At some time or another every one of us has had to call customer service for some reason. Usually its because you're having a problem and are kinda POed about it. The last thing that you want in this situation is to be on the phone for a half hour trying to get any help from a pre-recorded customer service menu. I happen to think that in our modern and efficient world customer service almost doesn't exist any more. Go into Wal-Mart and ask a random employee to help you pick the best shampoo for your hair type, find a graphics card with a TV out, or explain the difference between 1% and 2% milk. They will have no idea what to do and will probably have an attitude because you interrupted them from their work. I have actually changed my shopping habits for reasons like this. I would gladly pay a little extra at a smaller specialty store if I can get help from a friendly person who is knowledgeable about what they do and wants to help you find what is the best for you, even if they may not have it. Using Wal-Mart as an example again, rather than having a knowledgeable staff to recommend products that are right for a customer, they have TV's every so often that are constantly playing commercials for products that they sell. Am I the only person who sees a problem with this? Commercials piss me off enough while I am watching TV, but do I really need to see them while I'm shopping? Most people just block this type of thing out and don't think twice about it, but I notice. That to me is the difference between being a consumer and being an individual. I don't want to live in a world out of THX-1138 (amazing film, btw).
Having to get help from a heartless machine when you are having problems is the culmination of this anti-service trend. Well some very nice hackers have done something to ease our customer service woes. This website called Find-A-Human
is a list of large companies such as banks, cell phone carriers, insurance agencies, PC companies, retail & web stores, etc... with instructions on how to quickly bypass the automated help system and talk to a person when you call. I recenly read customer service ratings for cell phone companies and getting stuck talking to a machine was a main factor in the rating system (T-Mobile was #1 in service for the past 2 years). Hopefully with this list, you can actually get something done the next time you need help. I know I will be coming back to it at some point. Now whether that person will understand English or not, I'll leave for another post.