Chris Core sig new

This week I have three issues related to telephones. I’m pretty sure you have heard the following as well:

Please listen carefully as our options have changed. Really? When was the last time you changed those options? How often do you change them? Is it really necessary to tell me that you changed your options, if I promise to listen carefully every time? Why not move things along and give me my choices, knowing that I’m going to end up with somebody’s voicemail anyway?

We are experiencing longer than usual wait times. Honest? Is this because you have cut your staff to the point that you simply cannot handle the volume of calls, or has interest in your business spiked recently? In either case, there is a simple solution: hire more people to answer your phones. The telephone is your lifeline to your customers. Most of us have other things to do in our lives than wait on hold because you are “experiencing longer than usual wait times.” The maximum I will wait on hold for you to answer your telephone is 10 minutes. After that, I’m gone, and you lose a potential sale. So let me give a shout out to two of the companies that offer an option: Southwest Airlines and Spectrum. Both of these businesses offer to call me back when they are done talking with the people in front of me. Much appreciated.

Hello! This is Amanda from car warranty services. Oh, my Lord. How much need is there is in the world for extended car warranties to justify the fact that I get at least one call almost every day? Some days I get four or five. I don’t get random robo-calls offering to sell me paint for my house or a new dryer, but car warranties? Oh, yeah.

And I can usually tell it’s one of those calls from the number, designed to look similar to my own. I block every spam call number I receive, but they still keep calling. So now I have taken to answering the calls in a fake foreign language (basically jibberish) or with something like this: “Hello Car Warranty Services, are you interested in buying a car warranty from me?” Either of these methods causes the robo-caller to hang up, I hope puzzled.

Also, if you were to purchase an extended car warranty would you really do it from a robo-call and a company you never heard of that is in Zanzibar or someplace and probably a scam? Of course not. Last summer I purchased a 2017 model car. Because its warranty had only about a month left on it, I purchased an extended warranty for another three years. But I bought it from the dealer, as common senses dictates. I understand these unwanted phone calls must result in revenue or they would switch to calling us to sell gym memberships or something. But why they work I’ll never understand.

An aside here as we wrap up. Alexander Graham Bell was assisted in his invention of the telephone by a man named Thomas Watson. Mr. Watson and his wife lived on Third Avenue in Pass-a-Grille. Every now and then after a day of, “Listen carefully as our options have changed — We are experiencing longer than usual wait times — Your car warranty is about to expire,” I am compelled to drive down Third Avenue muttering “Thomas, Thomas, Thomas … look what you did!”