Re: "Human" Customer Service
That process worked occasionally with older systems that tried to detect customer frustration and put you through to a real person. Unfortunately the newer systems largely dont respond to that approach.
My favorite was the GE system which, if you did any keys out of sequence or used the wrong # a couple of times would say "I dont understand you, why dont you call back later <click>".
What befuddles me is that not that long ago, it was a boon to a company to be able to talk to a customer to resolve a problem (keeping their future business) and have the chance to find ways to find other product and service 'fits'. Now its the bane of a company's existence to have to speak to a customer.
The other oddity is offering email or web form 'ask a question' and then having 99.9% of the responses you give to electronic requests be "call our 800 number". I'm fairly sure the people being paid to do email support have figured out that all they have to do is spend 10 minutes a day answering any and all requests with "call the 800#", then take the rest of the day off.
I'm waiting for companies to adopt the next level of cost cutting with regards to dealing with their customers. Just post a single web page with a graphic that says "Thanks for buying our product, now **** off. Unless you're interested in buying more in which case click HERE. After that, **** off".
Simple. Inexpensive. Stops wasting customer time. Cuts to the chase.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.