Customer Service Agents Can 'Sneak Peak' Your Live Chat Messages Before You Hit Send

iStock.com/mihailomilovanovic
iStock.com/mihailomilovanovic

In the pre-internet dark ages, talking to a customer service representative meant waiting on hold for the better part of an afternoon. Now, there's live chatting: Instead of pressing the same key several times to reach a human, this option connects you to a real person right away—and their responses are just as quick as what you'd get on the phone, if not quicker. Gizmodo reports that there may be a unsettling explanation for that speedy service: Some customer service agents can see what you're typing into your chat box in real time even before you hit send.

A Gizmodo reader recently discovered this while using a mattress company's live-chat feature. The representative responded to a question that the customer had typed out but hadn't sent. When asked about it, the agent wrote that they "get a preview" and it "Gives us a little bit of extra time to look up information."

Others have reported customer service representatives responding to messages with detailed information in less time than it would take to read them. Some live chat services, like Snap Engage and JivoChat, even advertise this feature on their websites under names like sneak peak. One of the biggest companies to offer this feature, Live Chat, provides the chat platforms for PayPal, McDonalds, and IKEA.

If you think a stranger creeping on your unedited messages is a small price to pay for fast service, proceed with your live chats as usual. Unfortunately there's not much you can do to tell if this feature is enabled if you feel differently. Your best option is to draft your messages in a word processor and copy and paste them into the chat box when you're ready to hit send. Or, if you have time to spare, you can always use the old-fashioned method of giving customer service a call.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Twitter Bug Accidentally Alerted Users When Someone Unfollowed Them

iStock/bigtunaonline
iStock/bigtunaonline

Social media networks may notify you every time your former high school classmate has a birthday, but there's one piece of information most sites choose not to share with users. When someone unfriends or unfollows you, platforms like Facebook and Instagram will save you the pain of knowing about it. This is normally the standard on Twitter, but thanks to a new bug, some Twitter users have received notifications when people unfollowed them, Vice reports.

For several days in June, many Twitter users reported receiving push notifications on their phones every time one their followers removed them from their feed. The notifications didn't clearly reference the awkward situation: The bug told users that someone had “followed them back” when they had actually hit the unfollow button. People eventually caught on to what was really happening.

The bug apparently didn't affect all users, so if you unfollowed someone on Twitter in the past week or so, there's a chance they didn't notice. Though if they really wanted to know, there are third-party apps that show Twitter users who unfollowed them.

According to Fast Company, Twitter has resolved the issue and users no longer risk getting their feelings hurt every time they check their notifications. So feel free to continuing curating the list of people you follow in privacy.

[h/t Vice]

This Amazingly Simple Google Docs Hack Is a Game-Changer

iStock/ardaguldogan
iStock/ardaguldogan

The seconds it takes to manually open a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide on your computer are short compared to the time you spend working in them. But if you're already feeling stressed or tempted to procrastinate, the process of going to Google Drive, selecting New, and opening a blank document can be annoying enough to disrupt your workflow. For people looking to maximize as much of their time as possible, Google introduced a hack late last year that creates a new Doc, Sheet, or Slide in seconds.

According to TechCrunch, you can launch a blank Google Doc in less time than it takes to type out a full web address. If you're already signed into your Google account, simply go to your web browser, type in doc.new (no www. required) and hit Enter to go to your fresh, new document. For Google Slides, do the same for slide.new, and for Sheets, use sheet.new. It doesn't matter if you pluralize the name of the app: Typing doc.new or docs.new will bring you to the same place.

Google owns the .new web domain, which allowed it to create these convenient hacks for its users. If you're a frequent user of Google's applications, you can bookmark the addresses so they pop up in your browser suggestions with just a couple keystrokes.

The new document shortcut is pretty straightforward, but there are several more Google Docs features that make life more convenient for users in unexpected ways, including features for automatically transcribing audio and outlining documents.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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