Please let me speak to a real person

Please let me speak to a real person“Due to unusually heavy phone traffic your call will be answered by the next available agent. Unfortunately all of our agents are busy and your wait time will be approximately 15 minutes.”

Yeah, sure! How many times have you heard this? Usually your call is eventually answered by someone who knows nothing about your problem but will transfer you, hopefully, to someone who does. Once this happens you are cautioned that all calls are monitored for your safety and someone will be with you momentarily.

Once “momentarily” gets on the phone and spends an inordinate amount of time gathering all of your information you are then transferred to technical support. This is fine, except if your problem has to do with email, accounting, or anything else that would seem normal, you are directed to a specialist.

In the past several weeks I have spent several hours on the phone with specialists trying to solve a simple problem with my bank and Quicken, which is the software that I use for virtually everything. After spending an inordinate amount of time with the agent I heard a click on the phone and then a dial tone. I had to go through the entire process again, screaming into the phone “agent, agent, person, person, help, help,” all to no avail. I had to wait once again for the 15 minutes to get to the first level of what I was doing and eventually got to someone that supposedly knew how to solve my problem.

After about an hour of trying all the things we already had tried, I heard once again that infamous click which meant that we had been disconnected. I don’t know this is a fact but I have a feeling that this is a tool used by customer service people when they are unable to solve your problem and don’t want it escalated which makes them look bad and eventually may cost them their job. The easiest thing is to simply say whoops we got disconnected!

When I made my third attempt, I began by insisting that the agent write my phone number down so that in case we were disconnected she could call me back. Of course when you call back it is virtually impossible to get the person you were speaking to originally because in most cases they are working out of the living room at home or at some giant call center.

What wouldn’t you give to call a company, for any reason, and have a sweet voice answer with “this is Sallie Mae, how may I direct your call?” I for one would be willing to pay extra for this company’s product if they could provide that kind of service. Seriously, if it is a software issue let them add a buck to the price and hopefully pay Sallie Mae a decent salary to direct your call right to the person you need to speak to. Wouldn’t you be willing to pay?

I have been using computers since DOS and for a short time began to think that I actually knew how to use one. Now I read that Microsoft will be introducing Windows 10 soon which will mean that I will probably have to go out and buy a whole bunch of new hardware because the new software will not work with what I have.

I also will have to buy one of those great big thick books like my two-inch thick Windows 8 book and begin learning all over again. Perhaps there is an age that we all reach at some point where you have stored all the information that your mind can hold and you have to begin using what’s already stored in your own memory bank. I know that my memory bank must be nearing overflow because I can no longer remember names, places or anything important without waiting for that little hourglass in my head to search it out.

I won’t even discuss my iPhone problems but my wife refuses to buy one after hearing me constantly cursing because I can’t perform simple tasks on this complicated device. Hopefully she can find one easy to use other than those big button jobs that you see advertised in the AARP magazine.

Ernie Sochin can be reached at Community@sochin.com or at www.Sochin.com. My new book When I was Your Age is available on Amazon Kindle or Amazon.


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