Sunday, June 6, 2010

Now I'm Confused

  I really hate the phone...and the cell phone. I've learned to tolerate them, but I have a new and special place in my heart for "live chat" help sessions. They are either really helpful or really, really NOT helpful. The main problem seems to be that they require the participants to be able to read written English. Holy cow. That's a bigger issue than I ever realized.

  The conversation will start out like this: "Hi, my name is Timothy, how can I help you?" To this I reply "Hello, I placed an order on Thursday. My order number is 87654, I would like to know why the order has not shipped yet." Timothy replies "I can help you with that. What is your order number?" Silence from me and a little bit of wonder. Definite awe. I reply clearly and slowly, "87654." From Timothy: "Thank You. I see that your order has not shipped yet." Oh, God help me (to myself). To Timothy: "Yes, I you know why?"

  We have now had this conversation twice. I'm beginning to accept this as normal in live Internet chat help world. The next part is my favorite. From Timothy: "I see the order is being processed, during this time we could be processing your credit card information or preparing your order. This takes 24-48 hours. Contact us in 24-48 hours and we will have more information." To which I reply: "It has already been four days. I was previously told to contact you today after another 24-48 hours." From Timothy: "We will know more in 24-48 hours." I call this the 24-48 hour information wall of silence. I have yet to get past it. It is tall, dark, and mysterious and hiding behind it are any number of electronic devices I am waiting to receive. So I reply: "OK." It's not actually OK, I just am still in that shock and awe stage and OK seems safe to say. To which Timothy replies "Have I been able to answer all your questions this evening?" To which I reply "No." To which Timothy has the nerve to offer into the void: "HOW MAY I BE OF HELP?"


  Isn't that like starting all over again?

  I call it the new Internet Helpless Desk. I'm not honestly too sure who is the helpless party. Me or them. I realize they're working from a script. They're too accurate to doing anything else. occasional use of brains would help. Even if it's to admit that there's something a little off and they can't quite tell what. It would be a great relief if the service person would just lapse into their native language...whatever that may be. Oy vey. Any indication of humanity would work.

A well typed "huh?" would suffice.

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