Saturday, May 18, 2013

Do you want to kill a recorded voice ? Secret call centre codes that could help

Save Money

Save Time

Secret call centre codes that could save £100m

Amy Mah 

Nigel Clarke, a frustrated IT manager, spent seven years preparing for a one-man crusade against call centres. He was sick of hanging on the phone, listening to recorded messages telling him which button to press, so he started researching these menus, and discovering the secret codes to bypass them.

His secrets have been revealed, and could save us an estimated £100 million.

The secret

Clarke calls himself a "call centre menu enthusiast". He has sent the last seven years making more than 12,000 calls to the automated phone services of hundreds of companies, and cataloging the options.

He says the worst call centres have more than 80 options in their phone menus with up to 7 levels of menu. He says: "Some might say this is the modern equivalent of Dante's circles of hell." One example is HMRC, where it can take up to 6 minutes just to get through the menus before a joining a queue for someone to actually answer the phone As one of the UK's busiest call centres, they receive 79 million calls per year. That means each year, callers to the taxman spend 4.3 million working hours just navigating menus.

He is campaigning for better menu design to save us time and money. However, in the interim, he has published the results of his research on his website www.pleasepress1.com.

How it works

You can enter the name of the business you are calling and it will show you the number and the phone menu options you need. You then dial the number and as each menu starts, you can 'press ahead' without having to wait for the automated message to rattle through each option.

So, for example, if you have home insurance with Lloyds TSB and you have a water leak to your property you could spend 4 minutes wading through 78 menu options, or you can check the site and dial 1-3-2-1-1-5-4.

If you want a brochure to see how you could spend your Nectar points on travel, you could call Sainsbury's and spend 3 minutes and 7 seconds on 29 menu options, or you could dial 3-1-4-1-1-1.

If you wanted to ask 
Argos about a TV you were buying from the website you could spend 2 minutes and 37 seconds going through 73 menu options, or you could dial 1-3-4-2-3.

Alternatively if you have an income tax enquiry for HMRC you could spend 4 minutes and 35 seconds on the 0845 number getting through 74 options on the menus. Or you could dial 1-hold-1-3-2-2.

Clarke estimates that the secret codes could save 1 billion minutes of call time a year. We would also get around the advertising that 68% of organisations use between the options. He has launched a Call Centre Menu Enthusiasts Group, and says: "I've been working in IT for over 30 years and nothing gets me riled up like having my time wasted through inefficient design. This is why I've devoted the best part of seven years to solving this issue."

Now for some vampire news

A self help guide by Amy Mah (Vampire) for teenage vampire girls, the guide is fully illustrated by manga Artist Heby and is written in an easy to follow A - Z format explaining everything a teenage vampire girl would need to know about living life as a modern Vampire. What is fashionable to wear when eating out? Fang maintenance & how to keep your claws sharp. Should you let a boy bite you on the first date? Easy to understand clear advice is given to every day problems Example: When you get an urge to bite: We all get those normal urges to bite things, and I must point out it is very normal, Claws are all well and good in a fight but a bite gives the extra advantage of getting a refreshing drink at the same time. Lots of girls worry about showing their Fangs in public believing that to show your fangs is rude, but don't be shy they can be a girls greatest asset (ok second greatest asset) if a boy is being rude to you, don't just snarl at him, just bite him! You are a vampire why do you think you have sharp teeth if not for sinking them into a boy that is being rude to you.

Today's world is difficult for everyone, especially teenagers. They face the stresses of school, deciding whom to date, and the biggie of sex, just to name a few. Imagine all of those things ten times worse, and you might get an idea of what it's like being a living, breathing teenage vampire. At last, the world can read about the life of a girl with good teeth, her problems with strong sunlight that gave her spots, and the sunblock that made her hair go yucky and produced more spots. Yes, sunlight was dangerous, as she could be the first teenager in history to die from terminal acne! In her everyday life, older vampires expected her to walk about at night in the traditional female uniform, a see-through, 18th-century nightdress, without undies! Well, this female vampire knew why the cold winds blowing along the corridors were called, "male winds," so she wore her see-through nightdress over jeans and a very thick jumper. To be sure that people would still know she was a vampire, the jumper had a very large, pink bat on it. And as to guys, well, it was normal for a girl to dream about guys; she just wished the dreams could have involved chocolates and holding hands, not leaping out at someone, ripping off his shirt, and demanding to know what blood type he was (at least not on the first date).

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