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I LOVE technology…BUT… (Part 2)

I mean it – I REALLY do!!!

I love that I can shop online for all my favourite stuff.

I love that I can speak “face-to-face” with friends anywhere in the world on Skype (and it’s FREE!).

And I love that phone calls with people, companies and organisations various can now be “fun”…

Except… when they’re NOT!!!

My interesting, if more than a little frustrating, saga begins with a letter from a Federal Government Department, dated the 1st of the month telling me I need to amend some details within 14 days or the Hounds of Hell would descend on me.

Slight problem was that the letter didn’t arrive until the 9th so I was already 8 days into my allocated 14 days. The weekend arrived within hours and, of course, these departments don’t work when we’re free to answer their officious demands…hey ho – nobody said life was easy…

So Monday morning comes and I TRY to do the necessary online but the link between the Department I’m registered with and the one I need to access isn’t working. So I resort to good old technology – the telephone.

Having gone through all the paraphernalia and questions with an automated “voice”, I’m eventually “authenticated” and told that my call will be answered by the “next available consultant”.

Cue the almost but not entirely unlike classical music that they force you to listen to while on hold…

Only three minutes in and there’s a change to a ringtone – yippee, I think, I’m about to speak to a human being!

WRONG! I get a message that has nothing to do with what I’m calling about and then returned to the muzak.

After three more “false starts” the muzak returns and stays!

(It may just me, but when you’re on hold for any length of time, do you need the loo and debate whether you’re likely to be able to make it without the call being answered? I decided to cross my legs and hope for the best!)

And after 33 minutes and 33 seconds I give up!

So I tried again the following morning. This time I was NOT authenticated as the reference number was not recognised despite my repeating it three times using my very best diction. Upside was I thought I would be put straight through to someone who had to do that manually. Jeez, I am SO naïve sometimes!

After the same cycle of unrelated announcements and muzak I gave up again after 25 minutes.

But now I’m determined and more than a little irritated – so I try again.

Success and a very nice lady called Christina solves all of my problems and offers me a “linking code” that bypasses the need to cross from one department to another in the future – THANK YOU!

BUT… during the whole call process there is NO, “Your call is number 101 in the queue”. NO, “The wait time is approximately 22 minutes” and ABSOLUTELY NO, “If you require a call back without losing your place in the queue, please press 7 now”

And we DO have the technology – and when it’s applied it makes the potentially frustrating phone calls SO much more tolerable.

BUT when we have it and we just choose NOT to use it, it drives us NUTS!!!

So WHY would we choose to raise the frustration levels…???…!!!

If the consistent application of relevant technology makes it easier for your customers to spend money with you, then why, in heavens name, wouldn’t you use it???