23 September 2015

Recording

"Callers are advised that this call may be recorded for training purposes".

"In order to provide a better service to customers, we record all calls."

"Before providing a list of call options you are advised that calls are recorded for the security of our staff.... Your call is important to us, please wait while we put you through to a member of our team."

Why? Why are they recording our calls? What if we said to them - "Now that I have finally got through to a human being I must inform you that this call is being recorded for legal purposes. So if you give me any bother or keep me waiting any longer or try to sell me an insurance package I do not want or call me by my first name you can expect the wrath of the law to come down upon you like a ton of bricks!"

What if we said to them - "I do not wish to have my voice recorded by you! Please turn off the recorder or I shall come round to your call centre and wallop you with a cricket bat!" What makes them think it is okay to routinely record us? And I don't know about you but I have never had any come back on these thousands of call recordings. Are they really recording us or is it just an empty threat? I mean if they really are recording calls they will need huge servers to retain the calls they claim that they are habitually recording.

In the past, nobody warned us or informed us that calls were being recorded because they weren't. Nowadays, although the person at the other end speaks with a polite, mater-of-fact voice as they let us know about their recording mania I think that there are threatening undertones. No longer is the customer always right, the customer has become a type of untrustworthy enemy who needs to be tamed through the threat of being recorded. Something like George Orwell's "1984":-

How easy it all was! Only surrender, and everything else followed. It was like 
swimming against a current that swept you backwards however hard you struggled, 
and then suddenly deciding to turn round and go with the current instead of opposing 
it. Nothing had changed except your own attitude: the predestined thing happened 
in any case. He hardly knew why he had ever rebelled. (Chapter 4)

Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, 
could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the 
sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The 
possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the 
State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, 
now existed for the first time. (Chapter 9)

28 comments:

  1. Censored! Censored! Gag her before she starts!!!

    What I want to say about these faceless voices at the end of the phone line I have to censor because if I didn't you'd promptly kick me off your blogger mates' list! As I like and enjoy being on it, I'll leave it to your expert imagination to work out what I feel about them. :)

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    1. Oh good heavens! I didn't tell you I was psychic Lee! I have just looked into your most secret thoughts on this matter and I am truly shocked! On the surface you seem so sweet!

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    2. I thought there was very little that shocked you, Yorkie! Wonders never cease! lol

      All that glitters is not gold! What you see is not always what you get! lol

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  2. They are not only recording us, but they are analysing our voice for mood to route the call to the most appropriate operator. It may not be happening widely yet, but there is voice analysis software out there working out if you are pushed off and who best to take your call. I can't remember where is saw this. I will track it down and write a blog post on it, but it may not be until next week YP. Have a nice day, and thank you for calling. Beep.

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    1. Please don't call me Beep Carol! I am not a Beep, I am a human being!

      What you said about voice tones is quite disturbing.

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    2. I wasn't imagining it ~ here is an article from New Scientist. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229683-800-speech-analyser-monitors-emotion-for-call-centres/

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    3. If that is the case about voice tones...they quickly get the message from mine!!! :)

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    4. When they hear your voice over the call centre tannoy, the intruder alarm will be activated and staff will have to evacuate the building.

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  3. So true Yorkie. I recently saw part of a documentary about all the surveillance cameras and other types of surveillance devices that operate. It was quite unsettling.

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    1. In England we are more watched by CCTV than in any other country on the planet.

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  4. Ian Duncan Smith stopped paying my pension and when I called to ask him why I got put onto a very nice lady with a Black Country accent. They didn't record my call and if they had they would have needed an interpreter.

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    1. I didn't realise that you were good chums with Ian Duncan-Smith. Have you ridden to hounds with him or bagged grouse together?

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  5. I always laugh when I get a call center employee with an obvious Indian accent who introduces himself as "Jimmy" or "Tyler" or "Bobby". Who do they think they're fooling? :) lol

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    1. I came across an Indian lady called Jennifer. Her voice was very sexy. She recorded my heavy breathing.

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    2. Of course she had a sexy voice, she picked "Jennifer" for her name, didn't she?!

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    3. You said you lived in South Carolina, not Bombay! What colour is your sari?

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  6. The customer has not only become an untrustworthy enemy, the only thing they have of any value is their money, and it's fine to use any tactic whatsoever to get their money. Old person? Great, sell them every useless thing you have, they're too stupid to know better. Young person? Give 'em a credit card and encourage them to go into debt. When I run across a company that actually values my business these days, it is a rare and wonderful treat.

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    1. Your cynicism is matched only by your lucid insight Jan. Why isn't everybody angry about this stuff or have they simply submitted to the inevitable?

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  7. The tapes aren't kept very long, but that's not your point. It's that this is being done at all.

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    1. Did we say they were allowed to capture our voices Red? Native Americans would have seen it as capturing something of the essence of a human being - taking away some of their strength.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Sorry Lee! No foul Aussie swear words allowed!

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  9. Hey, everyone! Thanks for the laughs...this is a brilliant post (and responses)...I'm glad to learn I'm not the only one who has strong reactions to calls from people like Jennifer from India!

    Jennifer didn't take to kindly to my heavy breathing, though. Oh! Well! You can't win 'em all!

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    1. Why would you want to "win" a ten dollar a day call centre worker from Bombay? (What's this Mumbai nonsense?)

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  10. I think it was 1966 when I first read "1984". And, then again a decade later. I have often heard it said that Orwell was not saying what would happen....but what could. It has happened, George. Sorry to say.

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    1. I understand that Orwell's first title for the novel was "1948" but this was rejected. He may have been painting an allegorical portrait of were in the year he wrote the novel - but all of this could be a literary myth.

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  11. This call may be recorded for training purposes....
    What? We're part of their training program? Expletive deleted. We should be paid trainers not volunteers. Just like companies filching your photographs Mr Pudding.
    I'm with Lee on this topic. And what an insight I've had into what is laughingly called privacy while I have been reading the comments.

    Ms Boiling Soup.

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    1. Yes we should we paid if they are using our voices for training purposes!

      Mr Flaming Pudding!

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