Yesterday’s Thoughts

September 5, 2007

“Your Call Is Important to Us”

“Your Call Is Important to Us”

Why is it that whenever I hear those words on an automated voicemail system, I react viscerally?

If my call were important to the recipient, there would be a live person saying, “Hello,” and asking me how they could help me. That’s what you do when a call is important. You answer the phone.

Instead the business is saying, “Our money is important to us,” “Your time is not important to us,” or worst, “Our money is more important to us than your time.”

After the long weekend and being away for a while before that, I had a few calls that that I needed to make yesterday. Some of these calls required further calls, so eventually I made to five different businesses. For each call, I had to endure some degree of voicemail, and heard the lying words about how important my call was.

I was primed when I heard the phrase again on the final call. I was already mentally composing the blog post that went along the above lines.

Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. This particular vendor had concocted a new trick for managing their voicemail queue. Instead of giving me the chance to either hold for the “next available operator” or leave a voice mail message for callback, they implemented a completely annoying system where they 1) kept me on hold for five minutes, 2) at the end of five minutes they told me that I had been waiting for five minutes and if no one had answered my call after an additional five minutes, I would be able to 3) leave a voicemail message and 4) they would return my call when they could.

Talk about annoying. I had to wait 10 minutes, on actual direct dial, working hours, long distance, just to leave a voice mail.

Why do I think that neither my call, my time, nor my money are actually that important to them?

[Update: September 6, 2007, 8:36pm] So the vendor calls me back and gets my voice mail (immediately.) What do they say, “We are sorry we missed you. Please try calling again.” So I call again. I wait another 10 minutes, to leave another message.

Can I get an “Arggggggh!”

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