Conversations with Virtual Assistants? Hitting your head against a wall?

Perfect Indeed! Freedom of expression means nothing to the Virtual Assistant. Unless you learn to speak an alien language your chances of success with the Virtual Assistants are very remote. Learning to communicate with Virtual Assistants is a special skill. Entrepreneurs or business owners who use Virtual Assistants on a regular basis to save time might have a different story to narrate as they must have mastered the art of communicating with VAs. Contrary to the habits of productive people, I use Virtual Assistants when I am exasperated and completely devastated or when they show up mysteriously and stealthily from the right-hand corner of the computer screen I face when I am browsing through websites for varied purposes.

For some unknown reason, I have reasons to believe that my life has been sabotaged by hackers and well-wishers who do not have my best interests in their hearts. I am not reading out a chapter from Paul Jennings ‘Unreal’ to you but am talking about my real-life experiences. Many a time I have noticed unauthorised transactions made by entities that I am clueless about who have no qualms in using my credit card details. As this is not the first time, I have been a victim of such a fraudulent practice, I am sure you would have no difficulty in understanding the frustration and agony I go through each time if you picture yourself in my shoes. I find myself staring blankly at the net banking page torn between the decision of contacting the bank straightaway and emailing the bank to dispute the transaction when I am distracted by the appearance of a chat window with the icon of a female virtual assistant on the web page.  

Feeling reassured, I begin to respond to the questions that appear on the screen. From one word answers the conversation proceeds to lengthy sentences as I try in vain to make the VA understand what sort of assistance I need. Despite my efforts to explain the problem at hand in many ways, the VA’s intellectual shallowness or inability to comprehend drives me insane. The VA makes innumerable prompts such as credit limit increase, lost damaged or stolen cards etc but fails to discuss transactions or touch upon the word ‘dispute’. Eventually when I am about to end the conversation, the VA suddenly becomes all magnanimous and offers the services of a live customer support service via phone. I can tell you one thing with conviction that the VAs does not value time; nor have they heard the maxim ‘Time is Money’.

Recently, I had a similar experience with a VA hired by Microsoft. I was having log in issues with Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 and while I was struggling to come to terms with the issues, I was having with my new laptop that worked well the previous day, the VA popped up on my screen. I explained that I did not have access to my own laptop as the password was reset, facial recognition had stopped working and pin number was required to log in. It came as no surprise to me when the VA could not understand the problem despite my explanations. Eventually when the VA asked me who she could help me I requested her to stop being a Virtual Assistant in a fit of rage.  When my tumultuous emotions had calmed down, I researched how to reset a surface laptop 2 and succeeded in resetting it. I also realised that if Microsoft password was used to login and if some hacker reset the password, I would find myself in a similar tight spot again. So, I used a local account with a different username and password to resolve the issue of inaccessibility. Virtual Assistant not a substitute for live customer support service!!!

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