[telecom] Tech Companies Leave Phone Calls Behind

Tech Companies Leave Phone Calls Behind

By AMY O'LEARY July 6, 2012

Quora is a Web site that crowdsources answers to just about any question imaginable, including "What is the meaning of life?" and "Is it possible to stick someone to the wall with Velcro?" But anyone searching for a phone number for the company is out of luck. Not only is the number unlisted, but the very question "What is the phone number for Quora?" has gone unanswered for months.

Quora is not the only social technology company that presents an antisocial attitude to callers. Twitter's phone system hangs up after providing Web or e-mail addresses three times. At the end of a long phone tree, Facebook's system explains it is, in fact, "an Internet-based company." Try e-mail, it suggests.

LinkedIn's voice mail lists an alternate customer service number. Dial it, and the caller is trapped in a telephonic version of the movie "Groundhog Day," forced to work through the original phone tree again and again until the lesson is clear: stop calling.

Voice calls have been falling out of fashion with teenagers and people in their 20s for some time (text only, please). But what is a matter of preference for the young is becoming a matter of policy for technology companies; phones cost money, phones do not scale. Besides, why call when you can use Google, or send a Twitter message?

On the other end of the line, however, some people may not know how to Google, or do not want to use Twitter. These users may be older, or less technically adept, and they are finding the method of communication they have relied on for a lifetime shifting under their feet. It does not make sense, they say, that a company with products used by millions every day cannot pick up the phone.

The companies argue that with millions of users every day, they cannot possibly pick up a phone.


formatting link

***** Moderator's Note *****

Just think: Touch Tone service used to be a status symbol. Now, technology allows companies to separate the buyers from the spyers in the most elemental way: if you're calling them, they don't want to deal with you.

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
Monty Solomon
Loading thread data ...

Per Monty Solomon:

A few years back I was working for a major mutual fund.

They picked the vendor for a rather large contract based, in part, on which vendors had a live person answer the phone when they called.

Reply to
Pete Cresswell

Whatever entity it is that marketed the FF905 model of the "Southwestern Bell Freedom Phone" (a Malaysian-produced 900 MHz cordless phone) left a nice, helpful, and permanently imprinted "Toll Free Help Line" number (reproduced below) on the body of that instrument.

Today I tried learning from it what I'd forgotten: how to program phone numbers into its "10-Number Dial Memory". Send callers to IVR hell? How cruel and unfeeling -- just give 'em busy signals every time they call.

In between attempts to reach their 1-800-366-0937 I toyed with conceivable ways of programming phone numbers into the unit's memory, and, not too many attempts in, I found the way and no longer needed that Help Line after all.

["And what's that way?" I hear you asking? OK: handset "on-hook" (Talk key dark); press "Memo" (Talk key should start blinking green); press the key-sequence for the number you want to store, press "Memo", and press the digit (0 thru 9) for the location you wish to occupy; the handset should signal "dih-deet, dih-deet" and the Talk key should go dark again. Done.]

Cheers, -- tlvp

Reply to

Cabling-Design.com Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.