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Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 - 11:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Or at least that accommodating. At least I tried, and it's not like I offended anyone.

NOTE: This is not a very good lateral puzzle. It's more to see how good the memory of some of the people here is.
Galfisk (Galfisk)
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Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 9:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They: human? Adult? Male? More than two? 5? 10? A group? LTPFers?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 4:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They: human? Adult? Male?No to all. More than two?<b>In the world, an indeterminate large number. But only one is directly relevant to this puzzle, and another is somewhat related. 5? 10? A group?They are all of the same "kind", but you would not ordinarily call them a "group". LTPFers?No
Galfisk (Galfisk)
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Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 8:36 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They: alive? Animals? Computers relevant?
Offended anyone: anyone of "them"? Or any person?
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 10:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

are they smart phones? smart cars?
Vesica (Vesica)
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Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 3:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they something that has "Smart" in their name?
Another word that implies smart?

Are they an object?
Animal?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Post Number: 1849
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Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 5:00 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They: alive?No Animals?No Computers relevant? Yope
Offended anyone: anyone of "them"? Or any person?This, "they" cannot be offended, see below.

are they smart phones?No, but... smart cars?No

Are they something that has "Smart" in their name? Maybe some brands of them do, but irr.
Another word that implies smart?

Are they an object?Yes
Animal?So no
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 3:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they non-smart cell phones ("dumbphones," as I call them)?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 - 8:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they non-smart cell phones ("dumbphones," as I call them)?No
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 - 10:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

are they ipads? dongles? memory sticks? Blackberries?
Galfisk (Galfisk)
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Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 9:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they electronic? Electric? Mass-produced? Stupid? Flammable? Popular? Annoying? Made from: plastic? Wood? Rubber? Ceramics? Glass? Gas? Liquid? Metal? Leather? Bone? Food? Fiber? Paper?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 7:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

are they ipads? dongles? memory sticks? Blackberries?No

Are they electronic? Electric? Mass-produced?All 3 Stupid?Well, would you call an electronic device "stupid"? Flammable? Popular?Popular among those who would buy them, I guess. But very unpopular with everyone else! Annoying?YES, rest are irrel. Made from: plastic? Wood? Rubber? Ceramics? Glass? Gas? Liquid? Metal? Leather? Bone? Food? Fiber? Paper?
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 8:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they beepers? Pagers? Cell phones? With annoying ringtones?
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 8:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

CB radios? Walkie-talkies?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 4:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they beepers? Pagers? Cell phones? With annoying ringtones?

CB radios? Walkie-talkies?No to all. HINT: most buyers of these would be companies, not individuals.
Galfisk (Galfisk)
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Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 7:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Advertising relevant? Are they electronic signs? Do they make: light? Images? Text? Noise? Smell? They are physical objects, right? Not popup ads or anything like that?
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 3:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

smartcards?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 - 6:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Advertising relevant? Are they electronic signs? Do they make: light? Images? Text? Noise?Yesish to this, no to all previous. Smell? They are physical objects, right?Yes Not popup ads or anything like that?No

HINT: "They" are only useful because people use telephones, yet they are only yopishly telephones themselves.
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 - 11:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cell towers?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Sunday, September 11, 2011 - 7:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cell towers?No. Remember, they yesishly make noise. I.e., not literally in the room where they are, but they generate/synthesize sound.
Galfisk (Galfisk)
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Posted on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 3:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do they transmit sound electronically? If so: through wires? Via radio waves? Do they generate dial tones? Or other tones? Are they phone keypads? Do they generate DTMF tones? Are they bigger than: pills? Golf balls? Computer mice? Bowling balls? Microwave ovens? Washing machines? Cars?
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2011 - 4:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tannoy systems? loudspeakers? alarms?

intercoms?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Monday, September 19, 2011 - 8:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do they transmit sound electronically?Yes If so: through wires?This. Via radio waves? Do they generate dial tones? Or other tones?Certainly sometimes make tones, and maybe dial tones, but are best known for some other sound. Are they phone keypads? Do they generate DTMF tones? Are they bigger than:To tell you the truth, I don't know how big they are. But I'd say somewhere between computer mice and microwave ovens. pills? Golf balls? Computer mice? Bowling balls? Microwave ovens? Washing machines? Cars?

Tannoy systems? loudspeakers? alarms?No to all.

intercoms?No, but in some modes of operation they function as "yopish" intercoms. Remember, they are useless for businesses to use unless the general public uses telephones.
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Monday, September 19, 2011 - 8:30 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do they transmit sound electronically?Yes If so: through wires?This. Via radio waves? Do they generate dial tones? Or other tones?Certainly sometimes make tones, and maybe dial tones, but are best known for some other sound. Are they phone keypads? Do they generate DTMF tones? Are they bigger than:To tell you the truth, I don't know how big they are. But I'd say somewhere between computer mice and microwave ovens. pills? Golf balls? Computer mice? Bowling balls? Microwave ovens? Washing machines? Cars?

