Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stop the fake typing

Our newspaper didn’t show up this morning so I called to report a “delivery issue” and – sidebar here – A delivery issue? This is the only option I was given and I would like to go on the record as saying that not getting the paper (that we pay for) is not an “issue,” it’s a mistake or an error or a flub or some other word meaning someone screwed up or got confused or isn’t doing their job. You’re a newspaper! Use the right words for Pete’s sake!

Anyway, when you call to report a “delivery issue” your call is handled by a computerized-but-very-friendly-and-compassionate-sounding female voice who asks you questions and responds to your verbal answers. I actually prefer punching in numbers, btw, as I feel like an idiot walking around the house in my pajamas trying to enunciate clearly into the phone so she doesn’t come back on and say “I didn’t understand your answer. Here are the options again.” Maybe it’s just me, but she sounds a little impatient at this point. So I tell Computer Chick all my info – it’s only today’s paper I didn’t receive, yes I WOULD like someone to deliver one (who DOESN’T choose this?), phone number and address, and then she says “Let me pull up your account.”

And then I hear the sound of typing!

Hiring someone that sounds friendly and helpful to record your computerized voice options is one thing, but why the fake typing sound? Are you trying to make me believe that I’ve been talking to a real person this whole time who is now typing my info into the computer, or do you think I won’t believe she’s actually looking up MY account unless I hear some kind of keyboard sound effects?

All I can imagine is that someone got all caught up in their job of setting up the computerized voice option system and went through it over and over listening to every possible combination of answers and then said to himself, "This really needs some typing sounds to make it sound authentic."

It's like that plastic strip of "grass" that comes with supermarket sushi. If I'm eating sushi in Japan there is probably a real leaf or something separating the different kinds of sushi, and if I'm talking to a real operator there are gonna be some typing sounds: I don't need the cheap imitations.

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