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Live Chat-Bots

December 10, 2009

I was doing some online Christmas shopping today.  The product (color) I wanted wasn’t available on the company’s website,  so I attempted a Google search to locate other potential sellers.  This led me to the company’s CANADIAN website, which actually had the item I wanted — and on sale, but no ability to ship outside of Canada.

Despite all of my efforts, there was no going back to the U.S. site.  So I attempted live chat, this little gimmick that makes customers think they are being assisted.  The following is the conversation with my new chat buddy, after explaining that I needed to get onto the U.S. website:

CSR:  Hi Michelle
—-long pause — perhaps I have to respond?—-
Michelle: Hello
CSR: My my is Jason, and I am available to help you.
CSR: I have received your inquiry and am looking into the solution.
—-another long pause—-
CSR: You may try using another system.
—-system?  What does that mean?  How does one access another system?—-
Michelle: I’m sorry, I’m not following.
CSR: You may have better luck on another computer, or you can order online at (800)xxx-xxxx.
—-I begin to type: Thank you for your help.  I actually don’t have another computer handy, imagine that.  Nor do I know the product I want to order, as I can’t access the website.  But that’s very helpful. But as I debated between my urge to respond & my fear of being cruel—-
CSR: I regret to inform you that I can no longer assist you.  If you need further help, you can submit your inquiry again.
—-{Disconnected from chat}—-

I now realize I was conducting a live chat with a robot.  I was very nearly fooled.

I also now realize that in this situation, it’s best to delete your cookies.  Good thing I consulted the chat-bot.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dad permalink
    December 11, 2009 9:44 am

    Reminded me of

  2. December 20, 2009 7:10 am

    Hi Michelle

    I can’t find an email address for you, so please forgive me intruding on your comment wall. I’d like to invite you to write about your favorite books at, where you can add information, images, video, music and links to illustrate and explore the books.

    Right now, we’re running a $3,000 Tournament and we’ll be offering contract work to the best entries.

    Best wishes

    Hector Macdonald
    Editor, Book Drum

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