reduced to a cursing juvenile by ivr

If you are too busy/ have a life/ better things to do/ don’t want to read everything below, here’s the summary: INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE FOR CALLER IDENTIFICATION AND ROUTING IS STUPID AND YOU SHOULD NEVER USE IT FOR YOUR COMPANY. I DON’T CARE IF YOU HAVE 10 OR 10,000 EMPLOYEES.

The first time I encountered IVR was last year, when I had to call X company to speak to X. You know the drill lah… you dial a number, then *toot*toot* *toot*toot*; you wait for your call to be answered. Two or three rings later, a female voice (it’s always female) answers and you realise that it’s actually a machine.

Fembot: Hello, thank you for calling X company. Who would you like to speak to?
Me: [says name of the person whom I wanted to speak to]
Fembot: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Please say the name of the person whom you’d like to speak to.
Me: [says name slowly, clearly and loudly]
Fembot: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Let me transfer you to an operator.
Me: @#&@*&#*@#()@#)_@#@#*@(#(@!

Oh, that wasn’t a fair representation of how IVR works? Here’s another.

Fembot: Hello, thank you for calling X company. Who would you like to speak to?
Me: [says name of the person whom I wanted to speak to]
Fembot: I have a few results. Did you mean [someone 01] or [someone 02]?
Me: [someone 01]
Fembot: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Did you mean [someone 01] or [someone 02]’
Me: [says name of someone 01 slowly, clearly and loudly]
Fembot: Please hold on…
*Operator answers the phone*
Operator: Good morning, this is X company.
Me: @#&@*&#*@#()@#)_@#@#*@(#(@!

No, seriously, that’s how IVR works in real life. Or rather, DOESN’T. If anyone approaches you wanting to install IVR together with your telephony services, please tell them to go get kicked by a donkey. That would actually be funny. Do you know what’s not funny? Having people like me who need to talk to someone in your company go through the unhelpful, frustrating, time-wasting IVR experience. Then you know what happens next? I tell you what happens next: all my feelings of wrath, annoyance, aggravation and bitterness get mixed up like batter in a cake mixer on full speed.

Don’t fuck with my chakras, dude.

So today I called a company who incidentally installed IVR to their telephony thingy. Below details the unedited version of my experience:

*toot* toot*
Fembot: Hello, thank you for calling X company. Who would you like to speak to?
Me: [says name of the person whom I wanted to speak to]
Fembot: I have a few results. Did you mean [someone 01] or [someone 02]?
Me: [someone 01]
Fembot: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Did you mean [someone 01] or [someone 02]’
Me: [says name of someone 01 slowly, clearly and loudly]
Fembot: Please hold on…
*Operator answers the phone*
Operator: Hello…
Me: Hi, can you pass me to [someone 01] please?
Operator: Err… hold on…
Me holds on, then line goes dead…

Redials … *toot* toot*
Fembot: Hello, thank you for calling X company. Who would you like to speak to?
Me: [says name of the person whom I wanted to speak to]
Fembot: I have a few results. Did you mean [someone 01] or [someone 02]?
Me: [someone 01]
Fembot: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Did you mean [someone 01] or [someone 02]’
Me: [says name of someone 01 slowly, clearly and loudly]
Fembot: Please hold on…
*Operator answers the phone*
Operator: Hello…
Me: Hi, can you pass me to [someone 01] please?
Operator: Err… please hold on…
Me holds on, then line goes dead…

Redials … *toot* toot*
Fembot: Hello, thank you for calling X company. Who would you like to speak to?
Me: [says name of the person whom I wanted to speak to]
Fembot: I have a few results. Did you mean [someone 01] or [someone 02]?
Me: [someone 01]
Fembot: Did you mean [someone 02]
Me: No.
Fembot: Please hold on, I’ll get someone to assist you.
*Operator answers the phone*
Operator: Hello…
Me: Hi, can you pass me to [someone 01] please?
Operator: Err… please hold on…
Me holds on, then line goes dead…

