Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I realize that talking to irate customers is not the most attractive job, but the executive who approved the use of the United Airlines Robo-Prompter really should be reassigned. Customer Service would be a good starting point.

For the last eight hours I have been calling the United Airlines robo-prompter. I endure a minute of banter, struggle through getting the robo-ear to decipher a few simple responses and then it hangs up on me. There's more than a little room for improvement:

  • If you tell me you are going to transfer me, transfer me. Don't hang up on me. This is upsetting.
  • Don't make me listen to the same minute-long introduction every time I call. It adds to my stress.
  • If the lines are so flooded that you are going to hang up on me after three minutes of prompting, don't even answer the phone. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to spend one minute listening to your adverts and bulletins, then two more answering questions only to be hung up on?
  • I understand text recognition is hip, but if you are going to use it, make it work. The letter "L" and "P" don't remotely sound similar. If your robo-ear isn't good enough to differentiate the two, maybe you should try employing a human.
  • When I do finally get a human they should not under any circumstances ask me the same question I just struggled to get the robo-prompter to answer.
  • If I ask for an operator give me one, or don't give me the option.
I wasn't really annoyed when your Denver hub closed for a blizzard. That makes perfect sense. But when I have to spend an entire day when I was supposed to be traveling and I could have been getting paid, instead being robo-hosed, it's more than a bit upsetting.

Thankfully, Shel came up with the idea to switch languages and found a real person on the Spanish Customer Support (who was even bilingual). I'll arrive at my parents' house the evening on the 24th, four days later than I planned. If I'd waited for an operator on the English Customer Support I'd still be calling and definitely arriving after Santa Claus.

¡Si Shel no hubiera llamado en espaƱol, me hubiese jodido!