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Cacophonix
29th Oct 2013, 11:19
Last week I noted that my company server’s C: drive had only 8 GB of space left and decided to add another drive to the RAID 5 configuration. The server, a Dell T710 is under Dell warranty (this just having been renewed recently) has slots for additional 3.5 disk caddies on the back pane. Cheered by the fact that my warranty includes the name of our “account manager” at Dell (his name, may it be forgiven one day after his time in hell, shall remain anonymous but for the purposes of this post let us call call him Mr Gupta is clearly an Indian one). Despite qualms about Indian call centres and support administration, I rang his number. After a relatively short 2 minute wait I was put through to a completely different person whose accent was almost unintelligible.

“I would like to speak to Mr Gupta please...”.... sounds of scuffling and the rustle of a pre-prepared script being placed on a desk somewhere in Mumbai or wherever.


“Good evening Mrs Cachopheonix, I being very pleased to being speak to you, how can I transferring you?”


“I am Mr Cacophonix and I don’t want to be transferred. I want to speak to Mr Gupta about arranging the purchase of a 250GB 3.5 SATA hard drive, if he is not available can you please help me”...


“I will transfer you to Mr Gupta...”

“Thank you!”

5 minutes of music ensues...


“Hello Mr Smith, this Yurgish, what PC can we be selling you?”


<<I could bore you dear post reader by going on with the ensuing conversations that encompassed more than 2 hrs of calls, incorrect technical advice, the joy of finally being being put though to Mr Gupta, the deep heart rending disappointment of the erroneous and technically incompetent quote sent though by him and then the black nihilistic angst of going through the whole cycle again. I will note only the final joy of hanging up and repairing to the pub, getting happily inebriated, returning and sourcing the required drive through Amazon... (it now sits humming happily in its cabinet)...

Nuke all Indian Call Centres....!

Still I suspect I got off lightly. I mean look what happened to this poor soul!

A superfast way to go mad - ring BT's call centre in Bangalore | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478638/A-superfast-way-mad--ring-BTs-centre-Bangalore.html)


Caco

Noah Zark.
29th Oct 2013, 11:31
Totally agree, Caco. I've suffered much the same. Latterly, however, I hear that you are entitled to ask to speak to a native English-speaking person if you are having the difficulties. (Broadly assuming, of course, that English is the language in which you wish to converse!) although of late (and not wishing to tempt the fates) it hasn't been a requirement of mine!

Bushfiva
29th Oct 2013, 11:49
What's an N710?

radeng
29th Oct 2013, 11:52
I do not know how they handle a broad accent........some accents are hard enough for us native English speakers

MagnusP
29th Oct 2013, 11:53
Thought the N710 was a lappy. Unusual choice as a server. :confused:

Cacophonix
29th Oct 2013, 11:53
What's an N710?

The older spec. of what is now the Dell PowerEdge R710! ;)

Caco

cattletruck
29th Oct 2013, 11:55
Think about the poor Dell executive who organised the outsourcing of support in the first place. He/she only needs to last two years on an executive salary at Dell before it becomes someone elses problem.

Give the poor sods another salary rise otherwise they will start jumping out the windows of tall buildings in protest.

Cacophonix
29th Oct 2013, 12:19
The older spec. of what is now the Dell PowerEdge R710! ;)

Edited to say - that the T710 is the older spec of the R710.

I have just run the OpenManage Console to check what lurks in operation on our domain and I note (laptop used for testing) Dell N7110, a Dell R710 and a Dell T710. My travails related to the Dell T710, not the N7110.

In shame I repaired to the erroneous quote, lest I had quoted the N7110 which would have made some of my pain understandable and a public apology to Mr Gupta necessary. But, I did quote the machine as the T710. There is no such thing as an N710 and this error has been corrected in my original post.

Well spotted gentlemen. You have more than the right stuff...:ok:

Caco

pigboat
29th Oct 2013, 13:03
What's the problem? He was speaking perfect ICAO English as opposed to American cowboy. :p

Sir Niall Dementia
29th Oct 2013, 13:31
BT system failure, out with the mobile and onto about two calls a day to Mumbai. Three months (THREE FECKING MONTHS DISORGANISED SHOWER OF ONANISTIC S##T!!!!!) later I'm told there is an engineer on his way that day. By 16:30 no engineer, I've done roster swaps for this, call Mumbai, response from the script reading waste of blood and organs at the other end, "But Sir Niall, the engineer has been at your house since 9am."
Me "No he hasn't, I've been here all day waiting and there hasn't been an engineer of any shape or form."
WoBaO (patronising tone) "Sir Niall he is there, he has been all day."
Me "No he hasn't."
WoBaO "Sir Niall, you are a liar. he is there!!"
At that point I hung up and called the local press as half the village had then been off for three months.

