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Correspondence #1: Virgin Mobile

The other morning after a particularly heavyweight and exhaustive conversation with Laura regarding the merits of using kitchen roll as toilet paper and how difficult it would potentially be to flush away, the discussion turned to mobile phone upgrades. This was a natural conversational progression because at least 40% of our dialogue is conducted from the lavatory via our phones given Laura’s propensity for fleeing there in order to grab five minutes’ peace and quiet from her adorably destructive son, and my creepy fascination with all things toilet.

We both agreed that in order to maintain our obvious high-quality conflab it was time to bring Laura into the 21st century by removing part of her soul and replacing it with the ubiquitous iPhone. Applying all due respect to Laura’s previous choice of communicative devices, her current mobile phone is basically a slight upgrade from two yoghurt pots and a connective piece of string. We’d already acquiesced about me offloading my current iPhone to Laura thus saving her from becoming trapped in another abusive 24 month relationship with her network provider.

Having spent the previous 72 hours live chatting on the 02 website to what appeared to be a 97 year old adviser with severely arthritic fingers in order to secure my own upgrade, it was decided that my recent experience haggling with automaton-like human beings in Cyberland would stand me in good stead to wangle the same discounted tariff for my beloved. Three live chat advisors and a phone call later we were still no further forward from ‘Good morning, human being, you’re chatting with pseudo-human being, I can’t help you at all but how can I help you this morning?’ 

I can’t help but worry that we’re whole lifetimes away from artificial intelligence assuming full control of human affairs and this is an uncomfortably depressing thought.

(Click the screen grabs below to read the transcript with Andy, our virgin Virgin Mobile advisor)
Hi, I'm Andy!

Hi, I’m Andy! Hi, I’m Laura!

Glory be!

Andrew is my friend

Disclaimer: Though it states on the transcript of the live chat that it’s Laura corresponding with Andrew, it was in fact me. This must be distinctly understood as Laura was at pains to inform me to ‘make it clear you wrote it, or people will think I’m unhinged’.