Tannoy systems? loudspeakers? alarms?No to all.

intercoms?No, but in some modes of operation they function as "yopish" intercoms. Remember, they are useless for businesses to use unless the general public uses telephones.
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Monday, September 19, 2011 - 12:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Microphones? Megaphones? PA systems?
Is mass communication relevant?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Saturday, October 01, 2011 - 5:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Microphones? Megaphones? PA systems? No to all.
Is mass communication relevant?Noish. They communicate with the general public, but one person at a time rather than broadcasting information to many.
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2011 - 8:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Walkie-talkies? Telephones? Telegraphs?
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2011 - 9:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

those telemarketing things that phone people with a recorded message?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - 6:07 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Walkie-talkies? Telephones? Telegraphs?No to all

those telemarketing things that phone people with a recorded message?No but VERY close...
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - 2:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Answering machines? Voicemail?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2011 - 4:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Answering machines? Voicemail?THIS! Now, if you look through the archives at my old puzzles, you will get a huge hint. But if you'd prefer to solve without that, such is fine too...
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2011 - 1:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Personalized greetings relevant?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 3:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Personalized greetings relevant?No
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 4:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Length of messages relevant?
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 8:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

were you trying to leave a voicemail message? change a message? delete a message?

record your name? or the outgoing message?

listen to a message? delete a message?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Monday, October 24, 2011 - 6:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Length of messages relevant?No

Shez: No to all.

I think I may have been misleading when I said Yes to "voicemail". Many would use the word "voicemail" to refer to the relevant type of system, and it often interoperates with a system that receives voice messages, but this puzzle is about a feature unrelated to such messages.
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Monday, October 24, 2011 - 1:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are company telephone lines relevant at all? Being transferred?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 4:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are company telephone lines relevant at all? Being transferred?Yes to both.
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 1:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it one of those systems where you say the name you want to be transferred to and it does that (I don't know what they're called), or rather, tries to do that because it completely misheard you?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 - 2:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it one of those systems where you say the name you want to be transferred to and it does that (I don't know what they're called),It does do that, but to a department of the business rather than a name, and also... or rather, tries to do that because it completely misheard you?It didn't misunderstand me, really.
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 4:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it a 411-type system?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 - 7:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it a 411-type system?I don't know what you mean by this. But the system is one of those where it says, for instance, "For bill pay, press 1..." etc.

HINT: From a previous experience with such systems, which I once documented in a puzzle on this forum, I got the impression that these systems may have a kind of voice recognition feature that one would probably not expect them to have.
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 - 7:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I meant "Is it a system similar to 411", that's all.

So the system directs to departments, correct?

Just making sure...I'm really not sure what to ask...
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 3:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So the system directs to departments, correct?Yes, but rather irrel. It IS quite relevant that it acts as an intermediary between (potentially frustrated) customers and live humans.
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 3:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, and to clarify, I mean human employees. Not to imply that customers are anything other than live humans!
Shez (Shez)
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Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2011 - 8:18 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did you swear at it instead of giving it your menu option?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 - 7:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did you swear at it instead of giving it your menu option?YES. Now what "feature" was I testing for?
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 - 2:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If it would recognize that you swore at it? Or would think your expletive was a menu option (similar to one of Peter365's old puzzles)?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 - 7:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If it would recognize that you swore at it?Yes, and... Or would think your expletive was a menu option (similar to one of Peter365's old puzzles)?
Balin (Balin)
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Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 - 10:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And chide you for it?
Andy_hornby (Andy_hornby)
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Posted on Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 5:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

end the call? take through to specialist team for dealing with irate customers?
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 1:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And chide you for it?No!

end the call?NO! take through to specialist team for dealing with irate customers?No, but close enough...

*********************SPOILER********************

Over a year ago, when trying to contact a company about a particularly frustrating mistake on their part, every time I selected the automatic menu option to wait on the line for a live person, the system only waited for a minute or so before kicking me back to the main menu. However, after several repetitions of this, I finally cursed at the machine, and lo and behold, within 2-3 seconds I was transferred to a live person!

I was intrigued by the slight possibility that automated phone systems could have a "curse detector" that moves particularly irate callers to the front of the answering queue. So a few months ago, when I had to wait for over an hour on the phone to make a ridiculously simple request (namely, to disconnect a phone line), I tried cursing at the system progressively louder each time it told me that all representatives were busy.

Nothing happened, however, no matter how loudly I yelled, although there was of course nobody to be offended (except maybe the people in the apartment next door). The final outcome was that I found this site, which ended up saving the day: http://www.lucyphone.com/

Ciaobella (Ciaobella)
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Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 7:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's certainly an interesting idea. My husband used to work for a call center, and one odd thing they did was employ "quality assurance technicians" that would listen in on calls (even while the customer was on hold) so that they could give the representative answering the phone feedback on his or her performance. ("Your call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes...") Sometimes they actually spoke to irate customers or performed other actions during the call or while the customers were on hold. This may have been the case with your first call, or it may have just been coincidence.

For my part, I always wondered why they didn't just hire more representatives to answer phones- then customers wouldn't get irate waiting on someone to answer the phone call!
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 3:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For my part, I always wondered why they didn't just hire more representatives to answer phones- then customers wouldn't get irate waiting on someone to answer the phone call!

Yes, or have the representatives specialize, so people who were calling in with simple requests didn't have to wait in the same "line" as people with more complicated requests.

In the example that prompted this puzzle, I was trying to get a phone line disconnected, which takes considerably less time than, for example, receiving tech support about an internet connection. In addition, many tech support questions can be answered over the company website, whereas disconnections are one of the few matters that can only be handled by speaking with a human representative.

In the first example, the one where my swearing seemed to have an effect, I was dealing with a company that was terribly incompetent about delivering packages. They had incredibly restrictive and asinine policies about what they could and couldn't do when leaving packages, which meant that if you weren't waiting by the door of your apartment building, packages would never arrive. This would have been a relatively simple matter to fix with some changes to their internal policies.

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