The chairman of BT is also the chairman of EasyJet and half a dozen other operations and has overseen the plummet of BT from a proud British company to a third world disgrace. He should be sent for eternity to his Mumbai call centre where he can mull over what a t###er he is.
I eventually got my phone and broadband back 2 months later, and now they are quibbling because I want a full refund of phone and broadband I paid for but didn't have for five whole months.
Call centre worker is an aspiritational job for many Indians, I just wish the companies who move their call centres out there would train their staff to deal with customers in the west the way they expect to be treated.

OFSO
29th Oct 2013, 13:52
How pleasant not to be referred to Indian Call Centres when you live in Spain.

However...we get referred to South American Call Centres. Which are just as bad. the worst being that utterly incompetent organisation, Telefonica, Spain's answer to BT.

Our one great advantage: insist on speaking in Catalan and you get put through to somebody local. I bet it's the same in the Basque country.

Otherwise, you're f*cked.

Andy_S
29th Oct 2013, 14:09
Call centre worker is an aspiritational job for many Indians.

That might have been true 10 years ago. These days, the educated middle class in India have loftier aspirations.

cavortingcheetah
29th Oct 2013, 14:13
Telephone British Gas/Centrica this morning and held on for 38 minutes listening to babbletonephone, which seemed a little extreme. Finally spoke with a chap in a call centre in Cape Town where it was rainy and windy. Probably slightly more helpful and useful than a call centre in Warmbaths so be thankful for small mercies.

ex_matelot
29th Oct 2013, 14:15
I had a few snags with my broadband a few years ago - porn viewing was severely disrupted. I was with BT. So I called them and spoke to..."Helllooo...my n a me is Brian....". There was no way on earth that woman's name was Brian! Anyway...Indian woman said she'd have to do a line test and she would put me on hold for 5 minutes...OK. I was dying for a shit....
Approximately 90 seconds into said shit my musical interlude was broken by an enthusiastic "Helllooo meeester matelot...".

I was giggling like a schoolgirl and she endured the whole completion, wipe and flush.

I am not with BT anymore.

BenThere
29th Oct 2013, 14:57
Try to remember it's not the person on the other end who's responsible for the problems of off-shoring customer service. They're just trying to make a living.

vulcanised
29th Oct 2013, 15:18
held on for 38 minutes


That's not much more than their useless computer took to take my meter readings last week.

VP959
29th Oct 2013, 17:22
BT Openreach are a complete fiasco at the managerial level. Earlier this year I spent four months trying to get them to do a simple job, move a cable that was in the way.

The first problem is that nowhere do BT Openreach actually give you anything like a useful telephone number or email address. They keep those well-hidden, as they are a communication company and the last thing they want to do is communicate with customers.

By dint of subterfuge (and the assistance of someone who had inside knowledge) I managed to get hold of the mobile number for the local engineering depot manager. He turned out to be a great chap, very helpful and sorted everything out quickly. When I asked him why it'd taken me four months to track down someone in BT Openreach who could actually fix this simple little problem he was honest enough to admit that the company were a complete an utter shambles, and then proceeded to rant on for half an hour about how their gross inefficiency and total incompetence made his job 100 times harder than it needed to be.

Capetonian
29th Oct 2013, 18:00
I have often found Indian call centres preferable to some of the local variety in the UK. The people are generally better spoken and more polite. Also I find it easier to get them off script.

er340790
29th Oct 2013, 18:11
"Goodness gracious. I think you will be finding that Mr. Gupta was outsourced to Somalia several years ago...." :E

Dushan
29th Oct 2013, 18:30
My calls go something like this:

Mr. Gupta: "says some complete gibberish with 10 marbles in his mouth"

Dushan: "I am sorry, but I cannot understand a word of what you are saying, please speak slowly and annunciate"

Mr. Gupta: "repeats the same thing he just said in the exact same way, followed by 'can you hear me now?'"

Dushan: "I can hear you, I just can't understand you"

OFSO
29th Oct 2013, 18:45
But there is a very real problem about these blasted call centres, and especially the ones that do phone selling (which is an awful lot here in Spain).

Firstly I rarely answer any phone call whose ID I do not recognise: secondly on those rare occasions I push the green button, as soon as I hear myself addressed by name by a voice I don't recognise, or hear any hint of an "offer" I close the call down.

And now and then some frustrated company that DOES need to contact me calls back in desperation saying "don't put the phone down ! It's your bank, or your dentist, or whatever..."

Ozzy
29th Oct 2013, 20:38
http://www.dpaperwall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Funny-Pictures-2013.jpg

Ozzy

vulcanised
29th Oct 2013, 20:58
My local chemists do a fair imitation.

