‘BOT v. HUMAN: Score 2 for the Human! Transcript of Actual Online Chat with AT & T “Service Representative,” July, 2014

I had the occasion today to have an Online Chat with a “Service representative” on what is called (hilariously) the “LIVE PERSON” chat function on AT & T.

What a great person this corporation is!

Complete transcript is below. Verbatim. All grammatical, punctuation and other errors of syntax are #AT&T’s.

Their “Representative” is posted in BOLD. Comments welcomed. My sideline comments are in


Thank you for choosing AT&T. A representative will be with you shortly.
You are now chatting with David.

Sally Ember: HI, David

David: Hello my name is David. Thank you for allowing me to be your specialist today. How may I assist you?
David: Good Morning Sally.
David: How are you doing today?

So, already, I’m suspicious. This much of an intro and the repetition scream ‘BOT to me.

Sally Ember: I just paid my bill, but there was an unexpected $8 “late charge” on it. I was in a terrible accident April 6 and was unable to keep up with bills (concussion; couldn’t use oomputer or track things for a while). I talked to someone at UVerse more than once as they called me to get me to make phone payments (which I appreciated), but no one said anything about any late charges. I am very low-income.Please remove this charge.
Sally Ember: Thanks.

David: I am so sorry to hear about your accident Sally.

Wow! They scripted this ‘bot pretty well!

Sally Ember: I would also like to talk about how to lower my bill.
Sally Ember: I’ve talked to many others and they all say my internet bill is way too high.

David: As I understood you need to get the Late payment charge of $8.00 removed from your account. Correct?

A little slow on the uptake, though. Can only process one task at a time?

Sally Ember: Yes. And I’d like to lower my bill overall.

David: No problem.
David: I can help you with that!
David: Please allow me a moment, while I access your account.

Sally Ember: Are you human or a ‘bot?

Why not ask? This is one of those questions it can’t answer properly, regardless.

David: I am sorry that I did not get your last statement.

Sally Ember: Most people get internet services for a lot less than $54/month.

David: Okay.

“Okay” what? Witness is nonresponsive.

Sally Ember: You don’t understand because you’re a ‘bot.
Sally Ember: I want a person, please.
Sally Ember: LIVE PERSON please! This works on the phone. Not here.

David: Yes, I am here to help you with this.
David: Yes, I am.

Some scripter thinks having it repeat itself is helpful. NOT.

Sally Ember: No, you’re not.

David: Don’t worry.

“Be happy” is supposed to come next. Missed its cue.

Sally Ember: I want the late charge removed and I want my internet bill to be under $40/month. Starting TODAY.

David: Please bear with me so that I can go ahead and help you with your concern.

See? Can only handle one at a time.


Maybe it looks like this? image from commons.wikimedia.org

Sally Ember: ‘bot ‘bot ‘bot

I know; “don’t taunt the ‘bot.” Well, it has no feelings.

David: Please allow me a moment to access and review your records.

They don’t even both to write a different script for the online “LIVEPERSON” ‘bot than for the phone ‘bot. BIG CLUE.

Sally Ember: ‘bot
Sally Ember: They should add to your script: “I am a human.”
Sally Ember: LOL
Sally Ember: No human would every say that, though.
Sally Ember: Except to an alien.

David: As I am checking your account details, I see that you have been charged $8.00 as the late payment charge.

Can’t engage in any other task until task one is completed? Interesting.

Sally Ember: Yes. Please remove this.

David: Alright.

I wish the scripter knew how to spell “ALL RIGHT.”

Sally Ember: So, I will now have an $8 credit?
Sally Ember: Because I already paid that charge.
Sally Ember: Lower my bill, please.

David: Yes
David: I am crediting you $8.00 as you were not able to pay the bill on time due to the problem faced by you.

It can’t even remember I had an accident and has to resort to generic language, here? I’m hurt.

Sally Ember: I want to pay less than $40/month.
Sally Ember: Thank you.
Sally Ember: Change my monthly rate to $39.90/month, please.

David: Your bill has bill credited with $8.00.

Victory #1!

Sally Ember: Good. Lower my monthly rate, now.

Got to be persistent with these ‘bots or they just won’t respond.

David: Please check your updated account balance.

Sally Ember: Thank you.
Sally Ember: Lower my monthly bill to $35.00

David: Now let me check with lowering your bill.

Excellent. New task.

Sally Ember: Thank you. I am over 55 and unemployed.

I hope these are the right key words/phrases.

David: I can understand your concern and do have complete sympathy with you.
David: Please stay connected.

Sally Ember: Excellent. Apply that ‘bot compassion to lower my bill.

“Sympathy”? From a ‘bot? I don’t think so.

Sally Ember: Other people have internet service in which they are served by HUMANS for under $40/month. I want that.

David: Let me check that for you.
David: Please have patience.

Sally Ember: Oh, you have no idea.
Sally Ember: I am the epitome of patience and kindness. Just like you.

David: Thank you.

For what? Oh. You are programmed to thank me for having patience?

Sally Ember: LOL
Sally Ember: If you are human, they have given you a terrible script to use.

David: Sally, what I can do for you to lower your bill down is that I can get your bill down to $46.00.

Sally Ember: $46 is better, but not low enough. Keep going.
Sally Ember: $35 is better.

David: I make sure that your bill will  not increase now.

This ‘bot is using English even more poorly for this task. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Sally Ember: A T & T has billions. It can afford to lower my bill $20 and not even notice.

David: I am really very sorry that I am not able to get your bill lower than what I have offered you.

No response to my corporation baiting, eh? Fine. Take the ‘bot high road.

Sally Ember: Tell your ‘bot scripter for you to be kinder and more generous, please.
Sally Ember: I bet you are. $46 is fine. Thanks.

David: Sally, I have tried my best to help you with your concern.

Oh, oh. Have to make sure it doesn’t take away my reduction. Have to be more direct, now. Show it who’s boss.

Sally Ember: I do thank you. Please lower my bill to $46.

David: You are most welcome.
David: You are most welcome.
David: Yes, I have lowered your bill to $46.00/month.

Wow! I feel doubly welcomed, now.Victory #2, sort of!

Sally Ember: Gee. All I had to do was ask. Excellent!

David: Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Sally Ember: Thank you. You are dismissed.
Sally Ember: Sleep mode.

I’m taking control, now. “Orders from humans must be obeyed” has got to be in its programming somewhere.

David: Thank you for being the best part of AT&T. Take good care of yourself & have a wonderful time with your family and friends ahead!!

The “big finish” is a bit much, don’t you think?

So, limited, but mostly a success. ‘BOT v. Human: Score 2 for the Human!

Great, AT & T! Your fake LIVE PERSON / ‘bot mostly works!

But, here is the LIVE PERSON I wished you had! ERNESTINE! (a Lily Tomlin character, on Laugh In, circa 1969)

Ernestine Llily_tomlin

image from http://www.gracegritsgarden.com

2 thoughts on “‘BOT v. HUMAN: Score 2 for the Human! Transcript of Actual Online Chat with AT & T “Service Representative,” July, 2014

  1. Oh, wow! That is some frustrating experience!
    And I loved your “lines”. So funny!
    But in the end, I do not know if I’d prefer a ‘bot to an Indian employee who only understands half of what you’re saying. No offence intended. I’ve worked in a call center. 😦


Comments are closed.