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Bots run wild in ATT chat rooms

Here’s the transcript of a chat this morning with ATT:

opener : Hi, I’m AT&T’s automated virtual assistant. How can I help you today?
Otis : Our student is back from semester abroad so we would like to reactivate XXXXXXXXXXXX
agent :
Oh no! We can help you with reinstating your service.

Was your service interrupted because of:
Payment issue
Other
Otis : Other
agent :
The Reactivate Wireless Service page has detailed steps to restore your line!
Otis : ##Url#https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1011528
agent :
Here are step by step instructions for restoring your line.
Otis : ##Url#https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1011528
agent :
Here are step by step instructions for restoring your line.
Otis : the page doesn’t have the answer and your “step by step instructions” aren’t showing up
agent :
Hmmm. Could you rephrase your question?
Otis : I want to chat with a real person
agent :
Let me get you to a specialist. Please tell us your first name.
Otis : Otis
agent :
Thank you, Otis. You will now be connected to a specialist who will assist you.

How might this have been a better experience? Keep the bots out of the chat room. Specifically, when I clicked “Chat” I expected to be connected with a live person. This was the way ATT chat worked in the past. If you’re going to try to make me use a virtual assistant, make it clear you are doing so. (Because I assumed I was going to get the same experience as previously, I did not notice the reference to the automated virtual assistant till I read the transcript.) And it should be a separate help/support function than Chat, which has the user perception of being a conversation with a real person.

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