Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh, these IVRs

What is it with the Interactive Voice Response systems of some of our telecom providers? I shunted my mobile from postpaid to prepaid and there was an outstanding amount on my postpaid. The folks that be, at the Airtel customer center, told me that I would have the bill for the outstanding amount sent to me and I could then pay it. That was in early November and till now nothing has come.

Tried to call up the customer service to get details and boy!, there is no way to easily reach a human. Twice got cut after circling around all the options, pressing 9, # etc in my quest to get a live person.
Latched on to a human after playing with a revenue option (recharge or something like that and pressing invalid keys). If a tech-savvy person like me :-) has to hunt to get a human, how would the multitude do?

Read somewhere that there is a site (for US folks) where there is an exhaustive list of procedures for entities like these, (phone providers, banks, insurance agencies etc) by punching in the appropriate keys on an IVRS to reach a service representative as fast as possible bypassing those "Press Blah for Blah" messages.

We may need to go that way given the mushrooming of IVRSs in our system which are not friendly at all. But the saving grace was that the person who handled my request was polite and directed me appropriately. Mmm...


Savitha said...

Sometimes the person at the customer support is awfully sick, that I feel listening to these IVR's better only!!

What irritates the most to me is the voice mails-when I desperately try to reach a person, and end up in listening to the beep to record the message :D

zeno said...

Welcome to airtel family :)
All these companies, with IVRS as an intermittent layer between the customers and company and move away from the customers.

IVRS is people agnostic. techie and nontechie it treats all alike.

I am sure, if u get to another human, you will be given another set of instructions

BTW, why are you so keen on paying the money if they are not interested?

RamMmm said...

@savitha - :-) ponaa pogudhu, andha end of IVRS humanai mannichchu utturunga :-)

The problem most of the time with the rings is that different people would have programmed different number of rings before it goes to voice mail (if they know how to do it). :-)

Oru rendu thadavai try pannittu, appuram oru fake voice mail udungaa. This is , from the department of immigration services, and with respect to your application, you are requested to be at our Consul on . You can reach me on :-) :-) Works best if your number is anonymous or a generic number. :-)

@zeno - My main issue was to reach a human for something that the IVRS cannot address. They make you go round and round with the umpteen options. :-(

Why have one more pending thing on your plate? You'll get a late fee for a bill never sent (you have to read the fine print in the terms and conditions, a lot of times, it is your responsibility to check back) and then one more round of IVRS and Customer Center visit will be needed.

Srivats said...

oh those recorded messages. Actuallly the human at the end is really polite and helpful but he is not easily reachable, irony!

RamMmm said...

Yes, it is. :-) It actually took me more time to browse the menu options than the time I talked to the customer service rep. :-)

Uttara said...

Heh, it took me 15 calls to figure out how to put ona caller tune. I put on a wrong one at the end and again took 15 calls to figure how to change it!

RamMmm said...

As long as it is toll free, it is fine. Pay from pocket -

Uttara said...

No..It was 3 Rs a minute! The caller tune thingy..WAs VERY irritated!

RamMmm said...

:( I thought you could do all that jugglery by shooting an SMS with some code off and bingo, there is your new service. :) Anyway, I use SMS only to hide behind laziness to call :-) and write in non-SMS lingo just like in email, in full-hand.