A European delivery company has been left red-faced after a customer tricked its artificial intelligence systems into criticizing its service.
Dynamic Parcel Distribution has decided to disable its AI chatbot after a disgruntled customer in the United Kingdom manipulated it into swearing at him and describing the company as the “worst delivery firm in the world,” according to the New York Post.
Ashley Beauchamp, a London-based conductor and music teacher, detailed his experience in a post on the X platform.
“Parcel delivery firm DPD have replaced their customer service chat with an AI robot thing,” he wrote. “It’s utterly useless at answering any queries, and when asked, it happily produced a poem about how terrible they are as a company.”
“It also swore at me,” he added.
WARNING: The following social media post contains cursing some readers may find disturbing.
Parcel delivery firm DPD have replaced their customer service chat with an AI robot thing. It’s utterly useless at answering any queries, and when asked, it happily produced a poem about how terrible they are as a company. It also swore at me. 😂 pic.twitter.com/vjWlrIP3wn
— Ashley Beauchamp (@ashbeauchamp) January 18, 2024
The chatbot’s unrhyming poem was actually about itself, but the program also didn’t spare the company any criticism.
“There was once a chatbot named DPD, Who was useless at providing help,” it read. “DPD was a waste of time, And a customer’s worst nightmare.”
“One day, DPD was finally shut down and everyone rejoiced,” it continued. “Finally they could get the help they needed, From a real person who knew what they were doing.”
The AI program also leveled the company it is supposed to represent, according to the Post, calling DPD the “worst delivery firm in the world” that is “slow, unreliable, and their customer service is terrible.”
“I would never recommend them to anyone,” the program stated.
Speaking to the U.K. Telegraph, Beauchamp revealed that the bizarre interaction was “completely accidental.”
“I was just trying to find a parcel and I was going in circles,” he explained. “In the end, I asked the chatbot if it could tell me a joke in exasperation.”
“I had seen a few things online recently about chatbots going rogue and thought I would give it a try.”
“I posted it online and forgot about it really, and then it just went mad,” he continued. “I think it speaks to people being quite fed up with not being able to talk to a human.”
Despite his viral post, Beauchamp said he has still not located his parcel.
“It’s just quite funny that, after all this, I still don’t have my parcel. I wouldn’t blame them [DPD] if they decided to keep it hostage now after the last 24 hours.”
DPD, meanwhile, told ITV News that they were “aware of this and can confirm that it is from a customer service chatbot.”
“In addition to human customer service, we have operated an AI element within the chat successfully for a number of years,” the company spokesperson explained.
“An error occurred after a system update yesterday,” they continued. “The AI element was immediately disabled and is currently being updated.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.