“Most people would rather talk to a human than a machine, and sometimes I wonder if enough people complain companies would stop with the machines,” said reader Dottie Davis.
She’s particularly upset about Comcast/Adelphia’s customer service line for high-speed Internet.
“I found myself screaming my phone number to the machine. It seemed like I had to do it 10 times. I thought I’d land at a mental hospital.”
Another reader left this message on my answering machine at my desk: “Your greeting annoys me just like your article. When I get disgusted I punch all the buttons until I get somebody. Then I ask them what I want and get a private number for the next time I need to call. It works very well.”
One reader said the situation with automated phone machines is worse than people think. “Sometimes you have to answer all kinds of questions to a machine but you never get your question answered,” he said.
Financial institutions are his pet peeve. “They ask for your account number and social security number over and over and over,” he said. And calling the Air Force Academy hospital resulted in him being hung up on after being on hold for a while. “After several rounds of automation, they say the extension is invalid and you get disconnected.”
Other readers expressed frustration about not being able to reach live people at retail mega stores, defense-type companies and others. "Sometimes they don't seem like they want to help you at all," one reader said.