AI, voicemail and more

Is it my imagination or are voice support lines now thinking they can replace humans with AI. Voice mail drives me crazy, I think because people now think they can deal with anything with Ai. But AI doesn’t really work or people don’t let it. Voicemail now commonly says “Tell me what you want, I can understand full sentences.” However, in reality, it can only understand a few things and if you can’t guess what those are it keeps telling you it doesn’t understand you. There is nothing like good human interaction. I do not want to live in a world where I spend hours talking with machines that never understand what I need. In truth, think, the underlying reality is that most companies don’t want to give us what we need, they want to give us what they think we need and we’re lost if we think we need anything other than that.

Apple and t-mobile are wonderful exceptions. They really seem to want to provide what their users want. And…have support folks that are often able to provide that.

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Voice menus are usually garbage. It’s rare I encounter one that actually gets me quickly to what I really want to do. Usually the “AI” is a whole lot of A, very little I.

The sole and absolute only reason that any automated system exists, is to save the company money on customer service by making it as difficult as possible to talk to anyone.

[Source: 1st link below]

The trick is circumventing the automated junk and talking to an actual human without wasting too much time. Here’s a couple pieces of advice that might help.

They are truly awful. And if you finally manage to get a real person (after getting hung up on multiple times), the outsourced person at the other end really doesn’t care about your issued with their phone system.

I hate it. It is so NON intelligent.

“Tell me what you want”

“Customer service”

“Before I transfer you, I need to know a little more”

“Customer service”


After spending hours on the PayPal support line and accidentally filing a fraud report trying to get a human, I got someone who has been working there for years who told me you can enter “0#” and it will send you directly to a human. I suspect there is something like this with other systems if you know it. But…how do you find out?

Paypal has a number for business accounts that actually sends to you to human, just not personal accounts. The whole world assumes that everyone spends all their time doing business. Money and jobs are not everything. There is real life as well.

Someone once gave me the direct line to Amazon and it has been a boon in my life. it is ‭(877) 375-9365‬. No longer have to go through hell before talking with someone. Once you get there they are really helpful.

Someone recently tried to get a credit card in my name at Citibank and I got an automated email telling me about it. I tried to let Citibank know (I had no account or credit card there) and their voicemail system will not let you through unless you have an account number. I finally called their corporate office. The person at first sent me back to the system that would not deal with noncustomers and I called back. I told the person what I wanted and they sent an email to someone who called me back a couple of days later. The person who was hugely appreciative of my call and the application got cancelled, they pulled the credit check off go my credit record and more. But…their regular system would only let actual customers who could give an account number to reach an actual person, including to report fraud. Who are the web designers who think they can make assumptions like “No one will need to report fraud if they don’t have an account”? You can’t second guess everything; there has to be room for reality on these systems.

Thanks. Now I have those numbers in my address book.

The second one made me give them my email address. Nowadays that is currency, given that it will be sold and resold thousands of times. Does anyone remember the non-commercial internet of the 1990s?

That’s another story…

Yes, the first page I linked to above claims that this works with a lot of companies. However, not all and since it’s been several years likely fewer. However, it lists mor such “tricks” to get to a human quick.

And thank you for the Amazon number. I’m sure that will come in handy some day. :slight_smile: :thank_you:

I was pleasantly surprised the other day when the automated chat line at WordPress hosting service asked a couple of questions then recognized that the problem I described require chatting with a human. I was trying to recover a WordPress site that I inherited after the people who had been running the site left the group.

Usually, the options you get when you get a bot on the other end don’t match any of my problems, or I don’ t know what buzzwords they are programmed to recognize. Then there are systems that can’t recognize some people’s voices or answers. Some people only stammer when they are asked their name, and the bots can’t handle that.