Since last night I've been considering what exactly it was about the phone call I made to the police that made such a positive impression on me. I think a large part of it was the novelty--not the novelty of phoning the police but the novelty of having such quick, prompt service.
My call was answered on the second ring; an actual human being and *not* an automated voice system answered the call; my questions were answered immediately to my satisfaction. Wow, I'd almost forgotten what that was like!
Whenever I need to phone a utility company or bank I'm always answered by an automated voice system. Thankfully I don't need to phone often enough that I have their menus memorized, but all this means is that I have to go through the torture of listening to one or two automated menus before finally finding the option I need. Worse, when I phone a utility or the bank it's because I want/need something that can't be accomplished online... or by one of the automated choices. I *need* to talk to an actual person.
To my supreme disgust, I've recently discovered that my bank's automated phone system has placed the option to speak to a 'live representative' at the very end--only after forcing you to listen to two menus--and with a significant pause before listing said option. The pause was such that I actually thought I might have missed it in the previous menu and I was about to press the button to go back. Ugh.
I should say, though, that once I did speak to an actual person, she was friendly, professional, and helpful--she told me I should talk to someone in person at a personal banking center. ::roll eyes::
Oh yeah, my cable company. No matter what time of day, whenever I call them I get the "We are currently experiencing unusually high call volumes. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received or you may wish to hang up and call again later", or words to that effect. I could be wrong, but if they receive unusually high call volumes most of the time, then... hmmm, maybe it isn't *really* unusual? Could it be, perhaps, normal?