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June 13th, 2000

Please Listen to the Menu Carefully

Have you ever noticed how every voice automated phone system tells you to “listen to the menu” because their “menu has recently changed”? Somehow, I sincerely doubt that any of these companies are really that vigilant about keeping their voice system that up-to-date. One time I heard this message followed by comments that were only relevant to callers four months earlier (whether it was a holiday message or Y2K message, I don’t remember).

Besides, for usability’s sake, shouldn’t all the main menu items that a frequent caller may have memorized stay the same? For instance, does a credit card company really need to change the fact you press 1 for “current balance and transaction information,” 2 for “billing address,” and 0 for “a customer service representative”? -ram

Posted in Consumer Commentary

FROM: Paul
DATE: Tuesday June 13, 2000 -- 11:00:48AM
One of the things that I abhor about the menu systems is when you can't use zero to reach an operator. You press it, you get the menu recording again.

I hate phone menus in general - don't make me listen to your poorly-designed, "recently changed" version again.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Tuesday June 13, 2000 -- 1:11:51PM
Everyone is a bastard! This is just more evidence.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday June 13, 2000 -- 7:38:36PM
Something else I hate (that I've encountered with both Chase Manhattan and DISH Network) is when you call to talk to an actual person and a friggin' recording informs you that they have "unusually high call volume" and rather than putting you on hold, you're instructed to "call back later" and it disconnects you. Unbelievable.

Today when I called Chase Manhattan I got this message but to add insult to injury, they told me to leave a message and they would call me back "probably within 5 days." 5 DAYS?!

FROM: Robert
DATE: Tuesday June 13, 2000 -- 9:41:29PM
Everyone should be killed.

FROM: Tony
DATE: Wednesday June 14, 2000 -- 12:13:48AM
Back a few years, I had an older Packard Bell pc. (Pack-Mate 7700, methinks) When I called for tech support , they said that I had an expected wait time of 20min . So I wated for 5 hours....still nothing...(serious) After the 1 billionth repeat of 'your call is very important to us, please stay on hold" it threw me back into the main menu. From calling other companies (Compaq, Delta, IBM, Apple) I know that PB's phone system is one of the most screwed up.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday June 14, 2000 -- 12:16:44AM
That might be why they went out of business. That, or the very crappy computers. :)

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday August 16, 2000 -- 11:09:00AM
Just happened to be reading this Ping, and just wanted to let you know that my call to Chase Manhattan (mentioned above on June 13th) was never returned.

Add them to the list of mega-corps that just don't respond (Earthlink/Mindspring/Netcom being another that I'm actually going to file a BBB complaint against).

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