Friday, June 12, 2009

Michael, My Online Support Specialist

Now, through the miracle of the internet, you can chat ONLINE with an outsourced tech support agent!

Explanation: This morning I had to request phone service for my work line, since my current plan through work is being sunset soon. As I was on my laptop in the family room with my daughter, who was happily napping in her swing, I did not want to head upstairs to the office to make the call. So, I used their "Online Chat" feature instead. I was immediately connected to a nice man named Michael, who then "typed" about 500 words to me in about 1.5 seconds. I'm guessing the text was canned. My suspicions were confirmed when he pulled the trigger on some canned text before seeing what I wrote:

Michael> May I please have the last four digits of the account holder's Social Security Number?
Jeremy> 1234
Michael> Thank you for the infomation.
Michael> Just to verify your order, you would like to have phone service for $39.95/month. Is that correct?
Jeremy> Yes.
Michael> Thank you for the confirmation.
Michael> I would like to inform you that there will be an activation fee of $29.95. This is [sic] one time payment only.
Jeremy> Your website does not show an activation fee.
Michael> Thank you for the information.

I began to wonder if "Michael" was my agent's real name, or if it was really Punjab, Ramesh, Bzytzc, or Boutros-Boutros. His words seemed to imply that he was not a native English speaker:

Michael> By the way, would you like to upgrade your current service to our Premium package for $60.50/month, Jeremy?
Jeremy> No thank you.
Michael> You are most welcome, Jeremy.

I think I'm going to make it my mission to respond to future "No thank you"s in that manner.

In the end, however, I must admit that Michael was quite helpful and I got my service ordered without having to understand a difficult accent on the other side of the phone line. Score one for the internet!


JCA said...

Are we sure that Michael was an actual human and not just a high-functioning automaton that passed the Turing test?

Anonymous said...

I am for thanking you order given for me. I am thanking you also. And I am reminding you to don't take any wooden rupees. Ha ha.