Monday, September 3, 2007

IVR should be I Vanna REAL person!!!

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Some of you may not be familiar with the term, IVR. I assure you, however, it has infiltrated your life virtually every time you use your telephone to call any business to ask even the simplest question. IVR is actually an acronym for Interactive Voice Response. Now, you're asking, what's Interactive Voice Response? It's the blood vessel bursting, high decibel caterwauling, head pounding against the wall telephone answering system every single business in the United States is now using.

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To quote the multi-talented star of stage, screen and television, Mr. T, "I pity the fool" who wants to ask their local 7 - 11 how much their large Whoopee Berry Slurpee costs? After you've been forced to listen to a menu of ten distinct options in order to narrow down your reason for calling in the first place, you'll find yourself talking to some wretched computerized voice that will invariably not understand you, thus forcing you into the next menu of options. If you don't get the computerized voice, you'll have to endlessly enter numbers from your telephone touch tone pad. You'll probably have to enter your home telephone number, date of birth, zip code, mother's maiden name, pants inseam length and/or what's your favorite color, just so you can progress to the next series of options. After maybe 15 minutes of violently banging your fist on the desk along with performing a blood curdling expletive laced diatribe, your ear is finally tantalized by the sound of a human voice.

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The human voice is most likely speaking in an unfamiliar dialect that you think might be English, but you're not really sure at this point. You then try to recall the reason you actually called in the first place and tolerated this affront to humanity, and then you finally recall, oh yeah, "how much is a large Whoopee Berry Slurpee, please?" The distant voice on the other end of the receiver doesn't seem to understand your perfectly spoken version of the Queen's English. You take a deep breath and carefully and slowly repeat your question. "Sir" you say, "what is the cost of your delicious Whoopee Berry Slurpee, puhlease?" The voice now asks if you are aware of the amazing promotion 7 - 11 is currently running. How if you purchase 2 cans of nutritious and delicious SPAM, you get a third can at half price?

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You surprisingly don't feel like ingesting any delicious Spam at this moment. You simply want to know how much a large Whoopee Berry Slurpee costs. The voice doesn't understand you. The voice asks if you want soup or blueberry pie? You're now so angry all you want to do is stand trial for murdering this intellectually challenged sales clerk. You begin loading your UZI and ask the voice which specific store they're working at? The voice then explains they don't actually work at any 7 -11. They work at a call center in the heart of beautiful, downtown Karachi, Pakistan.

Well, now that realization has set in, dashing any hopes of murdering this person, you have pretty much lost your desire for the delicious, frosty Whoopee Berry Slurpee. However, you notice an unopened bottle of Grey Goose vodka on the counter top that should substitute quite nicely. Writing this somewhat fictionalized account of an IVR enhanced call has sure made me thirsty. Maybe I'll call my nearest 7 - 11 to find out how much a refreshing, large Whoopee Berry Slurpee does in fact cost? Then again, maybe I'll look no further than my counter top either. After all, who doesn't like a little GOOSE now and again?

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But seriously, if you are not a fan of the IVR, I suggest you bookmark the following website: http://gethuman.com/us/print.html. It honestly is a big help in assisting humans to defeat the evil IVR Empire. Hope everybody is having a great Labor Day Weekend. If you now wish to return to your job on Tuesday, Press 2.......

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