RANT: Never Dial This Number

Burn this number into your retina so if you ever see it again you can stop your friend from (or encourage your enemy in) phoning it:


This the the hotline to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Call Center for Ontario. It is wrong. Yes, it does take you there, but what you are presented with is devious, concentrated evil.

Perhaps it is because I recently came from the Call Center Industry, and was an instructor there in Technical Support and Customer Service. Perhaps it is because I have a soul and a will to live which this Government hotline wishes to suck out and break. Ever the optimist, I thought I’d give this place a call in order to obtain information regarding the transfer of my Manitoba Driver License to an Ontario Driver License.

How sorry I am. I honestly do not quite know how to design a more sadistic automated call center menu. It sounds professional. It is in both English and French. It is informative and direct in it’s menu options. What could possibly be around the next corner? A helpful, intellingent, compassionate, understanding, hard working civil servant?

No! That’s the kicker! You never get around that corner. You get literally 9 seconds of silence, and then this:

If you would like to keep holding for a customer service representative, please press 1. To hang up and try again later, please press 2.

There isn’t even a full 10 second gap between this professional, would-be-calming female voice and the silence that follows as you wait. I thought I must not have hit the number 1 and it was repeating the options. So I made sure I pressed 1. And 9 seconds later, it happened again. And I pressed 1. And I watched the timer on the phone as 9 seconds went by and it asked again! Holy Shit! It’s Chinese Water Torture playing with your high hopes that have been built up by the high-quality ficade! And that’s not it. After pressing 1 this last time, it thanks me for contacting the call center and informs me that I am now being disconnected.

The horror does not end, oh no, that would be fair. I attempt to call back while writing this, to find… the 800 number is busy. There’s not even hold music. Not even a queue to be placed into. Not even the main menu that greets you in both English and French and asks you to choose which language you desire to be tortured in. What the crap is this? This, is our Government hard at work, fucking us.

Heehee. Okay, I’m done now. The rest of my day has been productive and even lucrative so everybody smile. I’m smiling, but that’s because I have a pie, and it is cute.

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