Telephone Queues: A Further Deterioration Of Service
'Use Robot, Lose Custom' by Fred R. Walton, Belmont. The Courier-Mail letters (31/8/1999)

IT's not often I agree with columnist Terry Sweetman but, in the case of obnoxious menu-driven phone robots (Perspectives, August 27th), he is right on the money.

People are losing patience as their precious time is wasted as a futile attempt to contact a human is stymied by fatuous irrelevant messages. I am not going to sit on a phone for 20 minutes listening to soothing music. The instant I hear "your call ...", I hang up.

Businesses (those making money) have resisted the call of the siren robot and they get my dough. As for government offices, I don't bother to phone. I write. They are obliged to respond on paper and this successfully wastes their time and it is quicker by far for me.

The message to business and government: use a robot and my custom disappears faster than an idea at a politicians' talkfest; you need me far more than I need you.