Sunday, July 27, 2008

On voice recognition software and other annoyances

Yesterday I was trying to find a particular furniture store without success. I called directory assistance in order to get the exact address. Directory assistance has become yet another endlessly annoying service where you have to use voice recognition software.

Irritating computer voice: Do you want directory assistance? Please say "Directory Assistance" [and so on and so forth]

It takes me about 5 tries to ever be understood by the software. Invariably I end up screaming at the stupid system. I did realize that probably some real-life operator is there in the background, but isn't it obvious that the customer is screaming at the system? Apparently not. When I had to say "Ontario" for the umpteenth time to the voice recognition system, I followed "Ontario" with liberal use of the f-word, and yes, the c-word.

Then a real live operator came on. She was close to tears. Instead of saying what a functional employee would say and confirm the business, she said, "I'm not even going there." Excuse me? Going where? I hadn't at that point spoken to a live person - only the voice recognition software. Yet sensi-girl was traumatized by listening to someone swear? Then she adds in the saddest little voice imaginable, "We can hear everything you say".

Really? She could hear everything I say yet somehow or other it took numerous attempts to understand the word Ontario? I had always thought that customers initially did have to go through voice recognition software. If someone is actually there responding, then I pity our society because this one was incompetent. I almost burst out laughing. And I must admit, suddenly I felt good about what I'd yelled at the voice-recognition software.

Then she passed me onto a male supervisor. Again, this is all without me having said a word directly to her. What an overly sensitive loser. The guy was great. He gave me the info with no problem.

In my last job when I covered the phone lines, the one time I passed a client onto a male colleague was because the guy sounded like he was masturbating to me trying to give him safer sex tips. Such are the risks of working on a sexual health line. And even then, I passed him on because the call was going nowhere, not because I was traumatized.

Anyhow, I loathe women like the loser girl I had to endure. Grow a backbone. She should have laughed at me and said, "You know we can hear everything you say..." Then, and only then, if I started swearing directly *at her* she could have terminated the call or passed me on to a supervisor. That I would understand. I wonder how the little twit handles true trauma in life?


Freak Magnet said...

I would have been crying from laughing so hard.

Roxrocks said...

If they're listening, why aren't THEY answering?! That's so frustrating on so many levels. I'm glad you traumatized one.

tornwordo said...

This has me giggling helplessly.

CoffeeDog said...

Yes, if they are listening, then why didn't she intervene when the system didn't understand you. Twits, all of them.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

I bet the little twit doesn't handle true life trauma. She's only brought out of her cotton wool lined box every so often.

Wouldn't it have been funny if the voice recognition system had understood your swears, despite not understanding Ontario. I hope you made it cry silicon tears.

Lovely to have you back again.

eroswings said...

I, too, hate voice software! Give me a real live person. Sometimes, when I get those automated lines, I keep punching in the * key til I'm transferred to a live person.

I luv how you cussed out the machine and almost made the lousy, inept rep cry...Either do the job or get out!

Brice said...

If the f* c* had been listening to you failing to get your point across, and didn't intervene to help, then she deserves what she heard.

Laverne said...

I'm with Brice. I mean really. If she heard you repeating yourself over and over, why didn't she break in and help?

And, it took those swear words to actually get a live person on the line, so you did exactly the right thing!

Snooze said...

FM: At first I was kind of in shock. I was wondering what on earth was happening. It was the equivalent to me if I'd sworn at an ATM and it had started answering me telling me it wouldn't give me money.

Rox: lol - Yeah, I wondered the same thing about why she hadn't intervened when I was repeating myself.

Torn: It was all so surreal

Coffeedog: It's beyond me how this 'voice recognition software' works if it's just a real person listening in the background

IDV: OH that would be the best if the voice recognition software came on and said, "I don't know where 'go f* yourself' is"

Eroswings: I don't mind automatic systems when they work, but this one was useless. And I so agree with you about do the job or find another.

Brice: You EXACTLY go the phrase I was utilizing. Why am I not surprised?

Laverne: And the swearing even got me to a more competent assistant rather than sensi-girl.

Dantallion said...

You really need to stop drunk-dialing the phone company. Voice recognition isn't forgiving when you slur.

Snooze said...

Darling! You *know* I only drunk dial you. Well, you and CoffeeDog.

Chip said...

Voice recognition doesn't seem to work very well, the technology just ins't there.

As for directory assistance, I would recommend 800-411-SAVE, a free 411 service that can be called from any phone. 1-800-411-SAVE is free and the best part is that the service is done by live people and not machines. Another great perk about the service is that they connect your call for free too.

Snooze said...

Okay Chip - Thanks for highlighting what I can only presume is your business. Not sure how long I'll leave that link up.

Fuckkit said...

Try using these things after several bottles of international beer with a lisp. All I wanted was a fucking pizza.

Susan as herself said...

I consider myself to have very good diction and I have been told I am naturally loud vocally, yet somehow that voice recognition crap never understands me either. I always end up screaming into the phone.

I had no idea someone was listening. That is IDIOTIC. Pick up the damn phone if you hear someone having problems with it!!!


Snooze said...

Fukkit: Oh I feel for you!

Susan: I'm glad I'm not the only one who is never understood. I don't get it at all why the woman didn't cut in and help me out.