Monday, March 13, 2006

Big boy. BIG BOY!

Dawn mentioned this ad the other day, and I gotta say, it makes me laugh every time I see it. That's something coming from me, because I create advertising for a living and am about as jaded, cynical and hyper-critical as you can imagine about most of the crap that agencies create (PJ will vouch for me on that one).

This, however, is a very funny ad. But that's not what makes it so good. What makes it good is that fact that it really strikes a nerve: I AM SICK AND TIRED OF NOT BEING ABLE TO GET A REAL PERSON WHEN I CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE!

It doesn't matter what company I'm calling -- credit cards, utilities, cell phone, Apple, Comcast, banks, whatever -- the amount of time and guesswork it takes to talk to a real person is making me homicidal. But just when I'm about to pull a Michael Douglas in Falling Down, a web site comes along to save the day.

People -- volunteers -- have spent time calling hundreds of companies and figuring out what you need to do to get a person.

Brilliant! (as they say in my other favorite commercials)

It's highly entertaining reading, too. Some of them are pretty simple: "Press 0." But others are silly, like Citibank, which is "Press 0#0#0#0#0#0#." Or Fidelity National Bank, which is "Press 1 #################." Or Virgin Mobile, which is, I shit you not, "At prompts say 'English,' 'More Options,' 'Ask a Question,' 'Live Advisor,' 'Something Else,' then enter mobile # or say 'I don't have one.'"

I heard a radio interview with a woman who works at the site, and she said now that the word is out about the site, some companies change their prompts once they're listed on the site! How lame is that? But not to worry, because has moles on the insides of these companies. Seriously, they have people who work there who secretly pass the new information along to

Spread the word! Get Human!


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