http://www.fortune.com/fortune/ontech/0,15918,479455,00.html So Much for Customer Service Companies all over the world are installing automated telephone support systems as a way to save money. Human beings are expensive, and each time a customer calls to ask a question it comes out of a company's bottom line. Robots are cheaper. The crucial difference is this: Some voice systems are designed to help the customer get service faster. Some are designed to help the business save money by doing everything possible to keep the caller from speaking to a human. In the case of FedEx's new system, it appears to be the latter. "We try new things to help people, and sometimes it doesn't work out," said the human rep, when I finally discovered the secret passageway to her telephone. The robot rep, on the other hand, was about as helpful as Wilson the Volleyball.