It was a simple question. It should have been on the website. It wasn’t. So it should have been a quick and easy phone call. Forty-seven minutes later, I realized I was in hell – that tortured no man’s land of a customer service phone call known as On Hold.
So it was only fitting that the purgatory playlist included Johnny Cash singing Ring of Fire.
But just getting to that loop of music is a herculean task in the customer service Olympics. Because before you can even to listen to the Bee Gee’s Stayin’ Alive you have to talk to the automated lady who rarely understands whatever words are coming from your lips, regardless of the volume or tone in which you speak.
She starts out nice enough. “Your call is important to us,” she says sweetly. Robo Lady tells me to listen carefully because the menu options have changed suggesting that I might have the interest and brain capacity available to have this memorized for reference.
Robo Lady seems committed to getting my call to the proper destination and offers up a detailed array of menu options. “If you’re calling about warranty questions, say warranty,” she says. I say, “Warranty.” “You said technical support, right?” she continues. “Please say yes or no.” “No, warranty,” I tell her. “Sorry, I didn’t get that. You said technical support, right?” she says starting to sound annoyed with me. “NO. NO. NO! WAR-RAN-TEE,” I enunciate slowly and carefully like I’m auditioning for The Actor’s Studio. “That is not a valid option. Please hold while I transfer you to the next available customer service representative,” she admonishes me now morphing from her once helpful persona into a cranky, peri-menopausal broad with passive-aggressive issues.