Collect call curiosity
I had the great pleasure of trying to place a collect call to Australia from the international airport in Bangkok (fairly impossible), and in the process I managed to stumble upon a curious detail in the automated voice system. Using that particular phone company, I could place a collect call to the USA, Canada, or the United Kingdom. The instructions were given for each country, and each set of instructions was given by a different recorded voice. They had gone to the trouble of finding a Canadian voice, an American voice, and an English voice to repeat very similar information.
The fact that they had gone to the trouble of finding differently-accented voice talents to record their messages (or maybe just the one voice talent, instructed to do three different accents) was both intriguing and annoying. Had they done any market research? Did it make people more likely to use their service if they heard a familiar accent on the other end of the line? Would people feel less stranded in a foreign country if they could relate better to the disembodied recorded voice? I would like to see the data.
Meanwhile, I wish that time and effort could have been spent opening up the service to more countries. Surely people pay enough money for collect calls to make it worthwhile?