Open Letter to the Voice Prompt Systems

Dear creator of the Voice Prompted Automated Phone System (VPAPS):

I sit here to write this letter almost speechless, and you did this to me. There’s a phenomenon taking over the answering services of America and I find it highly discriminatory. Not only are we denied live people to talk to, we’re also denied the option of keypad entry. Who in the world gave you the idea that having to vocally call out answers to your automated prompts is a good idea–because I haven’t run across a single person who feels this way. When is anyone ever in the noise vacuum it would take to be able to run through the VPAPS process successfully? Perhaps you never field tested your apparatus before taking it to market?

I have several questions for you:

1. You don’t have kids do you? If you did you would understand that a house is never quiet with kids in it, especially when a phone is to an adult’s ear. My talking on the phone, trying to answer your prompts verbally, is their cue to begin ratcheting up the volume. You’ve never experienced this have you? Please, go borrow some kids and try this.

2. Why does the voice prompting have to be so sensitive? I was trying to speak my account number and the dog farted…on the other side of the house. Your system picked that up and therefore didn’t “recognize” my entry. Then a plane flew overhead…your system didn’t “recognize” that either. I try to lock myself in the bathroom, but that only amplifies noise. And I’ll tell you since you obviously don’t know this: When parents try to seclude themselves to get something done, the kids are only intrigued by this and end up bothering the parents more. Bother = Noise.

3. What are we supposed to do when we’re out in public or at work when trying to use the VPAPS? What if I have to spout out my account number or the word “proctology”? Do you actually think it’s safe for other people to be knowin’ my bidness? Will people take me seriously after they know my medical goins’ on? In fact, this has serious lawsuit possibilities. I’m not a sue happy woman, but hey, now’s a good time to become one I think. Emotional distress maybe…or some kind of medical disclosure violation…I’ll get back to you on that one.

4. How in the world do you expect me to say my name and you be able to come anywhere near understanding it or spelling it correctly? Not everyone has the last name “Smith”. Wait, your last name is Smith isn’t it? No wonder.

Mr. VPAPS Man (I know you’re a man), if I’m going to be denied a real, live customer service representative then at least give me the satisfaction of beating on the keypad. It provides a physical release of frustration that the voice system just doesn’t allow. I mean, what was wrong with the keypad beating system in the first place?

I ask you implore you to rethink your ambitions of world domination. Give peace a chance. Don’t make me break any more phones because I’m unable to make it through your VPAPS labyrinth.

Believer in what works,

Published by NotSoSAHM

I'm a photographer and homeschooler Dream = travel blogger. We move around every couple of years. That's fine, I love seeing different parts of our great country and the world. Great things: Jesus, traveling, photography, eating, sewing, scrapbooking, reading, shopping...not necessarily in that order.

12 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Voice Prompt Systems

  1. yep! or how about when there is NO option to speak to a human. at that point i start pushing zero repetitively and surely enough, poof, a rep is there. like it is some secret code. it only works for a few places the others must have their own codes to talk to a human being.

    anyhow this is my first time visiting your blog. thought i would leave you a hello!

  2. @wlk: I used to work in an electronics store, and I would tell people to do this if they ever needed to call tech support. A few months later, I started getting people coming back to me saying that Sony had changed their automation system so banging 0 doesn’t work anymore! Haha :]

    Voice automated systems are a pretty hideous idea and I can’t understand why anyone ever came up with them. Then eventually when you get through it, you end up with someone that has an accent so thick THEY WOULD NEVER GET THROUGH VOICE AUTOMATION THEMSELVES!!

  3. Those things are seriously THE most annoying invention on the entire planet. Impossible to get through and then half the time they don’t have an option I need or I get disconnected and have to start over again.

  4. lol…you said this perfectly! I missed your SITs day yesterday…but wanted to stop by and check out your blog. This entry is great…and I will be back again to view more once Stink is fast asleep. Granted, this won’t be until much later than the “experts” recommend–but what do they know!?

  5. This bothers my husband to no end! If he makes a call and gets this voice thing I can tell by how red his face gets and his grip on the phone. I know a while back I had heard about a website that gave you a list of the buttons you had to press to get to a live person, wish I remembered the site!!

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