Through the 9 Circles of Customer Service Hell

Submitted 9/18/2013 by Kaloyan Georgiev

We have been there, all of us - the customer service hell. Sometimes, whether we realize or not, we even go through all 9 circles of it, and this, my friend, is how a customer gets broken. What are we talking about? Let's see:

1st Circle - The voice mail tree

Welcome to the first circle - here you are required to listen to a machine talking about the choices you need to make in order to contact a person to talk to about your problem. You can make your choice (the machine will politely ask you to) and then listen to another set of choices and even some news about new services, because apparently you have all the time in the world and your problem isn't so important.

2nd Circle - The Identifying Information Loop

Here, you will be required to fill in some paperwork first where you need to provide your account number, your name, your address. After that you will speak with a real person who will ask you to provide the same information. After that you will be transferred to another person, where you will be asked to provide the same information all over again. And again. And again...

3rd Circle - The "Please, Hold" one

This circle provides you with a simple and rather irritating melody in the background. You might as well listen to it, because you are not going anywhere soon. Your call is important, though...

4th Circle - The Dial Tone

In this circle you will be required to explain your problem to a live person, but every now and then you will hear the ominous sound of the dial tone in mid-conversation.

5th Circle - The Neverending Line

One of the worst circles - here you will be last in a line of 30 people, waiting to speak with a customer service employee. A machine will tell you that you are 30th in line. The catch is that the line will never move on...

6th Circle - The Disappearing Act

This is a truly magical circle - you will need to find your way through a labyrinth made out of phone lines and personal information papers till you reach the clerk at the end. Now you can explain to him what your problem is. But just as you get to the middle of it, the clerk disappears and you need to find him again, going through the same labyrinth.

7th Circle - The Lost In Translation

Here you are, speaking to a customer service employee, getting straight to business, giving the right information, waiting for a solution to your problem, when suddenly, the employee says "I don't understand your question". You explain it again. "I don't understand your question". You explain it again, using different words. "I don't understand your question". Remember - you are in the Customer Service Hell...

8th Circle - The 0 Authority

Once again, you are able to speak with a customer service agent, who listens carefully. You explain the problem and wait for the "I don't understand the question" curse, when suddenly, the agent says "Yes, I understand the problem". Yes! Oh, happy day! I am the happi... "But I don't have the authority to do that"... Than suddenly, you are back to the phone line labyrinth, this time full of agents, but none of the has the authority to help you...

9th Circle - The Busy Agent

And again, you actually find an agent whom you can talk to. He doesn't seem to notice you. You greet him, he greets you back and asks you what the problem is. You explain the problem, but in mid-conversation, the agent starts texting to another person. You are kind of irritated, but you keep explaining. The agent nods head, agrees with what you say and then starts texting with someone else again, while politely gives you a "Not so important" sign for you to hold over your head...

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