Monday, 5 December 2011

Two Digit Entry - Simplification

I’ve mentioned that I work in customer service.  We have an automated phone system to help simplify things.
There is a step in the system that says:
“Using two digits for each entry; please enter your birth month and year, (then there's an example) followed by the pound sign.”
I feel that these instructions are pretty clear.  There’s even an example.
But it never fails. Someone will be transferred over saying that the automated system will not accept their birthday.
“I’m sorry to hear that. What did you enter?”
“My birthday.”
“Yes, what numbers did you enter into the phone?”
“04-26-1875.* That’s my birthday. Should I have put the date before the month?”
“No, it’s asking for two digit entry for birth month and year.”
“But I entered my birthday.”
“Yes, however the system is only asking for the month and year.”
“Oh! So I should enter 04-1875.” (Statement, not question).
“No, the system is asking for two digit entry for the month and year. So you would enter 04-75. For April, 1875.”
“Okay, so what do I do now?”
“Once you hang up with me, call the same number back and follow the prompts on the phone.”
“I have to go through that all over again?!”

*Please note, this is a completely arbitrary date. This does not refer to any particular instance of this happening. To my knowledge I have never talked to anyone born in 1875.

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