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Trick for Getting Through to a Person
Old 03-06-2012, 11:39 AM   #1
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Trick for Getting Through to a Person

I was having trouble getting through to customer service as ISI today. The "press 1 for customer service" lead to an indefinite hold, and pressing "0" lead to a disconnect. They had not answered the email request in a week.

Here's the trick: If there's an option for "Press x for the company directory" choose that, and enter a single letter for the last name. You'll get some random person's extension that way, and once you get a real person, they can transfer you to the right place.

It worked like a charm today.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:41 PM   #2
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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On the voice response systems just mumble sounds, when the computer cannot understands what you are saying, it normally defaults to a real person.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jimnjana View Post
On the voice response systems just mumble sounds, when the computer cannot understands what you are saying, it normally defaults to a real person.
Also works for sales calls when there is an actual person on the line ...
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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Nice tip Al.


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Originally Posted by jimnjana View Post
On the voice response systems just mumble sounds, when the computer cannot understands what you are saying, it normally defaults to a real person.
I don't have to mumble, my accent is too difficult for almost all the voice response systems. I usually have to listen, hand the phone to DW, tell what to say, get the phone back, listen, hand phone to DW, tell her what to say ......
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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Nice tip Al.




I don't have to mumble, my accent is too difficult for almost all the voice response systems. I usually have to listen, hand the phone to DW, tell what to say, get the phone back, listen, hand phone to DW, tell her what to say ......
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #7
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On the voice response systems just mumble sounds, when the computer cannot understands what you are saying, it normally defaults to a real person.
I do the dishes...between the running water and banging pots and pans, I get a live person right away .
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
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I don't have to mumble, my accent is too difficult for almost all the voice response systems.
That's interesting Alan because my voice has never been understood by a machine ever that I can remember. All I ever get is "I'm sorry but yada yada yada" whatever. Eventually I do get a human being but by that time I'm upset and have to cool down to talk to them.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
I don't have to mumble, my accent is too difficult for almost all the voice response systems. I usually have to listen, hand the phone to DW, tell what to say, get the phone back, listen, hand phone to DW, tell her what to say ......
Uh oh, I must have been here for too long, as I don't have problems with the voice recognition systems understanding my accent.

What I do have trouble with though, is the need to give the answer in the precise format the computer is waiting for. Some days, my inclination is to chat to the computer as if it were a person, leading to multiple requests to "please repeat" and the eventual connection to a live person (which is what we all really want isn't it?)
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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Uh oh, I must have been here for too long, as I don't have problems with the voice recognition systems understanding my accent.
Yeah, but although I don't speak like the guys in Al's video above, the voice recognition systems don't recognize "geordie" accents either.

I speak like the guy, Oz, one minute into this clip.

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Old 03-06-2012, 10:08 PM   #11
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Well that explains it Alan. I've wished at times that I had an accent that was more heavily identified with a particular region, like yours. I grew up in the countryside between Stratford and Worcester and while my accent isn't quite the old-style "BBC English" it doesn't sound regional either - and after 25 years in the US, I'm not sure what it sounds like. My first program director in radio coached me to sound a little more like the American listeners, encouraging me to roll my r's a bit more (burrger instead of "buhger") and I think I've naturally lengthened my vowels over the years too, as well as softened my t's.

I've never seen this series. Will have to watch some more clips from YouTube. Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:20 PM   #12
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Well that explains it Alan. I've wished at times that I had an accent that was more heavily identified with a particular region, like yours. I grew up in the countryside between Stratford and Worcester and while my accent isn't quite the old-style "BBC English" it doesn't sound regional either - and after 25 years in the US, I'm not sure what it sounds like. My first program director in radio coached me to sound a little more like the American listeners, encouraging me to roll my r's a bit more (burrger instead of "buhger") and I think I've naturally lengthened my vowels over the years too, as well as softened my t's.

I've never seen this series. Will have to watch some more clips from YouTube. Thanks!
I had seen from your profile that you had worked in radio so I figured you had a much more recognizable accent for voice recognition.

It's a good series, and I was still living there when many construction workers were leaving the NE to do contract work in Germany for weeks at a time. The series was very successful, and several more were made, but that first series in Germany was the best imo.

I guess you've seen this great commercial for Siri

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Old 03-06-2012, 11:46 PM   #13
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Oh, I didn't realize you meant by phone!

I thought you had a great new trick for increasing my persuasive skills!

Audrey
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #14
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At least some of the automated systems monitor your voice to see if you're upset, so talk angrily and swear (at the machine) and you may get better service.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by jimnjana View Post
On the voice response systems just mumble sounds, when the computer cannot understands what you are saying, it normally defaults to a real person.

Also, pressing various phone numbers help you go quickly to a real person. The computer doesn't understand then, so hello, person!
Just FYI.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:20 AM   #16
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I usually repeat "Agent" in response to every question on the voice systems, or otherwise repeatedly press "0", and that usually gets me a real person in no time.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:54 AM   #17
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It's a good series, and I was still living there when many construction workers were leaving the NE to do contract work in Germany for weeks at a time. The series was very successful, and several more were made, but that first series in Germany was the best imo.

I guess you've seen this great commercial for Siri
I ended up watching the rest of that particular episode and will be watching more today - thanks again Alan. I remember the theme tune well and thinking about it, do remember the name of the series but for some reason, didn't watch it when it came out. I do remember The Likely Lads and Porridge - which were written by one of the writers that also worked on Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

It's not the first time I've been blithely unaware of something in the popular culture. Sometimes, my friends must think that I live under a rock when they declare "I can't believe you haven't heard/seen that". I have what you might call very selective attention.

No - I hadn't seen the spoof Siri commercial - funny stuff. I've never liked voice recognition much - it's often easier to punch a button. One day it will be perfected and we'll probably all be talking to our personal Hal 9000's but in the meantime, that spoof is probably closer to the truth for many.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:03 PM   #18
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I usually repeat "Agent" in response to every question on the voice systems, or otherwise repeatedly press "0", and that usually gets me a real person in no time.
Yep - "representative" usually works for me.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:32 PM   #19
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Uh oh, I must have been here for too long, as I don't have problems with the voice recognition systems understanding my accent.
I use a voice recognition system for most of my dictation and I dictate a lot of reports daily. My accent is closer to british english and far removed from north american english and I have at times had the same feeling of boiling frustration as the two Scots in the lift (sorry - elevator ) when I am dictating and the software consistently gets it wrong.

I initially tried to teach the program to recognize the way I pronounce something but have lately just given up and succumbed to the North American way of pronunciation.

I'm not going to started about the difference between favour and favor .
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:19 PM   #20
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The thing companies don't care about, is that these phone menus take a lot of time for the caller. That's added to the "Press 2 for Spanish," "Your call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes," and "Your call is very important to us" time.

What I'd like to see is a system by which you make your selections online, and then get routed to the right place directly. The company could call you, or you could get a extension number to enter.
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