Here’s what happens when an automated robo-call from CVS Pharmacy contacts my Google Voice phone number with voice-to-text translation:

   “Yellow This is C. V. S. Pharmacy. Our records indicate that it’s time for Peter, yo Cally. Yeah to refill the prescription with us you call back later today to remove this number from a reminder list. Yes, call one. Yeah 855. Yeah 4 75, Yahoo, 133, yes 1. Yeah 855. Yeah 475. Yeah 2133 yeah. Thank you for choosing C. V. S, pharmacy, goodbye.”

Google Voice - voicemail to textYou callin’ me yellow? Well, CVS, you have a certain style to your hip lingo – yeah. Who’s this Cally you mention — anybody I know? And that subtle reference to Yahoo… did you get some product placement money for that one? Sure would like to unsubscribe from your robo-calls. Yes I’ve tried — several times — but you’re never real clear on that number I’m supposed to call. Yeah — goodbye.

Of course, part of the problem is that Google Voice is not great at this voice-to-text thing. Still, I give them points for trying.

Treesh and I dropped our landline phone because the only calls we ever received on it were sales calls, and annoying calls like this one from CVS. (Everyone who knows us calls our cell phone numbers.) We replaced the landline with free personal Google Voice phone numbers, and if an incoming call isn’t identified by the address books on our iPhones we just let it go to voicemail.

The calls are recorded, but notifications from Google Voice include the voice-to-text so most of the time we don’t have to bother listening to voicemail.

I find if fascinating how these various technologies are interacting, often in unexpected ways. The conveniences — and annoyances — of these interactions are becoming more common as technology evolves.

In this particular case, I’m sure Google Voice translation will improve. The CVS synthesized robo-voice will likely improve too. Then when their agents call my agents, less will be lost in translation. And I can finally get that number to unsubscribe.

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2 Comments on CVS Pharmacy, Meet Google Voice

  1. Thanks for posting that number! They just called me and I couldn’t find pen and paper. By the time I hung up and dialed 855 475….I’d forgotten the last 4 numbers. Now hopefully they’ll remove me.

    • Tame Bear says:

      Well there ya go. Isn’t technology amazing? And despite calling that number a couple times, I still get the robocalls, for a prescription refill that I no longer need. Yeah.

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