Right at the moment, I am trying to figure out why I am getting a bill from a bank I don’t know. I am given a phone number to call. I called the number and the phone robot asked me for my account number. Without that account number, I cannot get past the robot. Since I know nothing about the bill and don’t have an account with the bank, I can’t enter or say a number. So, the robot cuts off my call. The bank offers no other means of contact.
So, I sign in to Google to find some access to the bank other than the phone number. No luck.
Then I look for the name of the company that is billing me through the bank and I click on that link. I am told to “sign in” or “create an account.” Since I am being billed by that company, I assume I have an account. The problem is, I know nothing about an account with that company–so how can I sign in? So, I click on “Create an Account” but I am told I already have an account. Then I click on “Sign in” and am told to enter my password. Since I didn’t know I had an account, I can’t enter a password. Foiled again. Never once am I offered a chance to speak to a human. So, I continue to get bills from the company that is now threatening to send me to a collection agency. Sigh.
Another instance of robot issues came up again today. I am told I have paid for an ad campaign, and I am to fill out their computer-generated form. Once again, I am foiled because I don’t have the information required to fill out the form. How many weeks do I want the ad to run? I do not know. If I have pre-paid this service, how many weeks have I pre-paid for? I do not know. In addition, I am given a code to use to fill in when I am asked to pay the fee for the ad campaign. But when I put the code in for the amount of money to be paid for the ad, the computer form refuses to take it. There is no one to ask what to do to complete the form to the robot’s satisfaction.
With the use of robotic forms, companies assume there are only a certain number and type of issues that relate to their forms, so they see no need to offer methods for asking questions and clarifying issues. Sometimes, questions are directed to community forums where participants either attack the questioner for being stupid or answer a completely different question. Very little help there.
I realize robotic forms are useful for companies to cut down on human salaries. I just wish there were a way to get help in filling them out. Sometimes there is a telephone number to call for help. Wait times for someone to answer the phone vary. The length of the wait time allows me to practice the virtue of patience, something that I, as an impatient person, have trouble with.
Companies that use these robotic devices to cut down on calls and emails, assume that everyone who uses their forms is as computer savvy as they are. I assume they are just as happy that ignorant computer users give up and go away.
Since they construct computers with either/or yes/no or 1 or 2 algorithms, there is no room for “yes, but .. .” or “this doesn’t answer my question” or any other deviation from the form.
I don’t know if there is anyone else out there in computer land that has been or is confronted with this frustrating experience.
I wonder how you handle it.