Image via WikipediaAlltel’s Got A Bot Named Johnathan
It’s not a walking robot like Asimo or Robbie the Robot, but it’s a bot nonetheless. I received an email from it this afternoon. It was a response to the email I sent to Alltel online customer service yesterday.
Bottom line: They could give a crap.
So I’m publishing the email here. Since the bot keeps trying throughout to convince me that it’s a person who really cares, I decided to add it to my Fake EMail series. In a strict sense, it is a scam: a robot trying to impersonate a human. As usual, Scam Flags are BOLD. Enjoy…
Thank you for requesting assistance from our online support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response
At Alltel we are interested in hearing your feedback. Please click here or visit www.alltelemailsurvey.com to take a short survey to tell us about your experience with our support team.
Thank you for choosing Alltel!
Pricing at Local Store more than TWICE what is quoted ONLINE
Response (Johnathan W) 07/03/2008 11:52 AM
Dear Mr. Knight,
Thank you for taking time to access the Alltel web site. My name is Johnathan and we certainly value you as a customer and thank you for your continued business with our company!
I apologize for any inconvenience you might have experienced with this issue. Unfortunately, our Email Response Team is not equipped to address Pricing and Purchase Order inquiries. Issues of this nature are best handled by contacting either our Sales Activation Center at 1-866-Alltel-7, or visiting an Alltel Retail Store.
We are extremely happy to have you as a customer and we want to keep you as a customer, as we value our entire customer base. However, in order to provide equality and consistency, certain practices and procedures have been implemented to maintain our goals as a company and our commitments to you as the customer.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation, as we work towards a resolution. Again, thank you for choosing Alltel and I hope you have a great day!
Alltel Online Customer Service
1. Unfortunately, our Email Response Team is not equipped to address Pricing and Purchase Order inquiries.
Then why is it an option on your drop down menu? Why are you making your customers waste their time with something you already know doesn’t work? Why, in fact, did you design it that way to begin with, except with the EXPLICIT PURPOSE of wasting your customers’ time?
2. contacting either our Sales Activation Center at 1-866-Alltel-7, or visiting an Alltel Retail Store
Had a real person named ‘Johnathan’ actually read my questions, he would know that my problem is specifically with the retail store, is about the adapter, and that my phone is dead. This just reeks of a software program responding to my initial plea for help. Yet throughout the email, it refers to itself as “I”.
3. However, in order to provide equality and consistency, certain practices and procedures have been implemented to maintain our goals as a company and our commitments to you as the customer.
In other words: You value your customer base, HOWEVER, you’re not really going to do anything to help me because of some mysterious and unnamed procedures. Like charging more than twice as much as advertised… that’s some real equality there. And don’t get me started on consistency!
4. as we work towards a resolution
In case somebody has missed the point, this email is telling me that they are not equipped to help, have procedures which prevent them from helping, and if this thing is going to be resolved at all, it is I alone who will have to do the work to resolve it.
Needless to say, there were no grammatical errors. But the contextual relevance to my original email was completely lacking. There was no relevance at all. Telling me to go to the retail store or call on my phone proves that no Alltel-employed human knows of my predicament (with the exception of the rude guy with the more-than-doubled prices at the Alltel store).
So what do you guys think? Stay with Alltel? They have the some of the best coverage ’round these parts. But Nextel is probably just as good. What do you guys think?
I am Jon, and I am curious…