Posted by : Anita Unmuted February 01, 2014
I know people have been engaged in this conversation forever, and I've been part of the pack. You know what I'm talking about... The infamous automated recording that seems to always say, "For English, please press one." Yep, it has annoyed me more than once. I usually grunt, and continue on. But, for some reason, that very familiar message has really been clawing at my backside lately.
Yes, some people have taken this topic way over the edge, and a specific race or two got caught in the crossfire. I get the irritation. I REALLY do. Sometimes,
I want to lash out, and just go off on someone because I am sooooo sick of having to 'press 1' for English when I live in a country that has English as its primary language. Yes, it's irritating (beyond belief), but it just takes a second. Right?
Okay, let's face it... Our friendly neighborhood Spanish speakers did not come to the U.S., and then go to our utility companies, our phone companies, our banks, our doctor offices (ok- you get the idea) and say, "Hey! Change your business' automated message so that it makes all English speaking people press 1 for English!" I promise! They didn't do it!
I remember when the only language option was for Spanish speakers to press 2. Sometimes, that still happens, but it's rare. Our Spanish-speaking neighbors aren't the problem-- our U.S. companies (regardless of their location) are the problem. They are the ones who have done this tongue-biting, head-grabbing, irritating thing. Put blame where blame belongs... Blame them!
On another note, as I mentioned above, it really isn't a big deal to take a second to "press 1". That isn't what really annoys me. What makes me want to throw my phone through a cement wall is pressing button after button and never getting to an actual person. UGH! If you this or that, press this or that! I also hate it when I can't press "0" or another number to bypass all of it. Unfortunately, I have also had to deal with finally getting to someone, and then I can't understand a single, spouted word he or she says. Are you kidding me?! Now, we all know why this happens, but I'm not going to climb onto that box right now.
Hey companies-- Big and small alike! I don't care if you're supporting this country by having your customer service departments here in the U.S., or you're contracting out to other countries, GET WITH THE PROGRAM! Stop putting your customers through the gauntlet while we're just trying to either get a resolution for a simple problem, or solve a bigger issue. We know it's just a stall-- making us jump through tons of hoops while you get an open operator, or find enough people to work the shift. You are not "improving" service or our "customer service experience" by making us press 1, then 3, then 1, then 2, then 4, then 2, and then "*" to get back to the main menu. Yes, sometimes we even have to go back and start over (or give up) because your options take us on a tour that has nothing to do with our immediate issue. Sigh.
Come on! Make life just a little easier for your customers! Realize that you are where you are only because of us, and we deserve better.
While we wait on companies to wake up (taps desk 'n' whistles), you can check out a site that's dedicated to taking some of the sting out of this situation. **Please Press 1 is taking on the call center world, and they may be able to ease your next customer service call experience.
No, this isn't a life-altering thing. There are many more important things going on in our lives and in the world. But, with all of the pressure we deal with in this life- the bills, the job (or lack thereof), car repairs, etc., wouldn't getting rid of this one little thing make a huge difference? It would for me. It would be nice to call a company, get right through to a rep, solve the issue, then hang up and go on with the rest of my day. Instead, I get stressed out just thinking about what I'm about to go through. Sigh again.
At some point in the future, maybe one company will change, and other companies will follow suit. In the mean time... For English, please press 1. :)
What do you think?
*Are you interested in getting the above keypad image on a t-shirt, hoodie, or sticker? Well, you can! Check it out!
**Please Press 1: I have not used this service yet, though I am considering it. I just happened to remember them while writing this post. They are based in the UK, but are now available in the U.S.