In writing my book, Silicon Collar, I saw plenty of examples of how machines make human workers safer, smarter and speedier. I also became more aware of poor implementations where the man-machine balance is broken and leads to worker and customer dissatisfaction. In this series, I will highlight some of those experiences.
It’s sad, but we rarely answer our home phone. That way we avoid annoying sales, political polling, IRS scam and other nuisance calls. Frontier Communications faithfully emails us wav files of any voice messages and indicates the length of the message. If it is less than 5 seconds, I auto delete – it’s usually a wrong number.
For the last month, every week day around 2pm we have reviewed a 20 second message from 440-542-1360. The Caller ID shows a location, Chagrin Falls, OH, not the name of the calling enterprise. A Google search shows the number belongs to a debt collector.
The call asks for a person we do not recognize, and It gives you 4 options - answer, hold etc. It does not seem to recognize it is talking to a digital voice recorder and keeps going till it hangs up.
Think about that – for weeks now, no human has reviewed the call logs and flagged our number as unattended or just plain wrong.
So their machine keeps whispering sweet nothings to the Frontier machine which forwards that to our email server.
Automation gone haywire.