Stephen Moore has an anti-business column up in today’s Wall Street Journal—anti-business in the sense that he’s eviscerating those “press 9 for more options” automated screening machines that airlines and so many other businesses use. After you answer a bunch of questions and deal with the weaknesses of voice recognition software, you get put in a queue to talk to an actual human being. Steve reports waiting 41 minutes for a United Airlines human being to come on the line, and I’ve waited a similar length of time for United; I put my portable phone on speaker-phone and at least United plays Gershwin. I’ve now found a time of day where I’ve only had to wait a few minutes in the queue, but I’m not going to identify it in public lest the queue get much longer. On my most recent call I got a very nice woman from Salt Lake City who apologized for the fact that all the information I’d given to the automated machine had somehow not come through to her computer and so I would have to give it to her also.
My suggestion to United: more call center operators in Salt Lake City, please.