I have a lovely telephone company. Through the magic of mergers, it's also my mobile phone company, my Internet service provider and (if I had a TV) my cable company. Multiple services mean multiple reasons to contact its customer service line.
And there the loveliness ends. The organization that enables me to communicate with you and the rest of the universe seems intent on preventing customers from communicating with its helpful help desk.
Place a call to the customer care line and you're connected with an interactive voice response system (IVR). In other words, a fake guy, with an incessantly cheerful recorded voice tries to guess why you're calling. Our IVR Guy has advanced beyond the "Press 1 for billing enquiries" stage and saves you the digital wear and tear of button pushing. All you have to do is speak the right words.
Pray the situation fits the options offered. Unless he hears the magic words, this poor man apologizes. "I'm sorry," he says, "I must have misunderstood. Can you repeat that please?" Welcome to Canada, where even our robots are polite.
Outwitting the robot - Since there's no officially sanctioned way to bypass IVR Guy, getting to a real person requires creativity, if not cunning.