I'm assuming everyone has seen that Citibank commercial that shows a guy continuing to navigate through automated customer service "front-lines," only to be disconnected when he finally reaches someone...
Well, yes, I too find the "pre-screening" of customer service lines beyond annoying. The mere voices or need to qualify ones desired topic of conversation is not what I find annoying. What DOES boil my blood is that once you finally get through to a person - they ask you the same damn questions. "What is your account number?" "What are you looking to do?" .... I JUST SPENT 15 minutes answering all of these questions to a computer voice... Are all of those questions asked only as a function to entertain me while I'm waiting? Is it filler while the calls are re-routed to India?
Why can't a company not only use the information that I enter in before I talk to that person -- but why can't they remember my phone number (just like a web page does via cookies) for the next time?
Clearly, the phone customer service industry is trying to transition all customers at some point to email correspondence. It's cheaper, easier to control by the companies (via templates) and certainly less stressful on the customer service reps.
I would be OK with this, as long as I don't have to answer questions multiple times to different sources.