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Voice Recognition Phone Menus

  1. Pressing numbers on my touch-tone phone.

    10 vote(s)
  2. Speaking to a voice-activated menu.

    3 vote(s)
  3. No preference for either.

    1 vote(s)
  4. Some other option Moonbear forgot to include in the poll.

    3 vote(s)
  1. Sep 30, 2005 #1


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    There will be a poll...so wait for it you speedy posters! :tongue:

    I used to complain about getting stuck having to push buttons through those endless menus when calling companies on the phone:
    If you would like the menu in English, please press 1
    If you would like the menu in Spanish, please press 2


    If you are calling about an existing account, please press 1
    If you are calling to set up a new account, please press 6
    If you are calling for some other reason, please press 9


    Please enter your 6 digit account number followed by the pound key.

    Please hold for the next available representative.
    Hello, my name is... what is your account number?
    (So, why did I just have to enter it in the keypad?)

    NOW I'm getting something different most times I call places...I get this voice recognition menu.
    If you are calling about an existing account, please say "existing account."

    existing account

    Sorry, I did not understand you, if you are calling about an existing account, please say "existing account."

    *enunciates very carefully* eX-isT-inG Ac-CounT

    Sorry, I did not understand you. If you would like to return to the main menu, please say "main menu" if you would like additional options, please say "more options."

    Main menu
    Okay, more options. If you would like...

    Just give me a *** ******d ****ing *** ** * ***** person or I'll pound sign YOU!

    Okay, I will get you a person.

    I'm convinced the only thing these systems understand is that a string of swear words means "put a live person on."

    So, share your experiences...and vote in the poll.
    Assuming automated menus are here to stay, and a live person answering and directing your call to the correct department is ancient history:
    Do you prefer pressing number keys, using the voice-activated systems, or have no particular preference for either?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2005 #2
    I refuse to vote because you forgot to put an option that insults Smurf :tongue2: And don't think your little "some other option" got it covered :tongue2:

    I don't really like either, but the internet helps a lot with some of these things.
  4. Sep 30, 2005 #3


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    Drat! I thought I had it covered with that (because I couldn't remember everything I needed to include). :rolleyes:

    What prompted the poll was after trying to call one company and being thwarted by their voice-activated system, I then attempted to email them, but the form on their site had a missing field (it was there, but blank), and it wouldn't let me submit it until I selected something from that field. :grumpy:

    I'm learning a list of key words to try, like "person," "representative" or "operator" that work on some to skip ahead to a live person. A lot of these lately don't even give the option to just wait through all the menus for a person. (I've been making a lot of calls lately getting my address updated with everyone.)
  5. Sep 30, 2005 #4


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    I prefer pressing numbers. You can usually press them before the recording asks. I usually jot down the numbers that I press, so when I have to hang up and call back, I can just enter all of (correct) numbers immediately...
  6. Sep 30, 2005 #5


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    I said 'some other option' for no menu. I hate those things I've been stuck for 30 mins on one of those:

    If you speak english press 1
    If you don't speak english, press 2 <how can they tell?


    If you have a complaint, press 1
    If you do not have a complain, press 2


    what are you calling about?
    if you have a suggestion, press 1 (but I don't have a complaint)
    (10 min. later)
    if you're calling about (etc.) pres 1045

    if your first name begins with an a and ends with an a, press 1
    if your first name begins with an a and ends with a b, press 2
    if your first name begins with a j and ens with an s, press 10293


    If you want to speak to a real perosn press 1


    if you want spanish, press 1
    if you want english, press 2

    okay, just a few more questions :tongue:
  7. Oct 1, 2005 #6
    heh, i posted about how fun it was doing taxes on the phone in april... bah... the stuff really is horribe. you know what i really enjoyed? when we went across the country, we found out hotels.com has a phone number you can call, and you call and they're like, "if you want a reservation, press one." then you press one, and you're brought right to an opertator. then you follow a bunch of questions like you would with the regular stuff, but its all a person talking. So, every city we went to, i just called the number and found cheap hotels. so, we get near salt lake, and we're thinking we'll spend the night there... so i call as usual...

    so i press one,
    "hi, my name is blah blah blah, what city and state?"
    "salt lake city, utah."
    "what date?"
    "uh, tonight."
    "date of departure."
    "er, tomorrow."
    "how many adults?"
    "how old are children?"
    "umm... 12 and under?"
    "how many beds?"
    "smoking or non?"
    "are you looking for any area in town in particular?"
    "would you like results from least expensive up?"
    "yes please"
    "just a moment.... sorry, we have no listings."

    click... called back, new city, go through it again... no good, one more utah city... no good... called again for a northern neveda city... nothing... another... nothing... southern wyoming... nothing. i called a dozen times, finally by the end,

