Thursday, January 13, 2005

Squirrelly Dogs & Friggin US Mail

My puppy is so cute. He somehow managed to piss off both a bird and a squirrel this morning and when I looked out the window, the squirrel was sitting on the fence yelling at him (have you ever heard a squirrel in a yelling fit? It's quite entertaining) and the bird was swooping around him trying to...attack? him without getting eaten. And Hastings was racing around the yard (shibas are good at that), enjoying the game and having the time of his life.
I have found a new pet peeve. Computers that try to be human. Auto-response systems that try to act like a real person. The following conversation occurred when I tried to talk to a real person about an international shipment that was lost. Let's just say I lost more than my shipment...

USPS: Thank you for calling the US Postal Service. To continue in English, say or press 1. To continue in Spanish...
ME: (pressing 1)
USPS: Ok, "Track & Confirm." Does the label number begin with a letter?
ME: Wait, I didn't want "Track & Confirm." Go back. (pressing buttons to return to main menu)
USPS: I'm sorry, I didn't understand you. Does the label number begin with a letter?
ME: Customer Service, please.
USPS: I'm sorry, your response could not be understood.
ME: I need to talk to a live person.
USPS: I'm sorry, I still didn't understand you.
ME: (Still pressing buttons to return to main menu.)
USPS: I’m sorry, I’m having difficulty - That’s not a valid – I’m sorry – Your response – I’m still having – Ok, let’s try a different question. Does the label number begin with a letter?
ME: (hanging up and dialing again.)
USPS: Thank you for calling the US postal service. To continue in English say or press 1.
ME: (pressing 1)
USPS: To check the delivery status, please say “Track & Confirm.” Otherwise please say “Schedule a Pickup,” “Order Supplies,” or “Other.”
ME: Other.
USPS: Did you say “Track & Confirm?”
ME: No.
USPS: Ok, “Track & Confirm.” Does the label number begin with a letter?
ME: (Click. Dialing again.)
USPS: Thank you for calling the US postal service. To continue in English say or press 1.
ME: (pressing 1)
USPS: To check the delivery status, please say “Track & Confirm.” Otherwise please say “Schedule a Pickup,” “Order Supplies,” or “Other.”
ME: Other.
USPS: Did you say “Track & Confirm?”
ME: No.
USPS: To check the delivery status, please say “Track & Confirm.” Otherwise please say “Schedule a Pickup,” “Order Supplies,” or “Other.”
ME: Other.
USPS: You said “Other Information,” is that correct?
ME: Close enough.
USPS: I’m sorry, I didn’t understand your response. Was that a yes or a no?
ME: Yes.
USPS: Does your question concern a domestic or international shipment?
ME: International.
USPS: Ok, “Track & Confirm.” Does the label number begin with a letter?
ME: NOOOOO!
USPS: Ok please say each digit your label number slowly and carefully.
ME: (Sigh. Repeating label number.)
USPS: I’m sorry, but I didn’t understand your response. Let’s try a different question. Was the package sent to an address within the continental United States?
ME: No.
USPS: Was the package sent to Guam, Puerto Rico or an APO box?
ME: No.
USPS: Ok. Please say each digit of your label number slowly and carefully. Or if your label begins with a letter say “Go Back” to return to the previous menu.
ME: Go Back.
USPS: Ok, “Track & Confirm.”

Somehow - and I can't for the life of me recall how - I finally got in touch with a real live person.

USPS: Thank you for calling the US Postal Service, this is *****, how may I help you?
ME: I need to file a claim on a package sent to Mexico two months ago that was never delivered. USPS: Ok, what’s the tracking number?
ME: There are three tracking numbers on my receipt, which one do you want?
USPS: Is there one that starts with two letters?
ME: There are two. One starts with EC and one starts with CP.
USPS: The one that starts with CP.
ME: (relaying the number)
USPS: Ok, I’m showing that the investigation on this package was only started a month ago and Mexico has 60 days to respond, so you have to wait another month to file a claim.
ME: But the last time I called, the person told me I could file a claim on today’s date.
USPS: I’m sorry, you have to wait 60 days.
ME: So there’s absolutely nothing I can do right now to find out what happened to this package or get my money back.
USPS: You can track the package through our automated tracking system. Let me put you through to “Track & Confirm.”
ME: (Click.)

The above conversation resulted in an amendment to our international shipping policy. We no longer ship internationally.


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