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“Thank you for calling Aetna. Our automated system will help direct you to the right person. First, are you a patient or a doctor?”


“Thank you. How can I help you?”

“I need to change my primary care physician.”

“I’m sorry, I did not understand.”

“Change my primary care physician.”

“I’m sorry, I did not understand.”

“Change my PCP.”

“Okay! You would like to file a claim on your policy? If this is correct, please say yes.”


“Thank you. How can I help you?”

“I need to change my doctor.”

“Okay! You would like to search for a proctologist? If this is correct, please say yes.”


“The Aetna automated system is able to understand words when spoken normally. Please keep your voice level so that we can make sure to direct you to the correct party.”

“Did you just tell me to keep my voice down?”

“Okay! You would like to speak with our sales team? If this is correct, please say yes.”


“The Aetna automated system is able to understand words when spoken normally. Please keep your voice level so that we can make sure to direct you to the correct party.”

“I. would. like. to. change. my. PCP.”

“I’m sorry, I did not understand.”

“I hate you.”

“I’m sorry, I did not understand.”

“I want to speak to a representative.”

“I’m sorry, I did not understand.”

“I want a chicken sandwich.”

“Okay! You would like to speak to a customer representative? If this is correct, please say yes.”

“Lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise only, please.”

“Okay! I will transfer you to a representative. Please hold, and enjoy your chicken sandwich.”


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64 Replies to “Brrrrinnnnggg”

  1. Hilly

    The one I call almost DAILY at work…AT&T DSL Service? Yeah that lady says, “Hrm, let me put this another way.” when she cannot understand me. Sometimes I laugh at her impertinence but mostly I just scream “tech support, you stupid cuntburger!”.

  2. Amy

    Somebody told me recently to hit #0#0#0 or maybe it was 0#0#0#

    Wait wait… maybe it was 000### or ###000

    it was three of that combination…

    Geez, now I’m going to be wondering about this all day.


    Schwarzenegger is a cockwad!!!!!

  3. yoshi

    Holy shit, I hate HATE those things. Of course, I bet there are some really great and funny things people say. I’d love to be a QA person in charge of all those phone calls. Just to hear the good ones I mean. 😀

  4. Winter

    I don’t know what’s worse, the outsourced call answered by the woman in Jamaica who is clueless and whose speech is unintelligible or the automated system that doesn’t understand when you ask for a representative.

  5. Dickie Maxx

    There is a pretty good secret to bypass the voice response systems. Just say “Fuck You” and most of them will transfer you to a customer service rep immediately.

  6. Nobody™

    I dealt with one of those last week when I called Dish Network. They couldn’t answer my question, so I called Mediacom (that cable company) next. I found it odd that the Dish voice and the Mediacom voice are the same.

  7. hello haha narf

    that is one of the things i love about my company…if you call between 7 am and 6 pm eastern time, you will get a live person answering the phones. HATE robot systems. every time i call someplace that has em i start screaming “customer service, customer fucking service” until they transfer me to a live person. and then i smile while telling the person i don’t need them personally, but simply wanted to give them a little job security. only then will i ask for the proper department.

    i won’t use the automated phone system and i won’t scan my own fucking groceries. keep people employeed!

  8. Grant

    When I have a problem with my cable, I can get to customer service in India very quick if I just randomly press buttons on the phone until the automated thingy gets discouraged and quits.

    And why don’t you have any hot J-bunny smilies available?

  9. Jen

    I think it speaks to my anit-social nature that I actually prefer the automated stuff to dealing with real people. This post made me wish there was a place I could call to order chicken sandwiches over the phone.

  10. Turnbaby

    Okay–imagine having that type of ‘conversation’ whilst sitting in your car trying to get your water/sewer sorted only minutes before you close on your house.

    I had to ease the stress with a little retail therapy.

    and LMAO@ Hilly and ‘cuntburger’!! OMG

  11. Avitable

    Amanda, I can imagine!

    Karl, that’s what I’m going to start doing.

    Hilly, so “cuntburger” is the magic word, is it?

    Sybil Law, I actually have a list of all of the shortcuts for most major companies to get to a person, too.

    Poppy, I’m glad it made you laugh.

    AmyD, the combo depends on the company, actually.

    Yoshi, I wonder if QA actually listens to all of them, or just a portion.

    Mindy, I’ll have to remember that one.

    Winter, Jamaica? Not India?

    Penelope, I don’t know which I prefer, though, Mumbai or bots.

    Dickie Maxx, hey, what happened to your blog?

    Dan, well, you are a pasty Englishman.

