Thursday, June 23, 2011

Escape Voicemail Purgatory!

What if WE recorded those calls "Recorded for quality assurance"? What if we broadcast them live?

See Brin's Corollary to Moore's Law about ubiquity of cameras and potential for constant amateur surveillance. But it isn't just cameras that are becoming small and ubiquitous. We can now record almost anything, anywhere, anytime... so... Let's take schadenfreude to a new level... 
Botticelli - Drawing Dante's ...
The next time some big organization that I'm paying to provide services for my benefit (e.g., health insurance) returns me to voicemail purgatory...  
You know voicemail purgatory:  The system that functions more effectively to delay the services I deserve than to provide the help I need in a timely way? 
You know, when I need a little bit of help, a little bit of info, TO WHICH I'M ENTITLED and it takes several calls, several voicemail tree choices, and several conversations with anonymous people identified solely by first name - no last name, no telephone extension - so that when I get cut off after waiting too long I must start over with another anonymous employee.  And then I'm told that to "correct" my situation at least 10 business days will be required...
And during voicemail purgatory I often hear that "this call is being recorded for quality assurance" as if that is supposed to make me feel better.  Same for "Thank you for your patience."
But what if I recorded the call? Not merely for quality assurance, but to prove to someone in the next encounter that I really did hear what I remember. And, eventually, shouldn't I be able to use these recordings for legal redress? For compensation for my wasted time? For my stress?

Do the managers of these systems think that most of us don't understand the speed that is possible with the digital technology on which they rely and through which they fend us off?

Do the managers think that we don't understand that every second they can delay the delivery of services, delay the fulfillment of corporate responsiblity, the company earns a little more profit?

So, what will happen when I announce during my next voice interaction that "this call is being recorded for service assurance"?   Recorded by me.

And when I'm REALLY irritated waiting on hold, I think how easily I could be broadcasting this interaction live via one of the many online systems that we use for "Webinars". Live broadcast and recording at the same time!  Could that threat change things?  At least provide some low-level entertainment?  Take schadenfreude to a new level?

Image:  Photo of painting by Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510); Title "Inferno, Canto XVIII" date 1480s
Sandro Botticelli [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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