There was a time when only Post offices used to have a phone in smaller towns and a messenger used to come home to inform if some body wanted to talk from out station. People used to go to the post office and wait for the caller to give a ring again! Those days are gone when one used to interact with a person directly over telephone to get his or her complaint/problem redressed (with exceptions like Electricity/telephones complaints which are always engaged when needed most!). It was very easy to know the status as to when the complaint will be attended or what the reason for delay if any is. Any time one could call the number to get doubts cleared. Even one could get annoyed or shout at the person for any delay or deficiency in service. Not any more.
In due course of time direct phones were replaced by PBX system attended by telephone operators who in turn used to connect your call to the concerned person or department. There was no way you could directly talk to anybody if the telephone operator was not in his/her seat!
Today, be it a corporate office, government department, company’s service centre or helpline, you are made to listen to a sweet recorded voice of welcome followed by instructions to press buttons from 1 to 9 as the case may be. There is no guarantee that you can immediately be connected. Many times (most of the time) the phone keeps ringing for some time and stops thereafter. You will have no other option but to try once again from the beginning, that is, getting welcomed again by the same sweet voice.
The phones at the service centers, company help lines have voice recording facility wherein you are guided to record your message with phone number. You never know when these messages are attended to or heard at the other end. Even after recording the message, you are not assured that next day any technician would call on you to fix up the problem. Don’t be surprised if no one turns up because either your voice message has not been properly recorded or has got deleted due to technical snag. You can come to know of this only when somehow you manage to talk to a person of the service centre and not a recorder.
In the end, one finds that with the advent of the new technology, a person is spending more time over phone than before to get connected to the right person through recorded messages and voice mails.