What is Voice-Jail ?
It is the bane of modern communications-systems for consumers--the voice-jail system.
Why Can't I Get Through?
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If you know the extension of the wise geek writer you want to reach, say "yes."
If you find yourself hopelessly stuck in an endless loop of voice mail questions, you are not alone. This is the world of voice jail, a dreaded side effect of many voice mail systems in use today. After negotiating a dizzying variety of numeric and voice prompts, many callers find themselves unable to connect to a human or give up before they do.
Voicejail did not start out to be the scourge of the telecommunications world, however.
Voice mail was intended as a means for callers to leave message directly to specific areas, reduce or eliminate the need for a centralized telephone receptionist. As telecommunications needs grew, but many companies discovered a need to streamline the processing of incoming calls.
Voicemail request would allow callers to specify their particular needs and have their calls directed to a human expert. Frequently Asked Questions can also be taken up by an electronic menu system, which would free human staff from answering routine queries.
As with many other systems designed to make our life easier, voice mail systems soon transformed into systems designed to make our blood pressure rise. Voice mail systems began to use more numerical and vocal prompts, and many of these resulted in misdirected calls or complete outages. Now a human operator can be a simple matter of dialing "0", or it can mean completely out of the system and start over again.
Thus the consumer slang expression "voice jail" was very popular in the 1990s.
Breaking free of voice-jail situation is not always easy, but there are websites dedicated to posting codes, cheats and direct numbers that allow callers to bypass many of the basic questions.
Rings "0" works on many voice jail systems, but once a human operator is reached does not always guarantee a connection to a human expert. Some systems can be circumvented by specifying certain numbers on each question, or to use terms like "agent" under the vocal prompts.
Deliberately punching in an invalid or non-existent account number can also allow callers to break out of a voice-jail loop.
As long as companies continue to rely on advanced voice mail systems to handle incoming calls, the dreaded specter of voice jail will continue to be a concern for customers. Learning direct extension of a man is usually an effective way to circumvent voice jail, but a caller may still have to jump through a few questions before they have that option.
Pressing "0" after each question can also get the attention of a human end. If the frustration of voice jail is too much to bear, remember that the people on the other end are also going to have to jump through an endless voice-jail loop just to get the message you leave.
Sometimes telecommunications karma works both ways.