Well-Known Member
Aug 30, 2004
Have you ever had a problem with a product that you bought? Have you ever needed technical support? Have ever just needed assistance from a company? Then chances are, you have gone through what Im about to speak on. This present trend of computerized teleprompts. Operators with pre recorded phrases that are aimed to sound like real people, in order to help customers get the help they need.

Yes, the new age of technology is upon us, complete with wireless cell phones, electronic cars, and ringtones that only small children can hear. However, in midst of all the newest gidgets and gadgets, this particular invention seems to deserve another visit to the drawing board. I admit, it probably sounded like a wonderful idea on paper, and probably warranted a few oooohs and aaaaahs in the proposal in the conference meeting, but the problem is that they are not very practical.

My first complaint, and I would imagine the most common one, is that the prompt doesnt do a good job of intrepreting customer requests. Now picture this scenario, you are calling the Sprint store to ask about the newest bluetooth piece. You call the hotline, and you are greeted by a female operator with a rather pleasant voice. She then proceeds to give you a list of options to chose from, but none of them quite match what you are looking for. However, after making an educated guess, you decide to say "wireless accessories". The problem is the operator thinks you said "wireless internet" You attempt to fix the problem by saying the phrase again, but only to be answered with "Im sorry? Could you repeat that again?". After several more attempts at yelling the request, the only thing you feel like saying at this point would be something along the lines of "idiot" "pion" "bufoon" or any other creative name that your mind could concoct. The problem with that is, you have forgotten that you are still talking to a machine. All the names you just called your operator have now gotten you into the scheduling prompt, and Ms Operator is now telling you what time the stores closes on Sunday. Your mind exhausted and your voice box torn, you forget what you called for in the first place, and hang the phone up in frustration. Great job, tech support.

All jokes aside, I would imagine that the idea of this whole invention was to free up some of the operators time and make the calls more manageable, which I understand, the only problem is that most people would rather speak with a human being. Companies may have already percieved this problem, as you may have noticed that teleprompts are now becoming more improved, the voices are being made to sound more and more realistic and fun-loving, and sometimes amusing if you wait too long to speak (Are you still there?). My question is, do this new invention really work? I mean, is it really worth the time and effort that must have been put forth to produce this if most customers are gonna sklip through all the prompts and straight to customer service? A famous qutoes comes to mind, "The 8.00 an hour employee will always beat the million dollar invention"

Ok maybe its not a REALLY famous quote, but its relevant. anyways, thank you for your time.

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