    *ring ring* "hello you've reached ho- *presses one*
    "hi my name is blah blah what city and state?"
    "hi blah blah blah, i need a hotel room, tonight, till tomorrow, in (some small town in nevada) 2 adults, 2 beds, no kids, non smoking, i don't care where it is, just cheap."
    "hah, have you called here before? lets see... ooh, sorry, all booked up."
    "arg, how about (names other small town on map)??"
    "hmm.. nope, sorry, thanks for ca-"
    "how about this one, (names another)?"
    "um.... nope..."
    "ARG! there's only one town left on this whole map! (names last town...)?"
    "hmm... sorry, we don't even have any hotes there. wish i could help... thanks for calling hotels.com."
    "ya ya... thanks..."

    not exactly related to this thread... but funny story still.
  8. Oct 1, 2005 #7


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    Did you ever find a place to stay? I've never gotten to a place where EVERY hotel was booked up full, even if it was the peak of tourist season. There was always a room somewhere I could find, though sometimes in a less than desirable part of the city/town or I had to wait a while for them to clean a room, or had to hunt a bit to find someplace where someone had recently cancelled a reservation.
  9. Oct 1, 2005 #8


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    What I hate the most is when you go through all of the prompts and then they tell you "all service reps are busy, try your call again later". "Goodbye". Click. Not even an option to hold for the "next available representative". :devil:

    Voice prompts are terrible becuase they pick up background noise. One time I kept sneezing every time it asked me to say something and I couldn't get through. :grumpy:

    The last company I worked for did have a very cool IVR for internal HR use. You could say phrases to explain what you needed and it picked out keywords, it was awesome, it actually worked correctly. You know how sometimes you don't know which prompt to choose? This would pick out multiple keywords to select the best path for you.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2005
  10. Oct 1, 2005 #9


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    I picked the voice thingy...never had a problem with it.
  11. Oct 1, 2005 #10
    I hate to be put on hold. How long I stay on hold before hanging up ends up depending on the importance of the call and my general mood at the time.

    I occasional call the local VA hospital for my neighbor. An automated voice says:

    "Thank you for calling the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System please listen to the following options, if this is an emergency dial 911" (is that any way for a hospital to answer a phone?)

    Next come five menu options.

    each of those options has three or four sub menu options.

    On several occasions the system has completely looped around back to:

    "Thank you for calling the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration........................ " argghh I hate it when that happens.

    Ironically I am usually trying to connect to the "TLC" (Telephone linked care) line. Only an agency of the federal government would name a torturous phone system TLC.

    The good part of the system is that an automated voice gives an estimated time that I will be on hold. The bad part is that it is usually over 35 minutes.

    I guess I am a bit spoiled because before I retired I had someone to hold for me. But now, now for gods sake, I am on my own in a cruel communications nightmare. :eek:

    I am not good at multitasking, when I am on hold for a long period I end up starting to think about how I would like to pummel the person on the other end of the line with a blunt object. I know , I know it is not that person's fault.

    So here is some food for thought:

    Why is it that with all of the high tech available, there is no way that a person in his/her home can simply lay the blasted phone down and have the thing go, BEEP BEEP BEEP, when the person on the other end finally picks up? It Could even even flash a strobe light, sound a siren, or make my pants burst into flames. After waiting for forty minutes, I don't care. I DON'T CARE I TELL YOU arrggggggg :grumpy: :cry: :grumpy:

    There are two possibilities here.

    1. such a device already exists.

    2. Someone will probably read this and then go down to Radio Shack and buy 20 bucks worth of electronics parts and build a prototype that will make them rich.

    did I get off topic or what
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2005
  12. Oct 1, 2005 #11


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    There are days I wonder if the automated phone system really does anything, or if it's just the company's way of keeping you occupied so you stay on the line when the reps are all busy. Afterall, it seems after going through all those menus, when someone finally answers the phone, they always have to ask why I'm calling anyway. After pressing 20 different buttons and navigating menus, submenus and sub-submenus, you'd think the person on the other end would know exactly why I was calling! When there's an especially long wait, they must have it set up to start looping you through the menu twice. :grumpy: I wouldn't put it past them! :tongue:
  13. Oct 1, 2005 #12
    NOPE! never found a place... not within 5 hours of where we were... (well, we didn't check places we'd already passed...) i have no idea what was going on that night.... but every place was booked up. I ended up driving all night until i just couldn't drive anymore, and then i parked at a rest stop in some town on the border of NV, Jackpot, NV actually... and we slept there in our car.... good times...
  14. Oct 1, 2005 #13
    Whoa you gotta be kidding. This wasn't the year that the Olympics were in Salt Lake was it??

    I can usually just pull up to a motel and if they don't have a room, most of them will call other motels in the area. You have to stop early in Utah. They roll up the sidewalks at 9:00 PM
  15. Oct 1, 2005 #14
    ya it was kinda late... but we did stop at places, no vacancies... cause i thought maybe our number didn't have all the rooms, but nope... all full. and nope, it was this year, late august... i have no idea why they were all booked... its a mystery!
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