Redials … *toot* toot*
Fembot: Hello, thank you for calling X company. Who would you like to speak to?
Me: [says name of the person whom I wanted to speak to]
Fembot: I have a few results. Did you mean [someone 01] or [someone 02]?
Me: [someone 01]
Fembot: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Did you mean [someone 01] or [someone 02]’
Me: [says name of someone 01 slowly, clearly and loudly]
Fembot: Please hold on…
*Operator answers the phone*
Operator: Hello…
Me: Hi, I called just now. Can you pass me to [someone 01] please?
Operator: Oh you called just now is it? Wasn’t the phone answered?
Me: No. It went dead.
Operator: Oh. I’m very sorry, I’m new here.
Me: (not unkindly) Heh yeah I could tell..
Operator: Heh… can you call her extension instead?
Me: That would be great, except that I don’t have her extension number.
Operator: Okay… hold on… her extension is [1234].
Me: Thank you.

I don’t blame the girl at all. I blame the stupid IVR for having wasted my time. I hate IVR. Stupid stupid stupid. I hate you, IVR. I hate you.

comments

Comments

  1. hate does not even begin to describe how much you hate it. lol

    I haven’t had the chance of being annoyed by IVR, but there are tonnes of companies adopting the type where you press 1 for this 2 for that 3 for etc 4 for etc 5 etc.. and after you choose a number the process starts all over again rinse repeat. and it goes on and on and on and on. THAT is really starting to annoy me.

  2. I never had the problem, it usually understands me. But then I never got tangled up with the attempts to pronounce Asian names.

    Anyone called Ng should not work at a company using IVR.

  3. i had it in singapore. for reasons known only to them, they love their fembots. it was truly a world of shit. the worst is i got, after ages of waiting from fembot response to another to find out in the end that it was the person’s off day.

  4. I first encounter this when I was on holiday in Bangkok, where I need to call up Airasia’s Bangkok office to confirm my flight details. It was surprisingly…….hassle free. I had no problem getting the info I want. :P

  5. Hahaha i never kena that bad before. KILL ALL Fembots

  6. It’s not called phone defenses for nothing. I.e. they don’t really want to talk to you, even if they really should.

  7. me got fren used to work/develop and deploy those system.. and it works okly..
    maybe.. JUSTmaybe.. the Fembot dont like u? ahhahahaaa.. *run-hide*

  8. Hahaha…. that i didnt face it b4 but i got this…
    3 *toot toot* then it goes “I’m sorry, the person you call is currently not available, please leave down your msg.” Happily leave down the voice msg to X, hoping X will call you back.
    BUT when you call back X, this is wat happened to me:-
    Me: Do you get my voice msg?
    X: What voice msg?
    Me: *explaining about the voice msg system on the call*
    X: Cheh, that doesn’t work at all but it’s just not to have ppl waiting too long.

  9. ohh… that’s really bad.. i think i’ll just bang the bloody phone out of frustration.

  10. Nicholas.C says:

    I suspect the mail issue is that the IVR is not tuned to Malaysian accents, much like how asian Speech2Text software (DragonSoft) works WAYYY better then western ones (ViaVoice) over here.

  11. FA: oO banking, internet.. you name it. that’s not so horrible though. the one i’m talking about is really bad and unnecessary

    ST: companies with less than 100 employees should not use IVR

    kim: damn tulan right!

    Z: that one you just press numbers.. not voice recognition mah

    KY: KILL THEM ALL!

    suertes: or they got wrapped up in the latest technology, padahal it only serves to annoy people

    jack0: all bots like me, what are you talking about

    rach: haha that’s retarded sial

    horng: well, i did

    nicholas: still waste of time!! better hire a receptionist :P

  12. So far I have not experienced it so I am yet to be annoyed! But after reading from your experience I guess I don’t want to call any company using it! Lol…

  13. Nay, I wasn’t calling the KL office, I was calling their BKK office. I needed flight details, and the machine prompt me to say out the arrival and departure cities on the phone so they can retrieve the info. Not sure if the KL office is also using this system.

  14. Don’t shoot me but I only do automated attendants (dumbed down IVR) but yeah, voice recognition is still decades off. I’ll bet this are the ones from Nusuara.

  15. eiling: the last time i called one company who used to have it, they no longer have it, heh. hope it lasts

    paul: she will also kill you

    z: oO that’s impressive then!

    chowfc: after having a look at the nusuara website, i bet you are right :P

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