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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.

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

    Reminded me of http://www.xkcd.org/632/

  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 http://www.bookdrum.com, 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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