Several weeks ago, Mr Pendle received an out-of-the blue email which claimed to list the 10 most annoying things companies and businesses can do to annoy customers before they even speak to them.
Intrigued, he opened the said missive and read on.
Not surprisingly, the email told him people prefer to speak to someone if they have a question or, even more so, when they dial a number to make a complaint.
But more surprisingly, it was only at numbers four and five where Mr Pendle found what he would have thought to be the most irritating thing which people encounter when calling companies – the inability to speak to an actual person without having to press in various options or card details to progress a business transaction.
Mr Pendle would have thought this would have been right up at the very top.
For he finds this is the most annoying whenever he has cause to ring his bank.
Never mind that the telephone directory no longer lists the individual branch numbers but instead has the same 0845 number for all.
When you dial that number, all you get is a list of options, many of which require the caller to key in certain multi-digit numbers to access further into the maze.
But you want to speak to a real person in your branch?
Sorry. You have about as much chance as a snowball surviving in Hell of that happening unless you happen to have the time to travel into town and call in in person.