A woman recently faked house fire to somehow get through to a human after getting frustrated with chatbot Evri. We have all been in situations where we are made to seek assistance from a delivery service. Thanks to technology, major delivery companies across the world make use of artificial intelligence enabled chatbot. However, often the chatbot fails to provide any assistance, leaving a customer in wall-punching frustration.

When UK-based Sania Shah found that two of her packages that were supposed to be delivered to her customers via delivery service Evri, were missing, she started her inquiry. In her case, she was put through sharing her grievance with a chatbot on the company’s platform. After two days of getting nowhere with her grievance, Sania employed a rather dubious plan, which ended in a great success.

“They gave me a reference number and told me that someone will contact me”, so I replied, “Help, your courier has set my house on fire!” she recalled, as quoted by Firstpost. To confirm more about her claims, the AI asked her to send two images of the incident.

Sania simply took to Google and searched for images of burning house. Her plan worked and she finally got through to ‘human intelligence’ after a support personnel called her personally.

The Facts of the Matter

Chatbots are is a computer program that uses artificial intelligence to make sense of a customer’s question, and generate automated responses to them. In some cases, the chatbots end up providing the right information to a customer, and in some, a customer is left with a vicious circle reaching out, not getting an appropriate response, and reaching out again.

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UK Woman Finds Two Packages Missing

Case in point, Sania Shah, a business owner in UK, who was trying to inquire about two missing packages that were supposed to be deliver by Evri, a courier service. As per a Metro report, the 27-year-old woman had been calling daily to find out about the missing parcels that she sent to customers from her clothing business.

The two missing packages had costed £200 (almost Rs 20,000), and Sania had been banging her head in frustration as she was not getting through to a person who could help her.

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Getting Nowhere with Evri Chatbot

She was trying to seek assistance from the chatbot on the company’s platform and was left frustrated with the entire ordeal of not finding the right answer for her issue.

After a month of reaching out to the AI chatbot, Sania had had enough. At this point, Sania devised a debate-worthy plan, which eventually worked out for her. “They gave me a reference number and said someone will be in touch, so I replied saying, “Help, your courier has set my house on fire!”,” she recalled.

Googling ‘House on fire’, Receiving Callback

The chatbot asked for two pictures of the incident to start an investigation. So, Sania did something simple yet ingenious. She simply took to Google and searched for picture of a house on fire.

Recalling that there have been people who have told her that it was someone’s actual house, Sania said that she was so fed up with the chat bot that she simply needed someone to call her. “People have messaged me saying it’s someone’s actual house but I just needed someone to ring me, I didn’t want to message,” she said.

As expected, she got a call from a person the very next day. ”The next day I got a call. It was a lady who sounded like she was from head office. They obviously saw the fire and thought, “Oh, this is serious”,” Sania said.

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Confession and Warning

Seeing that there was no point in spinning more lies, Sania confessed to having cooked up the story. The person on the other side of the call sympathized with her and issued her a refund so that she could ship the packages to her customers promptly.

While the plan worked, Sania warned people against using her ‘strategy’. “I’m not trying to encourage lying and giving Evri stress but this is the extent people have to go to get in touch,” she said.


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