The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

You may have noticed when calling a lot of large corporations these days that the customer support has changed. In place of being connected straight away to a person, you answer a few automated prompts.

“Thank you for calling .. Comcast! Customer service is … important to us! Please state the reason for this call!”

That’s when you’re expected to say something like “bills” or “tech support” or “change plan” or who knows what else.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – the system is even more complex and convoluted than you ever thought.

Here’s what they’re not telling you

You remember those old computer text prompt games? For example, Colossal Cave Adventure? In these games you received text descriptions and you responded to the game with a set of commands.

Modern customer service is actually an audio based version of a prompt game. If you’re not getting the help you deserve, try some of these shortcuts.

“Thank you for calling .. Comcast! Customer service is … important to us! Please state the reason for this call!”

“Search room”

“In front of you there is a gathering of inpatient customer service representatives. To your left you see a door that says ‘helpful people.'”

“Open door”

“The door is locked. You will now talk to our worst agent.”

Huh. That didn’t work. Ok, how about this.

“Thank you for calling .. Comcast! Customer service is … important to us! Please state the reason for this call!”

“Grab lantern”

“You are holding a lantern. There is an ON/OFF switch. It is currently OFF.”

“Turn on lantern”

“With the light you can now see that the entire room is full of clowns, laughing and pointing at you. You retreat in fear.”

“Stop retreating in fear”

“Command not recognized.”

“Flee room of my own volition”

“Command not recognized. Our worst agent is on the way to support you.”

Welp. I tried.

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