Friday, 14 July 2017

My Encounter With A Voice Activation Helpline.

Just goes to show it's not what you say but how you say it...

Helping an elderly couple to change a debit order payment to an invoice being sent, is what started my adventures with a helpline. Easy as pie I thought. How hard could it be other than phoning the company in question and asking them to change the payment method.

High tech for me is using the touch button system 1 for this, 2 for that and often I forget the number coding after the first few and have to start again. What I didn't imagine in my wildest dreams was having to use my voice to get put onto the correct department. Futuristic indeed, as I've never had the pleasure of listening to any other voice giving direction in the car except Bob's so a mechanical soprano was new to me.

Filled with courage I said ( and I thought I enunciated clearly but perhaps with too much of a Bavarian intonation ) :

" Invoice "
to which a female voice replied;
" You want to close your account? "
Suffice it to say that I tried that route three more times with always the same result and I am not sure if ' she ' got exasperated with me or whether I touched a magic button, but all of a sudden a voice rehashed the menu corresponding to the buttons to be pressed.

As you might have gathered I am not fond of all those newfangled technological advances but with a population skewed towards the over 60's, companies should look into using old fashioned face to face or rather person to person communication. Not everyone has instant email on hand, scanning equipment, a clear voice or even the will to spend hours on the phone awaiting one's turn in the queue only to be bumped to the end of the line due to a misshaped vowel...