Saturday, May 29, 2010

Words that aren't

Do you ever have that feeling that the advertising / spin world has really developed a new language. Not just buzz words but a whole new language. In the last few days I have come across quite a few examples.

Help: When you travel overseas with your Telstra mobile you will receive a text message advising you that technical issues can be reported to Telstra’s 24x7 helpdesk … and provide the number. A couple of years ago, that meant if you had a problem with any part of the Telstra system they could help you ie finding an Australian phone number and you didn’t have immediate computer access, they could connect you to the Australian directory services (for a fee, but they could connect you). Recently I needed to find a phone number for Medibank Private and after running the gauntlet of recorded messages, finally got an operator in the Philippines, who tried gallantly, but then advised me that she was sorry but she couldn’t find me the number for that bank! At that stage I said thank you and hung up because I was almost choking myself stopping laughing.

Solutions: When you are staying in a hotel and the airconditioner is not working properly or there are no towels in the bathroom; one used to call housekeeping or reception or an operator. The phone was answered by a real person and you were connected to the person who could help you. Not now – you press the Solutions button on your phone and hope for the best. After pressing several more numbers you may finally get connected to someone who will neither, have a solution, turn up to fix the airconditioner or supply the towels. Best idea, wander the halls and find a housekeeping trolley and get your own towels (and pick up a couple of extra coffee and sugar sachets while you are there as they never leave enough of those!); the airconditioning, forget that until the next day…