"Can you spell that" applies to my name, address, doctor's name, name of products for repeat prescription, etc..

Just occasionally I can make out what they're saying, just occasionally they can understand what I'm saying.

500N
29th Oct 2013, 21:03
Vulcan

That is if you can understand it when they say "Can you spell that"

ExSp33db1rd
29th Oct 2013, 22:29
......do not know how they handle a broad accent........some accents are hard enough for us native English speakers I was working in UK about 14 years ago when British Airways started a telephone call-centre answering voice recognition system, i.e. "tell me in a few words what it is you are calling about "
After a long dialogue I eventually got around to trying to book a ticket to Sydney. " I didn't understand your destination, please repeat" this went on for a few more attempts, and as I was about to blast off with a mouthful of abuse, when a colleague who was listening - and who spoke with a very broad Geordie accent that even I had difficulty understanding - offered to speak for me.

He annunciated "Sydney" in an accent that bore no relevance to anything that I could ever understand, and the response was an immediate " thank you, I heard Sydney, is that correct?" At which the whole room fell about laughing. Barsteward !

Since then I've learned that rattling the zero key a few times as Digital Doris is introducing herself stops her in her tracks, often she has one more go then says " OK, let me get someone who can help you " They never do, but at least you get to speak to a human, physically at least, if not interlectually. Doesn't work on all sites, but enough to make it worth having a go, everytime, and when it does you save much time at the beginning, until of course one is enevitably drawn into the morass of time wasting conversation. Always.

There is a website called something like "getahuman" which lists many USA companies, and the right button to press to bypass "choose from the following menu" lists, knowing the right number to press from the start often cuts out the long preamble, too.

Cacophonix
29th Oct 2013, 22:38
At which the whole room fell about laughing. Barsteward !

Geordies get things dyun man.... !

MARK KNOPFLER (DIRE STRAITS) - Why Aye Man - YouTube

Caco

Noah Zark.
30th Oct 2013, 00:42
The other side of this issue is that whilst you are trying to make yourself understood, and the voice at the other end is doing the same, and it goes this way ad infinitum for whatever time it takes, invariably you are paying some extortionate rate for dialling their number! :mad:

Dushan
30th Oct 2013, 02:16
Nah, VOIP is cheap...

fitliker
30th Oct 2013, 03:19
Make a sentence using the following words : Green ,Yellow ,Pink

Nervous SLF
30th Oct 2013, 04:18
As an ex BT Technical Officer I cringe when I hear stories about how bad B.T. has become. In my day we always tried to help
the subscribers ( customers now ) as much as possible. Mind you we were a relatively small group dealing with special
( at that time :) ) equipment - not telephones.

OFSO
30th Oct 2013, 05:55
Nervous, I feel the same way. When I was a T2A in the 1960's, working for the GPO was a prestige job and one I was glad to get. Now ?

VP959
30th Oct 2013, 07:41
The very helpful local BT depot chap I eventually got hold of was of the same view. He was a year or two off retirement (so had originally been GPO) and wasn't shy in giving his views on the way BT Openreach has morphed into a total disaster. He related a few tales to me about how he had been instructed to give customers the run around for weeks because the "management" didn't want customers to know that their jobs were going to take weeks, or even months, longer than they'd promised, because the company didn't have the resources to do the work.

ExSp33db1rd
30th Oct 2013, 07:45
Make a sentence using the following words : Green ,Yellow ,PinkThe telephone goes "Green Green", so I pick it up and say "Yellow Yellow ?"

That's what I Pink you want ? Innit ?

Worrals in the wilds
30th Oct 2013, 10:46
Try to remember it's not the person on the other end who's responsible for the problems of off-shoring customer service. They're just trying to make a living. Agreed. Off-shoring call centres is a cost-cutting decision made by local companies to save a quick buck and avoid western wages and conditions. :ugh::ugh:

This is not the fault of the poor bozo at the end of the line; it is the fault of the business you pay a lot of money to. Did any of your utility/banking/airline providers drop the price once they got rid of all the local phone operators and engaged an inferior foreign service? Didn't think so. :hmm:

Many Australian call centre operators have been made redundant so the bastard companies they worked for can save a few dollars using foreigners; I'm sure it's the same in the UK. Want to change that? Don't rant on the internet or abuse the call centre operator; vote with your feet. :mad:

Several Australian banks have recently switched back to local call centres and used this as an advertising point; 'talk to a local' etc. My own bank has not only switched from an overseas call centre but also ditched their automated 'press 1 to kill yourself' phone system so you now speak to a real, local person. :ok: This is one of the reasons I (and many other customers) stay with them, and they know that.

