Repeating The Account Number You Just Punched In, This Is The Future?

After watching this a few times, we’re not sure what’s more annoying, comedian Orny Adams or phone trees. — BEN POPKEN


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  1. Anonymously says:

    It’s funny because it’s true.

  2. Jester says:

    I don’t understand why this is. Is there anyone who can explain why this happens?

  3. Christopher says:

    I know that at the call center I used to work for, our department was a billing center located 500 miles from the other primary call center. Whenever the customer would type their number into the IVR, which was located in that other center, 500 miles away, that data wouldn’t transfered with the call because our system was incompatible with theirs.

    I know whenever I call Allstate, the system warns me that I’ll be asked for my account number a second time “for security purposes.” I don’t know how this enhances security, but apparently they feel it does. If anything, in my opinion, it lowers security because you then have to say the number out loud instead of secretly keying it into the phone.

  4. armishanks says:

    Two reasons. First is that some VRU (voice-response unit) phone systems aren’t completely integrated with the customer service rep’s computer system.

    Second is that if the systems are linked, asking you to repeat already provided information (acct #, ZIP code, etc.) gives time for the computer to bring up your profile, or for the customer service rep to read your account notes to see if there are any issues with your account. It buys them time.

  5. econobiker says:

    The reason the live operator re-asks the account number, date of birth, home phone, and that “secret” security question (drum roll: what was your mother’s maiden name?) is so that the operator can view the voice stress analysis of your responses for truthful responses. I kid you not…

    Companies also use these programs if you happen to be a “little” delinquent with a bill payment and they actually choose to call you first (versus just charging the $39 late fee). At one time I had a little downturn in my life and during that period two of my credit card companies called me to ask if I was going to send a payment. When I answered I told them truthfully that I didn’t know (since I was actually was waiting on a settlement payoff) and I didn’t want to answer falsely. I even asked the second card representative whether he was scanning my response for stress analysis for the truthfulness of a positive/negative answer and he admitted to me that his company did employ this method.

    Folks, this is the main requirement of the “Calls may be monitored and/or recorded for quality assurance.” Or their cute way of saying “We’re scanning your voice for truthfulness.” These businesses aren’t just training their employees but checking whether you’re lying to them.

  6. nikoniko says:

    >Folks, this is the main requirement of the “Calls may be monitored
    >and/or recorded for quality assurance.” Or their cute way of saying
    >”We’re scanning your voice for truthfulness.”

    Covert use of deception detection devices is patently illegal in numerous jurisdictions, and that disclaimer certainly offers no disclosure.

    I suppose they can get around it since no computer voice stress analysis systems have been shown to be more accurate than chance. In other words, there is no deception detection accomplished, hence no violation. ^_^

  7. ohnothimagain says:

    econo–So what happens if they think you’re lying (which 99% of the callers are)? What happens if they determine you are truthful? I’m not buying this at all.

  8. medalian1 says:

    if your telling the truth they send you convience checks, if you lie they increase your APR

  9. drsmith says:

    yes – this has been a pet peeve of mine for years. So when the IVR asks for the account number, I never put it in anymore. When the customer service person answers and asks me why I didn’t enter my account number, I tell them I don’t like repeating myself.

    It may sound antisocial, but until companies fix this, I’m not about to key in the account number. In a lot of cases, it has the added bonus of bypassing the phone tree and putting you in touch with a person who can actually help you.

  10. CaptainRoin says:

    Just thought I’d keep things ‘glass-half-full’ for a change: When I called Chase yesterday I put in my account number once at the start of the call and they never asked again. They did do the mother’s maiden name though.

  11. georget99 says:

    Thank you for calling Zumflot system support. We are busy mis-understanding and confusing other customers, so please hang on. This call may be recorded for company party entertainment purposes.