Your Call Is Important To Us...

If there is one thing that drives me bonkers (yes yes, one thing...) it's calling a "proper" organisation that, despite knowing that their phone lines are going to be mental, they refuse to take on additional staff.

Today, I had to call the Tax Credit office to renew our claim for another year. Usually we are done with it by now, but that pesky wedding and stuff interfered with my organisation mojo.

Now, most people in the UK will have had to call the tax office at some point, and will know what I mean when I say "ARRRGGGHHHHHH!" in relation to getting through to these people. Especially this time of the year, when every man and his dog is calling to renew their credits claim.

First off, you have to navigate the "Automated" system. Press 1 for this, press 4 for that, press π for something else, press Æ to launch Mars Rover...

At one point - and I shit yea not - it asked what colour envelope my forms arrived in - white or brown. I mean, really?! There's no way I can remember what colour my mail was this morning, yet alone back in June!

So, after sailing through the hell that was automation, I was exposed to what sounded like a broken music track, and a crackly voice that was either telling me "you're in a queue" or "the longer you hold, the closer you are to summoning the beast"

After five minutes, I was bored, and starting pottering around on my computer, cleaning it up and pottering around.

After ten minutes, I made some toast and munched on it while waiting.

After fifteen minutes, I put laundry on the line and folded clean clothes.

At twenty minutes, I needed a wee. I held and held, but it was no use, I needed to go to the toilet. With my bladder rather full, I decided that it'd been 20 minutes already, what are the odds of it being answered now...

So, I put the phone onto Speakerphone, sat it on the cistern, and started to let the stream flooooow. After a few seconds, the broken music track stopped, and a voice came on the line. "Thank you for holding, you're through to blah blah blah"

Now, I had two choices at this point.

1: I stop mid-stream and answer the man on the phone. Yes, I can stop mid-stream.
2: I carry on, finish up and THEN talk to the man on the phone.
Yes, I am happy to announce that I went for the second option. But with a twist. I picked up the phone, said "Two seconds, sorry" and finished peeing. Then flushed.

All on speakerphone.

When I started went back to the chap, I acted as though nothing was out of the ordinary, and washed my hands with the phone tucked under my ear while telling him what I needed to do.

Part of me was actually willing him to say something negative about the fact he just heard me pissing... Now this may be my customer service past, but there is nothing worse that having to keep someone waiting. I get they are busy at this time of the year, but it's A) nothing new, and B) something they should REALLY plan for surely? Having a customer wandering through the automated system for several minutes, then sticking them in a queue for almost 25 minutes is just not on.

Hopefully, the bloke hearing me having a massive piss was enough for him to get the message and pass it on...

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One Response to “Your Call Is Important To Us...”

Jenny Woolf said...

What enrages me (well one of the many things) about automated phone systems is when you call at 9 am and they haev just opened, they say "we are experiencing exceptionally high call levels" etc. and then you phone at 10 and the same thing, also at 11, 12 and actually at midnight. It's just lies, because they are too mean to hire enough staff.

Also voice recognition sends me up the wall.

And have you ever tried to deal with BT???

Ooh better stop here before I blow a gasket!