Automated Phone Systems

I have a question. Why does voice recognition still suck? If they can’t make it work, then they shouldn’t make it all. Everybody has their own unique voice and recognizing words among the many accents that exist is a difficult problem for computers. So why then do companies insist on trying to use them when we all know they are completely worthless? Unfortunately we can’t have access to the internet and a computer no matter where we are, so at times we are forced to use these shitty phone systems. Let’s say I’m in Los Angeles and decide to see a movie. On a computer, finding out what is playing where and when would be no more than a two minute process. But no, instead I dial 1-800-Fandango and get this bitch on the phone who can’t understand common English. Here is an example of how my conversation with “her” goes:

[One minute clip about some special offer that I don’t give a shit about]
Do you want to look in or around Brighton?
(Where did she come up with Brighton)
Please say a city and state
Los Angeles, California
You said, Ogden… If that’s not right say go back.
Please say a city and state or enter a zip code
(Thinking… I don’t know the zip code… I don’t live there)
I’m sorry I didn’t hear you…
Are you still there?
Please say a city and state or enter a theater express code using your telephone key pad.
(As opposed to my computer keyboard that plugs into my phone? NO SHIT!)
L O S A N G E L E S , C A L I F O R N I A
OK, Los Angeles

Then she proceeds to ask me more questions to which she can’t understand my response. And so on and so forth until 43 minutes later when I get the movie times and no longer want to see a movie. No matter how clear or how much I annunciate, it’s hit or miss with Fandango. I really hate you Fandango.


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