It is not the little people, the young, the elderly, the handicapped, and the impecunious, it is those in big business, rushing for the latest technology, without any thought of the effects their decisions will have on those I’ve mentioned above. It seems to me as a result of my own experience that nobody wants to talk to you by mail, and they prefer to write to you on the Internet and have you reply on the Internet. Now they are going even further by fencing themselves off from those who want to contact them. Instead, they have now instituted a form of robot which when you contact the company, you’re not talking to a human being, but a machine that asks you a question, and depending on your answer, well pass you on to yet another robot, and so on. If the reply to the question the robot asks is not on the list of the replies that it has been programmed for, after a second attempt, you will be cut off and your telephone call will have been wasted. I personally, spent 20 minutes trying to find out how I could pay my account with the AA visa card company by telephone, as I have done previously and now seem to be barred.
While I have made this point before, it comes under the above heading, because not everyone has access to the Internet, or sometimes the Internet is not as reliable as one is led to believe, as the system must be totally overload now, with the upsurge of people watching films at all times in the day. Government information, health information, local government information is all given on the Internet, and quite often it is difficult to find how one can either ask questions or reply to them by surface mail.
I believe that it is the right of every person to be able to read the contracts that he is entering into, to have the facility to write and ask questions, or have a discussion on the matter. The reason we are now having robots is because they are cheaper than employing someone to answer the telephone, and this is also duplicated where companies employ people overseas to answer the questions on the telephone, which very often has considerable problems for our indigenous population, because the foreigners speak so quickly, and have such accents as to be almost unintelligible. The financial crunch is not only losing jobs, it is making life more complicated in areas that one would never have expected.
I firmly believe that there should be some regulation by the government that demands that the individual should have reasonable access by surface mail where contracts, finance or other important aspects of intercommunication are concerned.