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Life Rant Update

IVR Voice Gating, a reminder.

Did you know?

Whenever you get an interactive voice recognition system by calling a big business, many of them are set up with voice gates that will dump you into specific queues.

Certain words, phrases, and tonalities can pull you to the front of the queue as a VIP.

VIP, in this case, is often Very Irritated Person.

You’ve probably observed this behavior in the past, when you’ve called a company three times, got irritated, and launched a tactical F-nuke at the voice system: “I’m tired of this F-ing machine!” Please hold, I’ll get a representative.

So, start off nice, but answer as many prompts with your keypad as possible when you call. What’s your member number? Keypad that, 8675309. What’s your date of birth? Button time, 06091969. How much did your first born weigh in grams? Digits, 4096. DON’T spam zeroes — a lot of IVR systems are now trained to dump calls to the tone department after too many responses of 0.

This said: Halfway through the process, switch to voice responses. Save your tactical F-nuke and carpet F-bomb for later. IVRs steer around their efficacy for the most part. Arm yourself with the words Agent, Representative, and Give me a real human. Actually answer one or two of the questions via voice, then switch to Representative or Agent rounds, and put a little steel into your enunciation of the word. You’re now opening the gate to queue jump.

When the system starts getting preachy about how it can help you, fire the Give me a real human shell for extra damage. Most systems will give up, and place you in the call queue to get a person on the line. You’ve usually been bumped ahead of the person that talked their way through all of the menus, but for an extra boost, while the system is talking to you on estimated wait times, throw an exasperated Shut UP in for chip damage.

Incidentally, this is how I carved through a “greater than ten minute wait” that Distress Scripts announced during my ordeal with getting my glucometer sensor suite. From top of call to human response was about 139 seconds: Actually faster than the previous call of 6.5 minutes, no human, and an offer to call me back.

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