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Just had an interesting automated chat (I think it was automated, anyway)
Posted by: Tofer
Date: June 23, 2008 03:12PM
My radiator in my Miata is leaking, and I need a new one. I looked up radiators online, and ended up at Radiator.com (go figure), where I had the following "chat" with Chuck, a representative. His responses were lightning fast, and seemed canned. Now, he could have been pressing the canned-response button for my answers, but I still think it was all AI. What do you think? (The chat starts at the bottom):

Chuck : [Chuck has left the chat]
You : thanks!
Chuck : Thank you. We'll always be here whether you need a radiator or just free advice. You can call us if you prefer at 800-598-5504. Bye!
You : Chris
Chuck : No problem-- We've been here 20 years, and aren't satisfied till you are. If you'd like, I can put a note in our system, so if you decide to make us your last call, we'll know to beat any price you find. What's your first name?
You : don't worry about it; thanks!
Chuck : I could sell this to you but the '99 Miata was a little tricky. Your best bet is speaking to Hank, our lead Mazda technician (or one of his techs), - he usually figures out the right radiator the first time. He's on the phone now but I can have him call you back in a minute - what's your phone number and the area code?
Chuck : There are a couple of different radiators, ranging in price between $99.00 and $299.00. All run about 1/3 what the dealer charges. Hold on --
Chuck : Good. We deliver into Brookline every day, so we can get that part out to you as soon as you need it. Let me pull up the price here--
You : 02445, a few weeks
Chuck : Your price is coming. Looks like that '99 is a really complicated fit. I'll just quote you the most likely 1 of the 3 possible parts -- Or you're welcome to talk to one of our Mazda techs to be 100% sure. What's your Zip Code and how soon would you need it?
You : just the radiator
Chuck : sure. Do you want quotes on just the radiator -- or installation too?
You : both
Chuck : OK. Would you prefer quotes on an OE certified or aftermarket radiator?
You : 1.8l
Chuck : Do you know the engine size?
You : 1999 Miata
Chuck : What model and year Mazda do you have?
Last message received: 16:08:19
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Re: Just had an interesting automated chat (I think it was automated, anyway)
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 23, 2008 03:36PM
How fast was he typing ? Sounds a bit complex for a straight 'expert system' ("AI" is so 1990's). the multiple question / multiple response would be a toughie.

But you may have just seen a sales support tool pass the Turing Test.
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Re: Just had an interesting automated chat (I think it was automated, anyway)
Posted by: rgG
Date: June 23, 2008 03:38PM
I wonder if Chuck has a brother named HAL. smiling smiley







Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Just had an interesting automated chat (I think it was automated, anyway)
Posted by: threeprong
Date: June 23, 2008 03:53PM
I'm betting it was a computer assisted set up. With Chuck throwing in some occasional real responses but being offered canned responses.


3p
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Re: Just had an interesting automated chat (I think it was automated, anyway)
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 23, 2008 04:01PM
100% human, no AI here

very polite and very good customer service, probably a species on the brink of extinction.
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Re: Just had an interesting automated chat (I think it was automated, anyway)
Posted by: Kramerica
Date: June 23, 2008 05:04PM
Looks like cleverly written AI to me, or at least computer assisted canned responses.

I have a feeling Hank is always "on the phone".

and

They deliver into _____________ every day.


But that bit about "I could sell this to you but the '99 Miata was a little tricky. " makes me wonder.... are they all "a little tricky"?
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Re: Just had an interesting automated chat (I think it was automated, anyway)
Posted by: artie67
Date: June 23, 2008 05:19PM
Go to a local radiator shop and get a diagnosis of the leak. Could be a hose. Most radiators these days are not repairable as in the "old days" when leaks could be soldered. Remember "Barr's Stop Leak". Get a "face to face" opinion.
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Re: Just had an interesting automated chat (I think it was automated, anyway)
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: June 23, 2008 05:31PM
Quote
artie67
Go to a local radiator shop and get a diagnosis of the leak. Could be a hose. Most radiators these days are not repairable as in the "old days" when leaks could be soldered. Remember "Barr's Stop Leak". Get a "face to face" opinion.
Please, never use Barrs unless it is an emergency!
Also, any decent sized city will have a radiator repair facility.
Most, if not all work on an exchange basis.

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
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Re: Just had an interesting automated chat (I think it was automated, anyway)
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 23, 2008 06:10PM
I'd rather have an old radiator repaired than some of this new Chinese crap showing up. I swear the side tanks are laminated gum wrapper foil painted black.
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