Good Morning Mr Hill, how can I help you today!

Hello DaveSo I moved house a few months ago and I’ve been really slow at updating my address details with all those organisations that have wheedled their way into my life – I am suffering from the well known condition called ‘Post Office redirection service’ apathy.

(i.e. once you’ve got a 6 month redirection arrangement in place, you forget about it!)

I finally got around to attempting some address changes…which meant that I had to interact with organisations back in my land of birth (England). I naively thought that this would give me a feel for where ‘state of the art’ customer ‘centricity’ had got to!

So, off I set: I pick my UK pension company as the place to start my address changing chores. I find some paperwork in my filing cabinet and, yippee, it indicates that they’ve got an online presence. A further dig around and my paperwork shows that I registered for their online service a few years back – excellent, this should be easy!

Next, I go to the website. After a few wild guesses at my online sign-in details, I finally crack the code and I’m in!

Yep, there’s the ‘My details’ section and yep, there’s my old address…now to change it….oh, I can’t…eh?…oh, right, go to that tab that says I can and…no, the function is there but it doesn’t appear to be activated for me…apparently I have to ring them!!

So, I ring them.

I get a weird sounding computerised voice straight away:

Computer lady thing: “In a few words, please explain what you would like us to help you with”

Me: I look around the room. I feel somewhat silly holding a conversation with a machine and I wonder how good ‘she’ is at understanding me…so I speak slowly and clearly: “CHANGE  (pause)  ADDRESS”

Computer lady thing: “Can you tell us whether you are an employer, trustee, financial advisor or plan holder?”  

Me: Erm, I’ve got no idea whether ‘she’ understood my answer to the 1st question! She’s moved straight on without comment. I wait for what I think is an appropriate time and provide an answer to the 2nd question: “PLAN (pause) HOLDER”

Computer lady thing: “Can you tell us your plan number”

Me: And so, after what I think is a reasonable pause, I do, with clear enunciation on each letter and number…I’ve still got no idea how well she’s doing at getting what I have said so far – she’s not complained so I assume all is good.

Computer lady thing: “Please tell us your surname”

 Me: I wait, and then say my surname loud and clear

Computer lady thing: “Please tell us your date of birth. Please say it like the following example –  23rd March 1972”

Me: I wait and then provide my date of birth in the format requested.

Computer lady thing: “I’m sorry I didn’t understand that. Please tell us your date of birth”

Me: Aha, I think, that shows that ‘she’ must be getting everything else I’ve said so far! I provide my date of birth again but slower and, hopefully, even clearer!

Computer lady thing: “Thank you. A customer service agent will be with you as soon as they can.”

I then wait, wait, wait…yes! I now get to speak to a human.

 Call handler: “Good Morning Mr Hill, how can I help you today” said in a very smiley (empathetic) way

Me: “Eh? I’m not Mr Hill!”

 Call handler: “Ah, sorry sir, can I take your details”

…and so I am asked for all of my details again by a human with a brain.

One thought on “Good Morning Mr Hill, how can I help you today!

  1. I hear ya! I moved back in May and it was like groundhog day. In the end I did x1 a week so I couldn’t get too stressed.
    By far the worst was the banks. One particular one asked me for so many security questions (which included some bizarre images I’d apparently selected as ‘reminders’!) that inevitably, I eventually failed and was told I’d have to go in in person! Forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

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