Letters to the Editor

Can't find any service with automated voice

I'm writing about a problem that exists, and I'm sure many people will have a similar complaint.

Why do automated voices answer your phone calls and give you a menu for various problems and none apply? If you take a chance on one of the menus, chances are you get another set of menus that don't apply. You ask to speak to a representative, and the automated voice will tell you they don't understand you. You try again from the beginning - choose a different menu - same results.

I called the phone company about an irregularity on my phone bill. Twenty minutes later I finally got a "live" representative - by then I was in tears.

Many people have told me they don't understand the automated voice and give up in the call. Usually they say it was too confusing.

Further insult comes when you receive a recorded voice telling you to leave your name and number and you will be called back. Nine times out of 10 you will not be called back. Once I called the billing department of a hospital and left my name and number. Oh, they called me back all right - two weeks later.

Whatever happened to the nice voice coming on the line saying, "May I help you?" All the personal touch is gone in the name of speeding up service. I'm sure many people out there are getting agitated but don't know what to do.

- Norina Lewis


Don't blame Bush

In his latest jab at President Bush, George Morin says the president should at least shoulder some of the blame for Katrina's devastation ("Bush should accept at least some blame," To the Editor, Sept. 23).

News flash: The president went on air and did accept the blame. Blame that was not his to take. Was the response time in Louisiana slow? Heck, yeah. Why? Because the governor, a Democrat, procrastinated although Bush gave her full authority to act when he declared that area a state of emergency before the storm even hit.

As an ex-governor, Bush was well aware that he needed to give Kathleen Blanco that authority to call on the services that were there and ready to render aid. She failed to do so and, like a good Democrat, passed the buck on to Bush. So did Mayor Ray Nagin. Can we forget his use of God's name in vain on national television? This is the man who raged for days yet failed to follow his own emergency evacuation plans that allowed the use of school buses and other public transportation vehicles to help with the evacuation process. Looks like the mayor and the governor both had full authority to act in the best interest of their citizens and failed at every turn.

So Bush steps up and takes the blame, although he had acted days in advance of the storm. Photo ops? Are you confusing Bush with Jesse Jackson now?

Blanco has since accepted responsibility for her hesitation and failure to allow FEMA and the Red Cross to render the aid they had at the ready. Ditto for the Guard. I believe she realized that the truth would come out eventually. Unfortunately, I don't think you've heard this side of the story. If so, I don't believe you would've taken this cheap shot.

I admire Bush for taking the rap when it wasn't his fault. He did what he could and did it even before the disaster occurred. Let's place the blame where it belongs and not just jump on the media bandwagon.

- Adrian Devine