Combine these things, and get a very difficult to understand customer service

In the process of disconnecting a service we don’t need anymore. So I call their number. Obviously reroutes to a remote call center. One where english is not the primary language.

I’m ok with this, but the person has a very thick and hard to understand accent. Their usage and idiom were not American, or British English. This also complicates matters somewhat, but I am used to it. I can infer where they were from, from their usage. It was very common in my dealings with other people there.

Of course, this isn’t bad enough.

The call center is busy, and you can hear lots of background noise.

Of course, this isn’t bad enough.

Now add a poor VOIP connection. I was doing this over a cell phone, and my connection is generally quite good … I’ve been on many hour long con calls over this phone, headset, etc. from this location. Its not an ultra busy part of the day. So I am not getting dropped connections. I have a major US carrier for the cell. So its not a tower congestion problem.

Likely a backhaul problem shipping the voice bits halfway around the world and back, on a congested/contended for link. Noticeable delays in response. Ghosting/echoing. All manner of artifacts.

Of course, this isn’t bad enough.

Finally, add a crappy mic on the remote person’s head set.

End result was, I had to struggle to understand the person. Really struggle. Some of it was guessing what they were saying. Some was not.

I have to wonder aloud, whether companies in search of cost reduction, think its a good idea to make it hard to understand the support staff, by a combination of language usage, poor equipment, substandard networking, etc.

I guess it is amusing that this is a large “business ISP” here in the US.

At bare minimum, they should have the headsets upgraded, the network (ha!) upgraded, and the work area more noise isolated so that you get less of these issues to deal with. Hiring people whom speak with less of a thick accent is also recommended, or conversely, training them on how to adapt their elocution so as to be more understandable.

I, as an escaped New Yorker, probably shouldn’t be answering phones myself (Hey, wassamadda for you?) … but seriously … at least make an effort on this.

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2 thoughts on “Combine these things, and get a very difficult to understand customer service

  1. India (assuming your “friend” was from there) has some internet issues because 2 main fibers connecting the country to the internet were cut by a submarine… you could add this to the list 🙂

  2. Ahhh … thats a strong argument for on-shoring, as I don’t think there are too many submarines prowling about the midwest … :/

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