TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: "Please Enter Your ID Number" So We May Ignore it

Re: "Please Enter Your ID Number" So We May Ignore it

William Warren (
Wed, 21 Mar 2007 19:42:51 -0400 wrote:

> I telephoned a large business today. As usual, the answering machine
> asked me to enter my account number "for faster service". I did so.
> After the usual parade through many menus I was connected to an actual
> human being. The first thing she asked me for was my account number,
> even though I had keyed it in "for faster service".

> I find this happens all the time.

> What is the point of requesting an account number if it isn't going to
> be automatically forwarded to the person handling the call?


> With today's fancy computer systems, the idea is that after getting my
> account number, my account screen is immediately displayed to the
> person handling my call, saving the time to ask for my account number
> and her to key it it. But this never happens. [snip]

> Anyone familiar with the programming of these 'automated' systems and
> would care to comment? Thanks.

Automatic Call Distribution systems are very expensive, and every
company that runs a "customer service" number tries anything it can to
cut costs, which usually means outsourcing to third-party vendors, who
sometimes have different systems, software, and displays than those
you started with at the company you called.

In other words, although their in-house equipment might record your
number, they have transferred your call to another system or company
that can't make use of the information. This is especially common in
out-of-hours call centers, where costs are low enough to justify the
added time to manually key your number into the foreign system.



(Filter noise from my address for direct replies)

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