Have you ever noticed how it’s the communications companies that are the hardest to communicate with?

When things aren’t working as they should with the phone, or internet or satellite service, I know I will have to clear my calendar for a few hours and stock up on drinks with electrolytes as I prepare for the ordeal of calling the technical support team.

My last trip to the dark side of tech support seemed particularly insulting because the company had sent me an email informing me that I had to call them for an equipment upgrade. Why weren’t they calling me?

A mechanical voice cheerfully greets me and walks me through the options, none of which exactly fit the reason for my call, so I end up just guessing which extension to connect to. With a sincere sounding promise to connect me with the next available agent, the nondescript, jazzy muzak begins and I count the minutes passing.

Just as I am considering hanging up, hope flares as the music is interrupted, and anticipating a human voice, I am disappointed when Miss Mechano comes on again, tries to peddle a few of the company’s new products, then suggests trying the online chat support.

Figuring it’s better than having to listen to covers of seventies songs being performed by wedding bands, I go to the website and click on the little speech bubble. Obviously, the online assistant is no more human than the cat’s recently spewed hairball, but I do have the option to ask it a question, which prompts a vague and obviously pre-programmed response directing me to another web page. Asking a more detailed and specific question floors it enough to concede I need to speak with a person, and it promises to connect me with the next available agent. Oh no, not again!

I wait for what seems another eternity to be connected to someone who is presumably part of the same beleaguered pool of agents the phone-in customers are also waiting for. Although, the lack of music is a bonus.

Admittedly, I do end up connecting to an actual person a little faster than I would have on the phone, and he is able to fix my issues lickety-split, so I can overlook the sales pitch he makes to try and schmooze me into a more expensive plan. I know it’s what they are expected to do, and I feel a bit sorry that I likely subjected the poor guy to a tap with a cattle prod or whatever they do at the call centre when their agents don’t manage to upsell a client.

I will chalk it up as a bit of a triumph that I only wasted half my morning!

Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash


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