We Value Your Business, Please Stay On The Line…

Elmer keeps getting a message that we value your call please stay on the line from the AD&D Phone CompanyIsn’t it amazing how difficult it is to communicate with communication companies.  You’d think they’d be the very best at this.

But no, we call and hear repeated inane messages saying  “we value your business, please stay on the line.”  So strange.  Because often when I call a communication company I want to give them new business, i.e. I want to GIVE THEM MONEY!

I don’t know about you, but if someone called to give me money, I’d pick up the D#@m phone on the first ring.

Apparently many people feel the way I do.  I Googled the phrase “We value your business” and got 191,000,000 hits from the search.  Even for Google, this is a large number.

And the fun doesn’t stop there.  When you actually do get a human on the line, it’s like the company has serious Attention Deficit and Disorder issues, which is why the ginormous phone company pictured in the cartoon is called ad&d — note that any resemblance to a real phone company is purely coincidental.

And it’s not just the phone companies.  Take the credit card companies for instance.  When I call them, they ask me to enter my sixteen digit account number.  Then, minutes later, when a human picks up the phone, what is the first thing they ask me?  They say, “please tell me your sixteen digit account number.”

What happened to the one I just keyed into the phone?  Apparently the phone system ate it.  More ad&d if you ask me.  And there’s always some reason they need to transfer me to another department, which involves a long hold filled with loud, scratchy elevator music and repeated assurances that “they value my business.”

This is not confidence inspiring.

But it gets better.  Then they tell me they don’t actually do the service I called them about and that they have outsourced it to some company whose name sounds nothing like what I want.

A real life example might be instructive here.  Not long ago I bought a house and called a major phone company (let’s just say their name rhymed with ad&d) to get phone service.  I wasn’t asking for anything fancy, just a plain old land line – so plain in fact that I visualized this as connected to an old timey black desk phone with the curly cord that gets all snagged and bunched up all the time.  I’m talking basic service here.

They told me that they really preferred not to actually set up the service themselves (although they would for about $128) and that I should call their outsourced company called White Picket Fence or something like that if I wanted to actually get a phone installed at a lesser rate.  Amazing!  This was the phone company telling me they preferred to not set up phone service — and they wanted to fob me off to some other company with a meaningless name.

White Picket Fence!  What the H#@% does that have to do with phones?  I wasn’t doing a home improvement project, I just wanted a plain old land line attached to a plain old black desk phone (with the curly cord that gets all snagged and bunched up).  And, they wouldn’t even transfer me.  They gave me the phone number to dial myself.

Awesome customer service, don’t you think.  Anyhow, I did actually call White Picket Fence and the whole transaction went downhill from there – but I’ll spare you at this point.

So is it just me and the other 191,000,000 Google hits, or have you had similar experiences?  Click on the title of this post so you can leave your comments at the bottom of the page.

Please be sure to enter your sixteen digit account number.  And be prepared for me not to know it and ask again when I respond.  Sing or hum obnoxious elevator music at the top of your voice while commenting.  And when I get to you I’ll try not to transfer you to more than four or five other web sites.

And by all means, please stay on the site … um … we value your business, as they say.

Have a great day – J. Daniel

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