    DaDuck, exactly.

    Em, do you also end up erect at the very end?

    RW, yeah, but it had pickles on it. Fuckers.

    Metalmom, they don’t even understand hate. Damn robots.

    Britt, sure, laugh at my pain.

    Nobody, it’s a conspiracy!

    Marty, I haven’t had to do HP tech, except via chat online, and that went okay.

    Mr. Fabulous, you’re in league with the machines, aren’t you?

    Robin, did it trick you or something?

    Jenny, you’re right – either way my ass would have been sore.

    Radioactive Girl, maybe this one was just temperamental.

    Hello, I’m a fan of automation, generally. Anything to keep me from dealing with idiots and retards.

    Golfwidow, but I can’t speak with an Indian accent.

    Delmer, the co-pay is just my broken soul.

    Finn, exactamente!

    Dragon, I’m a shit magnet.

    Grant, well, many of them do have yellow skin.

    Jen, what town do you live in that you can’t order chicken sandwiches? Did you try 1-800-CHI-CKEN?

    Maria, I wouldn’t doubt it.

    Turnbaby, by retail therapy do you mean masturbation? Because if so, I get ya.

    TMP, I agree. The default should be for English. Unless you’re calling somewhere other than the US.

    That Guy, where were you yesterday when I needed this advice?

    Nee, but will you lube me too?

    Christie, it’s horrible.

    Dory, I’ll be your cheerleader.

  12. Robin

    There is some kind of error at the bottom of the page, I think that was the problem.

    but I was going to say I actually laughed out loud when I read this…it’s rare that I do that even though I use lol enough.

  13. Poppy

    @Dawg: Ahem. You never chat with me when I’m visiting your blog.

    And I just now understood that smiley is a guy with guns. I always thought it was a guy with a horse-shoe magnet.

    Please don’t look at me funny when I tell you my reality.

  14. Avitable

    Turnbaby, that is true.

    Tracy, I eventually got a human. She decided to tell me all about her kids moving out of the house finally.

    Freelance, you’re clearly a forward thinker.

    Robin, ooh, I made you LOL!

    NYCWD, deli roll.

    TMP, I agree.

    Poppy, nobody said it was the official language, just the default. And how did you know I had Woopra?

    NYCWD, I must not have been looking at it when you were there.

    Teri, right, or really, really wrong.

    Poppy, your reality frightens me.

    Tracy, you’re mocking her reality. Her Matrix!

  15. Poppy

    When I visit the page with Firefox the very bottom bar of FF tells me what it’s doing with your blog, and it says it’s transferring data from woopra and reading flickr photos. It’s all very unmagical.

    Plus, after I wrote that last comment you threw a woopra webmaster greeting box at me, so… dur.

  16. Stephanie

    or you could do like I do….let loose with a profanity-laced tirade the likes of which would make Joe Pesci blush…at which point usually a human comes on just in time to hear me all them a hair-lipped monkey fucker.

    Works every time.

  17. Girl, Dislocated

    I’m having a hard time deciding which is more frustrating: the scenario you just described, or hour-long hold times. I use to have to take the entire day off from school whenever I needed to sort things out or dispute something with my insurance company.

  18. Trukindog

    LMFAO but I believe every word.

    I have Quest and calling them is really fucked up cause it’s a press this # for this dept.or that # for that dept.
    There are about 5 options and only one of them will eventually get you to a live person and if you press the wrong one you can’t just go back you have to hang up and start all over again, rotten mother fuckers.

  19. Avitable

    Poppy, still sounds like magic. And why didn’t you reply?

    Stephanie, hey! I AM a hair-lipped monkey fucker.

    Girl, Dislocated, at least with cell phones you can be on hold and on the go.

    NYCWD, I tried, but I think you were gone.

    Poppy, but the blog luurves you.

    Wayne, they totally should be.

    Trukindog, note to self: Don’t go with Quest.

  20. Hoatzin

    I called Humana to search for a proctologist over the phone.

    The machine asked me to cough.


    The guy turned out to be great, though.

    And served a great chicken sandwich afterwards.

  21. Meg

    Don’t you feel like such a retard talking to that computerized voice?

    Back in the day, like going on 20 years ago, the D.C. DMV “pioneered” the voice-response technology. Callers were instructed that, when they heard their desired menu choice, they should respond by saying, “I want it now.” No joke. So there you’d be, trying to phone the DMV from your office phone, yelling I WANT IT NOW! into the phone. In hindsight, we are sure this was someone’s idea of a practical joke.

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