Call Minder service change sparks customer fury

telephone

Well, not fury, maybe, but mild distress – definitely. Here’s my beef: Way back in 1990 when I set up Words & Pictures I bought an expensive phone system and subscribed to [then] Telecom’s Call Minder service for the landline. I’ve used it ever since.

Users were led gently but firmly through the steps by an anonymous male voice. I totally trusted this Call Minder guy. He could have been anywhere from 40-60 years old and had a voice of melted 70% dark chocolate. He was probably called Jim or Bruce but we were never formally introduced, so I don’t know for sure. As he patiently led you through updating your greeting message or whatever, you knew Jim/Bruce would never put you crook.

This accentless, calm friend on the other end of the line could have been your favourite uncle, or maybe the compassionate vet promising you that Rex had had a great life, before he slipped his collar for that last, long walkies. He was the reassuring anaesthetist soothing your nerves before the anaesthetic kicked in. He was the family doctor in a Norman Rockwell painting.

And now he’s gone. No warning, no consultation. Spark has cruelly pulled the plug on my telephonic chum and I’ll never forgive them for it.

Oh he’s been replaced of course. And yes, it’s another man – after more than a quarter century, Spark still isn’t ready to experiment and swap Jim/Bruce for a Jill/Bernice. The new Voice of Call Waiting would be about, oh nineteen or so. He’s the bored retail assistant in a Noel Leeming store. He’s the spotty trainee manager in a KFC. He’s eager but vacuous and probably from Upper Hutt. He won’t last and I don’t care for his spiel one little bit.

They say landlines are becoming a thing of the past. Getting rid of my old mate Jim/Bruce and replacing him with a callow Shayne will just hasten their demise. Shame on you Spark.

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