Frustration: The Story of Indian Call Centers.

Everytime I get a small problem with a company, I call them. I don’t go through their website for help all of the time (on some things I do), or attempt to get help via email (waste of time). I want to call them. When I do make the phone call in this amazing 21st Century world, I expect two things to happen: I expect to get a robot talking in my ear, and I expect to hear a person within a reasonable time.

It’s come to my attention, however, that although I can easily avoid the machine part, I cannot always avoid the type of person I will be speaking to on the other end of the line. It seems the most annoying part of my call is not the robot, but the foreign person on the other end of the line.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind foreign people, as most know. I like them, and their vast cultural differences. I can also respect that they are trying to speak another language than they mainly grew up with in order to feed their families (or just themselves). I get all that. What I don’t understand, is why they are lying to us on the phone? I can tell when the person isn’t American, European, or even from a primarily English speaking country right away. The first word that comes out of their mouths gives it away so easily, yet they continue to give themselves names like Nathan, John, Mary, and even one time Charlie! It’s obvious that this is not your name.

I don’t mind if you give me a fake name though, because in all honesty, I don’t really care what your name is anyways. Just try not to insult my intelligence by claiming you are a Jeff when I know you’re definitely more like a¬†Manmohan, or Murari. It doesn’t matter who they are, where they are from, or what their favorite sport is (it’s almost always soccer)… Just tell the truth.

The second part that gets me is how LONG it takes to get anything accomplished with foreign call centers. There are normally many different departments involved, and therefore lots of transfers to be made (which means more cruddy music in my ear anyways, even though I avoided the machine before). After that’s all done, and I’m finally in the right department, and really talking to somebody that can help me, I’m left with a person who I can’t understand well (bad English) and also cannot understand me well (because I talk English differently than he’s taught, faster than he’s used to, in a dialect he wasn’t around when he learned). As a result, I get angry with this person (wrongfully) because I have to slow down and repeat myself.

One of the primary reasons I’m with the companies I’m with today, and do business with the companies I do today, is because I always get somebody speaking great English on the other end of the line. Not once has Apple ever given me this issue, and neither has GoDaddy (although GoDaddy has given me headaches in other ways before). I like doing business with companies that care enough about their customers to offer quality phone service. Not just phone service, but quality phone service. AT&T does an AMAZING job with their phone support staff always getting my problems solved quickly too. Corporations who are already making huge profits need to understand that this type of service toward a customer presents a far greater image for their company than shipping jobs overseas for India or China. Commitment to the people who made you who you are today… that’s what it should be all about. Keep them in this country, and keep the customers you used to treasure the most in this country, happy.

Charlie Pryor

Charlie is a media producer, writer, and a traveler. He grew up in Michigan, all of his life and attended Grand Valley State University for a B.S. in Film and Video Production. He's married to a wonderful woman named Hang, and simply hopes to one day turn himself into a man that many will remember long after he's gone.

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