Friday, March 24, 2006

FU 2 FAQs

Who is asking these so-called frequently asked questions I keep seeing everywhere? It certainly isn’t me.

And why do those who offer them presume to know what I want to ask anyway?

FAQs have never ever answered any important questions I’ve had. They should really be called QWWYTAs (Questions We Want You To Ask) or QWTYWAT (Questions We Think You Want Answers To), because that’s what they really are.

Companies use FAQs to avoid dealing directly with their customers, and I should know:
One of the duties I performed for my former employer was writing both the Qs and the As for FAQs.

To my credit, I insisted we ask our customer service operators what actual questions they were hearing from customers. Then I integrated them in with the phony ones. Hopefully they did someone some good.

A particularly odious use of FAQs typically occurs when you request assistance for an issue online. Often they’ll simply refer you to their FAQs page, rather than answer your specific question.

I knew you had those, smart-asses! I wanted a real answer.

It seems as though they just scan your request for keywords and send you back a link to a question/answer that is roughly on the same topic. Useless!

You guilty parties out there need to quit playing amateur psychic and provide proper service to your customers. Short of that, take your FAQs and stuff them up your FNAs, OK?

22 comments:

Paddys_Gal said...

I agree. FAQs are rarely helpful.
Equally annoying are the voice response systems where the robotic voice tries to "guess" what you said. I'm all for technology, but there are times when you need customer service from someone with a brain and a pulse.

presidentbobo said...

For real! FAQ = please do not attempt to contact us as our company employees no English speaking person to respond to customer inquiries. Also, I love the phrase "have you checked our website?"
No, and I don't want to spend four hours trawling your goddamned site for a morsel of info that a person could give me in the space of five minutes.

Mr Q said...

Fuck All Questions, is really what they all meant, but people keep asking.

Pete Bogs said...

FAQs are a dodge cloaked in the disguise of a "convenience"

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

We should write a real FAQ. Take some of the questions you get in your comments and start answering them Bogs!

I, for one, still want to know if I can sue NASA for invading my piece of Mars (that I've yet to buy).

Jack K. said...

You can always sue. I am sure there is some aspiring attorney dumb enough to give it a try. (The pun was intended.)

If you are looking for a real estate broker to represent you in the purchase of your piece of Mars, I just may be able to help you. I am only licensed in Kansas, but with some perseverence, who knows? It wil take a little time, but not totally impossible. Improbable, yes.

Have fun.

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

Or maybe I could combine the dreams...buy the land on Mars and sell it to Starbucks!!!

American Crusader said...

How true. FAQ's have had some helpful answers and I don't mind looking through them first but when I need to talk to someone and have to go through several levels of menus just to be pointed back to the FAQ's, I go crazy. I've learned that if you repeatedly press O, in most places you are directed to an actual person.

American Crusader said...

Jack..please keep such ideas to yourself. If you can successfully sue over hot coffee, then anything is possible.

Jack K. said...

AC, Oops, I didn't realize I was giving away the farm. You would think I would know better. I'll be more careful in the future. :D

ffff said...

I, too have never ever had an FAQ answer my problem. I thought it was because I was computer illiterate or that I did not know how to formulate the question correctly.
Thank you for helping me realise that it isn't just me.
Cheers

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

faq you!

/howl

fatty ~ said...

i hate it when i actually find the answer on the FAQs page. (a) its never quite enough information there - too vague, or (b) i thought my question was special =P

Blue said...

FAQ's are right up there with an online service status page - if your service is not working please check the service status page to see if there is a known problem....

I agree K9 FAQ off :-)

Pete Bogs said...

aww, FAQ it!

F.B. Jones said...

I am glad I am not the only one annoyed by this. I do find it useful once in a while. But over all I just get aggitated.

I think these companies should use phone surveys and mail surveys. I will almost always take a few minutes and answer questions. I did the arbitron radio ratings and made four dollars. Maybe if these companies offered a dollar for your time they could get real answers.
Out-sourcing tect support to non english speaking countries is where I have the most proplems.

Pete Bogs said...

nice to see some new friends here... together, we will bring the FAQ industry down!!!

F.B. Jones said...

i CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER, yOU LIKE GUINNESS?

Pete Bogs said...

Mr. Jones - 'tis the nectar of life...

Ben said...

Mr. Bogs

I haven't been stopping by every day.

But, FAQ, each time I'm here I like reading your posts. Good stuff.

Gonna be here more often.

infinitesimal said...

goodmorning!

Pete Bogs said...

good morning to you, Contessa... I trust you're feeling better?