter. Until action is taken, I have every intention of making weekly, or even daily, calls to your customer service department until I get a reasonable explanation. I plan to continue making these calls until the cost to your company of paying your call center personnel far exceeds the $39 I have paid in late charges. I hope you realize, then, that refunding this late charge would have been a far simpler and more cost-effective option for your company. If not, I'll be able to sleep at night knowing that at least we're even.
Hi jaayhou,

That letter looks good to me. I hope it gets results but credit card companies have so many tricks up their sleeves, not to mention customer service reps who often claim that any fix is beyond their power. I hope your persistence pays off!

John
 

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I hate talking on the phone, I usually get more anxious and half the time jump when it rings, so i'd take the automated system.
 

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For something as simple as activating a credit card I'd much prefer an automated system. There is absolutely no need for a human being to be involved in such an exceedingly mundane task.

The only time I want to talk to a live person is when it's a complex issue that no automated system could be designed to deal with.
 

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I really prefer talking to a non-human, but it really depends on the situation of how badly I might need something. For example, I am trying to get unemployment, and haven't been able to get a live person the last few days. Call volume extremely high, or some other crap, but damn if I am giving up. I am stubborn.
 

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I hate to make phone calls even to family and freinds. I definitely prefer an automated system if I make a mistake and It switches my to a live peerson I usual hang up right away.
 

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For some reason ive noticed that everytime i am going to make a phone call about making appointments and stuff my heart starts getting a little fast, i always write down what i am going to say on a piece of paper before i make the phone call. i get a little nervous talking and after a while speaking i calm down a little.
 
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