“Listen carefully as our Options have changed.”
“Hold on, I only called 6 minutes ago. Have they changed again? Really?”
How annoying is it that every time you call a company or organization these days — one that you call regularly, such as your pharmacy, your doctor, your utility company, your Internet provider, your whatever — you get the idea — and each time you are informed that “Our menu options have changed.”
Do these people genuinely change their menu options so often that we must be told to listen carefully time and time again? No, they don’t.
If they have in fact changed their options over the past couple of years, so be it. So, why can’t I just listen to the options as they currently are and press the correct number all by myself — I’m a big boy, I can do stuff like that.
I wager that the options have not changed in a long while. Yet they persist in talking to me like a 5-year-old (who, by the way can also hit the correct numbers). Can’t they take the message off permanently after a week or two?
If the caller has never called them ever before, the change in options is irrelevant. On the other hand, if the caller is a regular caller, they already know the routine and don’t have to be lectured about changes.
If the boss is out of the office and she calls into the office, does she get dragged along this nauseating path as well? Maybe when she gets back into the office, she could tell someone to quit the idea. That would make sense of course — but common sense isn’t too common these days.
A few years ago, I had to call the British Embassy in Washington D.C. about a passport renewal.
The roller-coater of options was staggering. It went on and on and on. “If you are calling about “X, Y or Z” press Option “1, 2 or 3”. I hit Passports. Then I got, “If you are a UK citizen, press 1 — if you are not a UK citizen press 2 — if you don’t know, press 3”. Huh?
After 8 option permutations, I finally got to a man — in person, live and real. He was pleasant. I told him about my journey to get to him and he chuckled. “Yeah, I know it’s awful, isn’t it?” He had a sense of humor.
I told him what I wanted, and he said, “Ah, ok, I’m not the person you need — Carol Johnson (made up name for this article) is the person who handles that.”
I said, “Oh no, please don’t let me go through the maze again. Please.”
He says, “No problem mate, she’s right here” and literally handed the phone to Carol, who was sitting right beside him!!
And how many times do you hit the Operator Option as a last resort, through anger and frustration, only to find the operator isn’t available, so the voice recording tells you to hit Option #4 — “Eh, I just did that !!”
And of course, the grandaddy of them all………
“If you know the party’s extension, dial it now — or access our directory by hitting Option 3”. You arrive at #3 and then you are instructed how to spell. So, you start inserting the person’s name and you get to “D-A-V-I” and you get whisked off to be told, “We have 3 people called DAVIS, please select 1, 2 or 3.”
Eh, hold on I wanted JOHN DAVIDSON.
Forget it, the machine has decided you can’t speak to him and cuts you off at DAVI each time you try again.
The only solution is to call one of the DAVIS people and ask then to transfer you to DAVIDSON.
Gone are the days when you dialed the person’s number. If he were around, he’d pick up and say “Hello”. If he wasn’t available, it would ring several times, so you’d just hang up and call back later. No Options. No Voice Mail. No Pressure.
But the answer is simple ……….
When Vendor #1 tells you that their options have changed — Hang up — and call Vendor #2.
Vendor #1 won’t know they lost the business — but likely won’t care either.
But you will feel good.
And finally … you have the option not to read this epistle if you choose. It’s optional!!