That’s the sound of my brain exploding.
You may recall my computer died a couple of weeks ago. The reload went pretty well, until… *cue ominous music* …I loaded a new(er) version of my accounting software.
It crashed. Even my geek skills couldn’t persuade it to work, so I phoned and waded through the usual labyrinth. Why do companies choose automated telephone systems?
“Hey, let’s take customers who are already frustrated by our product and irritate the shit out of them by making them respond to ten minutes of increasingly obscure menu choices before putting them on hold.”
“Ooh, good idea! And let’s set it up so if they press the wrong number they have to hang up and start again.”
“Right on. Should we play music specifically designed to promote speechless rage?”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea, but I think we should intersperse it with monotone assurances of how important their call is to us.”
“All in favour?”
“AYE!” *roars of demonic laughter*
I finally got through to a human being. In India. Obviously I missed a point in the decision-making process:
“Let’s route the call to someone with a tenuous grasp of English, an unintelligible accent, and absolutely no hands-on experience with the product. Both the now-frothing customer and the poor underpaid bastard in India should suffer as much as possible.”
“Support” refused to help me unless I a) paid for the call; or b) bought the 2013 software. After reflection, I bought the new software, comforting myself that it was probably good to get the latest version anyway.
I installed it… and discovered it’s impossible to update contact names. Call me crazy, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to direct invoices to the person who’ll actually approve them?
I called India again. When I finally vanquished the automated menu, the support guy put me on hold for several minutes while he searched for my customer ID.
He couldn’t find it despite the three numbers I supplied from my receipt.
He told me I’d have to pay for the call. After a terse conversation and some deep breathing on my part, he finally unearthed evidence of my purchase(!) and agreed to help me.
Apparently the definition of ‘help’ was lost in translation.
I explained the problem. He put me on hold for several minutes while he consulted his helpdesk database before coming back with a completely unrelated answer.
I explained again. Hold. Another unrelated answer.
Repeat six times until he grasps the problem.
Then he put me on hold for several more minutes before trying to get me to change the invoice template. That would solve the problem for the one invoice I’d called about… but completely mess up the umpty-thousand other invoices in the system.
I (not-so-)patiently explained to him how his product works.
Repeat until I bleed from the eyes.
An hour later, I gave up and requested a case number so I could try another day.
Hold for ten minutes. Then he came back with another useless attempt at a solution.
Slow, distinct enunciation: “Just. Give. Me. A. Case. Number.”
Hold for five more minutes. He finally spouted a (probably random) number, and I hung up.
I got a survey from the company. The first question was ‘Were you satisfied with your recent technical support call?’ When I chose ‘No’, their next question was ‘Please explain why your issue was not resolved.’
Uh… I dunno… maybe because your support system sucks?
I never did complete the survey. I just couldn’t get past that question. Can anybody help me out with an appropriate answer?
P.S. I can’t believe I forgot to mention this last week: Curmudgeon-at-Large wrote a fabulous Fallen Arches post, “Corned Beef on Spy“. It’s hilarious in its own right, but if you’ve read my books, you’ll get the
satire (Updated: Oops! That should’ve been “parody” – I just looked it up) immediately. I laughed my ass off. Go. Enjoy! (C-a-L, I’m sorry for my brain fart – thanks again for honouring me with your wit.)