Got Human?

One of our HP printers is broken, and I’ve wasted several hours the past few weeks trying to arrange to get it fixed. Waiting on hold and wading through phone trees, and at the end of it all, the promised support technician never calls to arrange a visit, and the contact number I have just sends me back into the morass of “please listen carefully as our options have recently changed” lies that never led me to a live person. (and never mind the emails, invariably from noreply@whatever or some person who responded with “that’s not my department” and subsequently ignored me)

Customer support cheat “codes” that help bypass the phone tree and let you talk to a human. It used to be that pressing “0” would do it, but many systems have changed that. With these cheat codes, you talk to a live body, your stats are maxed out and you get 10,000 gold.

I can’t vouch for all of them, but the one I was interested in got me to “Pete” (in India, from the sound of it) who transferred me to a person in the right department. While the issue was not yet fully resolved at this point, I felt that my time was being wasted in a much more efficient manner. I did get a repair tech to call, and he was fixing the printer within three hours.

I particularly liked this entry in the list:

SUNOCO Press 00000; mumble when prompted for an account number.

The sad reality is that most big companies don’t really want to talk to you if it doesn’t involve the sale of their product. Seth Godin sums it up nicely

The only reason to answer the phone when a customer calls is to make the customer happy.

If you’re not doing this or you are unable to do this, do not answer the phone. There is no middle ground on this discussion. There are no half measures. Saving 50 cents a call with a complicated phone tree is a false savings. Think of all the money you’ll save if you just stop answering altogether. Think of all the money you’ll make if you just make people happy.

Your choice.

H/T to Jay for making me aware such lists exist