Giving Voice To Your Concerns

, , | Right | July 11, 2018

(I work for a Voice over IP company, and I’m sitting next to my coworker who takes this call. To use a phone, the user has to first log into it with a pin — this makes it possible to use phones on other workplaces with the same number.)

Support: “[Company], how can I help you?”

Client: “Hello, I’m [Client]. I can’t log into my phone with my password. But I’m sure it should work. Is it ‘123456’?”

(The phone pins are very low-security, and they are actually stored as clear-text in the phone’s configuration file. The support checks it.)

Support: “Yes, that’s correct. I can’t see any other problem with the device from here; just try again.”

(Now, the support listens and hears the client mumble something. He assumes it’s just the client repeating what he’s doing.)

Client: “One-Two-Three-Four-Five-Six… It still doesn’t work.”

Support: “That’s weird. I can log into it from here; I’m sure it’s correct. Try to restart it?”

(The client restarts it, and then tries again.)

Client: “One-Two-Three-Four-Five-Six… Still nothing.”

Support: “Very strange. Maybe you’re putting the password in too slowly?”

Client: “One-Two-Three-Four-Five-Six… No, doesn’t work.”

(They go through different possible problems, but it just doesn’t work, even if it should. This goes on for about fifteen minutes.)

Support: “I can’t detect the problem from here; I’ll have to schedule one of our employees to check it out—”

Client: “Wait… perhaps my secretary has more luck. She has a better grasp on this stuff.”

(The client calls his secretary.)

Secretary: “One-Two-Three-Four-Five-Six… Doesn’t seem to work.”

(The supporter goes through a few things again, with no result. Eventually, the client takes over again.)

Support: “All right, I’m sorry that I can’t help you from here. I’ll schedule a technician to check it out for you.”

Client: “Ah, technology apparently isn’t as advanced as they claim, after all.”

Support: “I’m sorry?”

Client: “Oh, nothing. You’d think this voice-recognition stuff would work a bit better.”

(I can see my coworker facepalm next to me.)

Support: “You are supposed to type the password.”

Client: “Oh.”

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