I rate myself as a pretty tolerant person. I respect people and always try to enhance someone’s day by just being nice and friendly.

But when it comes to call centres that is where it all goes wrong for me. There is nothing more irritating than fumbling through a service provider’s system trying to get speak to the right person. Please tell me why I can’t just speak to a friendly voice eager to hear my problem? Like in the old days.

And then having to listen to some poor quality rendition of an old Earth, Wind and Fire’s song that I hated as a child (over and over again) whilst waiting for someone to answer the phone adds significantly to my pain!

And this is after having to call back three times because I keep pushing the wrong button.

To me you might as well say:

“Look, Sir, your time is important to us but not that important.

A switchboard?

Are you mad!

You can’t expect that.

You see, we need to save cost and get our headcount down. I mean what would it look like if our managers were tied up all day handling customer queries? We’d never get any work done around here.

In any case management is not trained to deal with irate customers like you- it requires special psychological skills in order to calm an irate customer down!

Now, a computerised call centre is a much better option. It’s more professional. You can have a robot-like person reading off a script: ‘Welcome to our call centre sir – you are dealing with Agoopt. How can I help you’.

The call centre guys know how to deal with this stuff and then it’s off our plate. We can gather stats and see if they meet our KPI’s.

Customer satisfaction?

We can rely on the bell-curve standard deviation to satisfy ourselves about the quality of our service – it’s within the required limits.

Not a problem!

And you want to lay a complaint with the CEO? You want him to know what a mess things are in his business? Sorry sir, you have to go through the call centre. The CEO doesn’t speak to customers.

So that’s how it works around here, take it or leave it.

And by the way, Sir, have a nice day!”

Fifteen minutes later my call still remained unanswered meaning I had to call back another time and repeat this whole f*****g all over again.

So if your business has one of these wonders of modern technology, do yourself a favour and call it up. You might just find that it is worse than the one described above.

One of the reasons I ask to speak to an executive, is to describe my horrific customer experience to them – no doubt they would be as horrified with the service as I was. The thing is they believe technology, at a most palatable cost, has got it all handled!

For me it’s simple – dealing with a call-centre usually puts me into a murderous rage!