Monday, March 02, 2009

i heard "tax bonus", is that right?

now that the politicians have finalised their bargaining and deal broking, and the australian government has given the green light to the tax bonus payment, i thought i'd get my act together and ensure that my bank account details were up to date so that i can get my share of the pie as soon as it's served.

and so i rang the automated service number (1300 686 636) and was left slightly unimpressed - the bulk of my 5 minutes 48 seconds on the phone was spent in repetition:
  1. me repeating myself to the voice recognition system. it handled numbers ok (had no problem with my tax file number and bank details), but couldn't (despite 3 attempts at it) understand my date of birth nor my name. granted my name might not top the list of most common names, but it wasn't exactly a name out of 'the gods must be crazy' or anything like that...
  2. the system repeating everything back and asking for confirmation. which i suppose you need in an automated voice recognition system, but it does get a bit grating after a while.
  3. me having to get the system to repeat the receipt number, because after about the 10th digit i stopped writing, thinking 'surely this is the end of it', thus missing the remaining 5 digits... and of course you'd need a 15 digit number to record receipts because every man and his dog in australia is going to each call 50 million times...
the ironic thing was, after thinking about the whole process and how it could be better (eg. offering the option of keying numbers via the telephone keypad as a standard option rather than a backup after the voice recognition fails), i realised that i had confused myself about my details and they didn't need updating after all.

oh well.

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