Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Is It Really That Hard? 800 Numbers

Not in the same league as the insurance debacle ... but what's the deal with companies whose 800 numbers have more than 7 digits?

I was online today, trying to reserve a campsite at a state park. For help, they suggest you call their 1-800 number: 1-800-OHIO-PARKS. Okay, if you dialed all those letters, you'd end up with two digits too many.

Obviously, some letters must be combined, like the HI in "OHIO" are probably just one keystroke. But why are you making me think about this?

And the actual number, in digits, was nowhere to be found on the website. Anywhere contact information was given, it was always the stupid spelled-out version. So then I'm looking at the phone, trying to figure out all the possible combinations that would give me 7 digits. Ridiculous! That's time better spent at thesuperficial.com or Ken Jenning's blog.

Seriously people. I am perfectly capable of wasting my time on my own--I don't need any help from your cutesy 800 numbers with that.


Bob said...

You are overthinking this. Did you just try to dial the number? I think you can dial them all and the last two numbers are just ignored. They are banking on people not thinking about it at all and just dialing.

1-800-OHI-OPAR (KS ignored).


cat said...

I applaud your overthinking.

I do the same thing, as evidenced by my obsessing about applying to grad school and over-reading the information requested with 10 possible scenarios when it's perfectly obvious that address means where my body lives. (ha) Or overanalyzing hot gym guy saying hi to me.

Places need to cater to the thinking people!

Amy said...

I collected some more fun numbers for you:

1-800-HOCKING (Hocking Hills)
1-800-AT-A-PARK (Salt Fork)
1-800-94–HIPPO (Cincinnati Zoo)

Oh, and look what I found in the FAQ page for the ODNR Central Reservation System:
"Or call toll-free 1-866-OHIOPARKS (1-866-644-6727)" (emphasis mine).

You're welcome.

cat said...

Maybe you should call 1-800-SAFEAUTO for your car insurance. ;)

Amy said...

What about 1-86-NARA-NARA for the National Archives?

Great. Now I have that stoopid jingle stuck in my head!!! [turns up the Bon Jovi]

M. Lubbers said...

I had no idea this was such a popular topic!

It honestly never occurred to me that the last two letters were just fakes. That makes marginally more sense than forcing people to combine letters. It's still retarded, though.

And I see that, since Amy found the actual number for OHIO-PARKS, Bob's theory was proven correct. I'll keep that in mind for the future.

I can stand all of the rest of Amy's examples since they're actually 7 digits in length.

And Cathy will now be shunned, for making everyone sing the Safe Auto song (even if she has a valid point about their number).

Bob said...

So the moral of the story is listen to Bob. :)

M. Lubbers said...

Isn't that the moral of every story, really?

Amy said...

You just want to shun Cathy so you can do the Dwight Schrute unshun/reshun routine.

Speaking of The Office, can I just say how much I loved the double Jims? So cute!

M. Lubbers said...

Ha! I was totally thinking of Dwight when I wrote "shun." I figured at least one person would get it!

"Lord, beer me strength" is now my new favorite saying.

Amy said...

Whaa? "Lord, beer me strength"? I must have missed that one — context, please!

M. Lubbers said...

On a completely unrelated note ....

"Beer me" is from last week's episode. Jim and Andy are driving in Andy's car. Andy looks over at Jim and says, "Beer me."
Jim: "What?"
Andy: "Beer me that water, will you?"
Jim looks confused, but hands him a water bottle from the side door pocket.
Andy: "Yeah, that's a good one. I get a laugh probably 25% of the time."

When they get out of the car later, Jim does his typical look directly at the camera and says, "Lord, beer me strength."


Amy said...

Ohhhh. I remember the "Beer me" while driving bit, but I was probably too busy giggling about the idea of saying "beer me" all the time and/or fantasizing about my life with John K to notice any additional dialogue during his patented break-the-fourth-wall move.