‘Your call matters to us’

 

Sir, – Those of a certain age will remember a time when you phoned a business and immediately found yourself speaking to another human being. This person answered your request, sorted out your problem or, if they could not do so, put you in contact with someone who could. These days, the computer has taken over and its central function it to prevent you from speaking to a anyone. If it allows human contact, it’s as a very last resort.

A typical call now means listening to an electronic voice telling us how the enterprise is protecting its workforce by letting them work from home. It informs us that our conversation is being recorded for training purposes. It then suggests making contact though a website, Facebook or Twitter.

Following this comes a long range of options you can access by pressing buttons one to eight.

Selecting any one of these will lead you into a labyrinth of other options, the last of which is speaking to an “agent”. This can then involve an interminable wait, while you listen to dreary music interspersed with advertisements for some company product.

The “agent” you discover, when you finally make contact, appears to be speaking from a call centre about 4,000 miles away, has a limited grasp of English, and really can’t help you.

This kind of service not only frustrates and disrespects the customer, but must be bad for business in the long run.

It’s time to switch off the computer and re-establish the human touch in customer relations. – Yours, etc,

SEÁN ANDREWS,

Maynooth,

Co Kildare.