Writing

Why I Hate Automated Telephone Systems

RRRIIIIIIINNNG

Pleasant Female Voice: click "Hello, you've reached Fukyuobergoode and Sons. Our automated telephone menus have changed, so please listen to all options before making a choice. If you are calling about your account, press 1. If you are calling about your delivery service, press 2. If you are calling about our Premier Service, press 4. If you know the extension of the person you wish to speak with, press 5. If your problem involves the current class-action lawuit, press 7. For all other questions, press 8. To hear your options again, press 9."

Me: "What happened to 3 and 6?" I press 2.

PFV: "If you are calling to subscribe to our service, press 1. If you are calling to unsubscribe from our service, press 2. If you are calling to make changes to your service, press 3. If you are calling to make changes on your account, you should have pressed 1 on the previous menu, but you can press 6 now if you want to. It won't help, but can do it anyway. If you know the extension of the person you want to speak with, press 9. For all other questions, press 8 and hold your breath. To hear your options again, press and hold 7."

Me: "What the f...?" I press 3.

PFV: "If you are calling to change your subscription to weekends only, press 1. If you are calling to change your service to weekdays only, press 7. If you are calling to unsubscribe from our service, you should have pressed 1 on the previous menu. Nothing can be done about that now, but you can press 0 all you want. We don't mind. If you know the extension of the person you wish to speak with, press 4. For all other inquiries, press 5 or 8. To hear your options again, press 2."

Me: "Grrrrrrr...." I press 1.

PFV (accompanied by "Daydream Believer" Musak): "All our weekend-only subscription operators are busy now. Please stay on the line for the next available representative. At the current volume of calls, your call will be answered (long pause) in 19 hours."

Me: "Daydreeeeeam believer and a.... homecoming queeeeen..."

10 minutes later

PFV: "Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line to speak to the next available representative. At the current volume of calls, your call will be answered when pigs fly."

Me: "Oh, come on! It can't take that long!"

45 minutes later

PFV: "Your call is somewhat less important to us now than it was an hour ago. But, if you'd still like to talk to an employee, stay on the line and hold your hand over your ass waiting."

I hang up and dial the number again, this time hoping to employ a tactic I once learned from my father.

RRRIIIIIIIING!

PFV: "Hello, you've reached Fukyuobergoode and Sons. Our automated telephone menus have changed, so please listen to all options before making a choice. If you are calling about your account, press 4. If you are calling about your delivery service, press 3. If you are calling about our Premier Service, press 1. If you know the extension of the person you wish to speak with, press 7. If your problem involves the current class-action lawuit, press 6. For all other questions, press 5 or 9. To hear your options again, press the star key."

Me: "Whoa! I guess your options have changed!" I press no numbers, just stay on the line.

PFV: "To hear your options again, press the pound key."

Me (Frowning): "Don't push buttons.... don't push buttons...."

PFV: "We are unable to comlpete your call to any department. (Long pause) Your call cannot be completed as dialed. Please hang up and try again...."

It is then that I realize that if I want to have my newspaper subscription halted, it would be much easier to simply stop paying the bill and go to the store to buy the weekend papers.