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Hello Egy
Why Apple’s robot operator knows when it’s pushed you too far: Swearing gets you connected to a real-live human



 By Damien Gayle

Try calling virtually any company these days and the chances are that you find it extremely tricky to speak to another human.

Apple is no different, with their customer care line employing an automated system to ask questions, identify your problem and, as a last resort, put you through to someone who might be able to help.

But now potty-mouthed tech fans have found a shortcut that can help callers bypass Apple's computer operator - dropping the F-bomb.

Reddit user floppybutton explained how he lost his temper with the calm computer voice as he tried to order a spare part for his broken laptop.

'After exploring every option possible in the machine based list, I eventually got frustrated and used a few choice words that triggered something in the computer I was talking to,' he said.

'It cut itself off in mid-sentence, apologised, and in about 10 more seconds I was talking to an Apple tech.'

The Next Web explains that Apple is not the only company that uses an automated operator system that is programmed to listen out for signs of distress from the caller.

If callers suddenly get frustrated with the hold music or menu options and burst into a barrage of obscene language the system will instantly transfer them to an operator.

Reddit users responding to floppybutton's thread confirmed that the tactic worked with a range of profanities and, curiously, with random unrelated words, including 'banana'.

At least one other claimed to have already known about the feature, adding that it had saved him 'at least an hour or two' since learning of its existence.

'On the downside, people look at you funny when you're repeating "F***... F***... F***" over the phone when a company might not have this feature,' Reddit user azzbla added.

According to The Next Web, so-called Interactive Voice Response systems are often designed to listen out for keywords which indicate they might be about to lose a frustrated caller.

The thinking behind this is that intercepting angry callers could help companies reduce the number of complaints they get and less likely they will lose business.

However, although venting spleen might get you straight through to a fellow human, it might not help you get your problems sorted any more quickly - and, at least in Apple's case, it could even take longer.

Another Reddit user responding to floppybutton's thread, who claimed to have spent three years on the phones as an employee of the Cupertino, California-based tech company, said that triggering the feature would only get you through to a 'call director'.

This 'is a person who will apologize to you and then transfers you to the right queue (ie. put you on hold again in the same queue that the automated system would have if you had just cooperated),' Rob79 wrote.

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By: manager Date Added: 2012-11-24 Comment: 0 Views :1801

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