just say what your selection is

Some ideas sound great at first, but don't really translate well in practice. Case in point, automated telephone attendants. You know, the computer voice that says "Hi, I'm Judy your automated customer service representative. You can tell me what you need..." Blah blah blah- whatever. This new invention was an answer to the "Press 1 for ....." that everyone hates. When we have to call (the phone company, airlines, etc) we want to talk to a person. So, this was the company's way of keeping costs low and trying to give the public what it wanted....great idea... sort of.

I now find them even more frustrating than the number menu selection. WHY?

"Hi and thank you for calling USAA. Which department would you like?"
"Loans" I reply
"Okay, loans. What type? Home Auto Business..."
"MOM! Who are you talking to?" yells Braden
"I'm sorry, I didn't understand you. Please choose..."
"Braden, not now" I whisper.
"I'm sorry, I didn't understand you. Please choose..."
"Auto!" I say hurriedly
"Auto Loans. Is this correct?" the computer asks me.
"Mom look at this..." Braden persists.
"I'm sorry I didn't understand you. Say yes if this is correct."
"It's a red car momma!" Braden keeps talking
"I'm sorry. I didn't understand you.."
"Braden honey you have to be quiet..."
"I'm sorry ....

Yeah Yeah Yeah - I'm sorry too!

You get the point. There are certain words that will get you to a live person. But every company has their own 'secret password'. For some it is 'representative' for others its 'help' and so on and so forth. They are always odd word choices and never intuitive.

The whole thing just drives me nuts! If I am calling a company then it is because there is a problem with (the bill, the service, the reservation -whatever) and the last thing I need is to deal with Monotone Mary.

Every day I am reminded that this world is not mother-friendly, not mother friendly at all!


katie said...

Hi julia -- I'm a fan of your blog! I also work at USAA and am sorry your phone experience was frustrating. I can help get your question/issue resolved -- contact me directly at katie.spring@usaa.com. Will also pass your experience along as it's probably happened to all of us who've had little ones in the background (I have three!).

martha.durham said...


This is sooooo familiar to me. It drives me INSANE!! I really wish at minimum they gave you a choice of numbers or a person/words as those of us with kids cannot use the voice activation. Hope you are enjoying your trip!
Talk to you soon!

Jen said...

That's hilarious! I can totally hear every word coming out of your mouth! I hate those things! Is Katie for real? How does she know about your blog? That's crazy funny.