Account numbers

So, as you may know, I do telephone technical support for a small software company. At the very beginning of every call, before I can assist a customer with anything else, I need to get their account number. Account numbers are usually 3, 4, or 5 digits long, and all numbers. For some reason, two out of three (maybe it’s more, certainly not less) people who call in, seem unable to clearly state their account number on the first try. People with three or four digit account numbers are very likely to utter an extra syllable immediately before their account number (“uhn-two-two-four” “One, Two, Two, Four?” “No! two-two-four!”). People with five-digit account numbers are very likely to pause after three or four digits for as long as several seconds. (“one-four-five” “Okay, Bill, what can I help you-” “two-six” … “is that One, Four, Five, Two, Six?” “Yes. one-four-five-two-six” … “Okay, Fred…”)

And the guy who called in when I was writing this listed off a problem, I suggested a solution, and he said “No. That’s not it.” and he’ll have his personal technician call us back later to tell us what’s wrong. He doesn’t seem to understand the purpose of calling tech support.

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