Thursday, 20 October 2011

Phone vs. Internet

I love the internet. 

I know a lot of old[er] folk are afraid of buying things online or filling out forms n stuff…but I tell you what, it sure beats buying stuff over the phone. 

That is an awkward and best forgotten piece of history. 

I say this because I just made one of those awkward phone calls to an airline call centre […apparently not quite history].

The call started with an automated message.

Machine: Skywards members, please press 1. For passengers flying business class, please press 2…etc, etc. 

Clearly not me.

I get to an operator.

Operator: Is this a man or a woman?


Is that really a question? 

Me: …Woman.

Operator: Err, who am I speaking to, please?

Was that not the question..? Awkward. 

Me: Um…Claire…but I didn't make the booking. 

Still awkward.

Operator: Ok, can you confirm the phone number and email address given?

Ah…no?! I didn't make the booking, it was my Dad…I don't know what information he gave you…time to test my guessing skills…

Me: Um…[searching through email…], ahh…ok - [give Dad's email address]

Operator: Ok, thank you. 

Yesss, 1 point to me.

Operator: And the contact number?

Following logic, it'll be my Dad's number. But I am a modern girl. I don't remember phone numbers anymore…my phone does that for me!

Me: Um…+44…ahh…798…I can't remember. It's on my phone. …  And I'm using my phone. 

Yes, I actually said that. I am one of those idiot customers who call up and say stupid things on the phone.


Operator: Right, never mind, can you confirm the date you're flying. 

See. He thinks I'm stupid. 

But I can confirm dates. 


[What is she saying? // I have no idea.]

Operator: Ok. So how can I help you?

Me: I booked a flight with air miles and I need to pay the tax. 

Operator: …right, let me put you through to the Skywards department. 

That was one of the options from the main phone menu.


Hey, I use Air Asia, I don't know about the special clubs that "real" airlines provide…


I'm transferred and go through another very similar conversation. 

Only this time, evidently a man unfamiliar with European names, the operator refers to me as "Miss Clairey". 

He also adds a heavy scattering of;

Operator: Was that "p" for purple or "t" for train?


If I was typing, this would be much quicker and less embarrassing for both of us. 



Operator: Miss Clairey, would you like me to read out your flight details?

Hmm. This would not happen on the internet. 

Yes, why not... 

Operator: Miss Clairey, are you aware of your baggage allowance and check in procedure?


But again, go ahead and tell me…


Maybe the phone isn't so bad. 

I did rather enjoy hearing…"your baggage allowance is 30 kgs"...

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