I've no doubt that our strong accents and heavy vernacular (as previously mentioned) have played a part in this, but I also suspect that local call centre people are far more effective at on-selling additonal products to local consumers :suspect:.

rgbrock1
30th Oct 2013, 17:04
Caco wrote:

ncludes the name of our “account manager” at Dell (his name, may it be forgiven one day after his time in hell, shall remain anonymous but for the purposes of this post let us call call him Mr Gupta is clearly an Indian one

Ah, one of those names which has 37,350,300 consonants in it. And two vowels.
Gotta love it! :ugh:

rgbrock1
30th Oct 2013, 17:08
Caco:

With the systems I work with in our IT department I have the "privilege" of, on occasion, dealing with Hewlett-Packard's call centers for support purposes.

I go out of my way not to have to phone them for many of the reasons you described. It can be extremely frustrating at the best of times.

:ugh::ugh::ugh:

Cacophonix
30th Oct 2013, 17:26
"privilege" of, on occasion, dealing with Hewlett-Packard's call centers for support purposes.

I have had the same painful experience with HP...

Caco

rgbrock1
30th Oct 2013, 17:38
Caco:

When I worked for the Fascist State of Connecticut I got into some hot water with management one time because after dancing 'round and 'round the Indian mulberry bush with one of HP's call center personnel there I shouted into the phone "can't you f**king speak f***ing English, you dumb ass?

Now I'll admit that was a bit harsh and uncalled for, but after having to repeat the same bits of info to the 12,000 letter name f**kwad at the other end of the phone, for about 30 minutes, I had had enough. And Mt. Vesuvius blew!

What is hopeful, for us in the U.S. anyway, is that HP is slowly starting to open call centers in Mexico. I've had some conversations with people there and although they too have slight accents, they are nowhere near as bad as Mr. Sami ZekjkdjjiojfkJKjkjQERRREEyakitarslowvlkjjjkkdjfk-Smith from Mumbai.

Cacophonix
30th Oct 2013, 17:52
"can't you f**king speak f***ing English, you dumb ass?

A bit harsh RGB! ;)

Caco

radeng
30th Oct 2013, 17:56
Especially as RGB speaks American - admittedly, a language strongly related to English!

Cacophonix
30th Oct 2013, 17:58
RGB

Over the years I have had to deal with Indian offshore software development shops, some of them claiming CMM level 5 accreditation. The results have invariably been very ugly indeed! :\

Caco

rgbrock1
30th Oct 2013, 18:03
Yup, it sure was a bit harsh Caco. but if you had been part of the "conversation" you might well understand why I blew my cool. We reached the end of his prepared script after about 5 minutes, only to begin anew. After the third reading of the script I had had enough.

rgbrock1
30th Oct 2013, 18:07
radeng wrote:

Especially as RGB speaks American - admittedly, a language strongly related to English!

This is true radeng. But I also speak German, Dutch and Italian with a smattering of Russian and French thrown in for the hell of it. and have no problem in conversing with native speakers of those languages whether in their native language or in English. The speakers of English, as spoken by the denizens of the sub-continent, are my problem. :}

Cacophonix
30th Oct 2013, 18:21
Yup, it sure was a bit harsh Caco. but if you had been part of the
"conversation" you might well understand why I blew my cool. We reached the end
of his prepared script after about 5 minutes, only to begin anew. After the
third reading of the script I had had enough.

When I lose my cool I tend to berate people in Afrikaans RGB.

"Jou brein is net soos a verkleurmannetijie tussen n box Smarties jou lang drol" (or something similar)

They generally don't understand the specifics but realise that I am not happy. Failing that one can come up with statements such as "you blithering buffoon do you not get my meaning"? Generally very cathartic!

Caco

rgbrock1
30th Oct 2013, 18:26
Caco:

Having had no experience with the Afrikaans language, from what you wrote I see some very strong similarities to Dutch and/or German. Interesting.

radeng
30th Oct 2013, 20:22
rgb,

They THINK they speak English. I suppose, in a way, they do. It's just that their pronunciation isn't English - or American! So it might as well be a foreign language to us.

ExSp33db1rd
30th Oct 2013, 20:49
Xxxxxx ( a rude word that would get me banned ! ) begin at Dover, just shout louder.

4mastacker
30th Oct 2013, 20:52
Why is it that some of the inhabitants of these sub-continent call centres feel the need to give themselves Anglicised names? I bet Mrs Gupta didn't call her son "Brian" when he was born.

Cacophonix
31st Oct 2013, 00:11
Now Dell laptops smell like cat urine. Ah well, they can't stink more than Dell's support system...

New Dell Latitude 6430u laptop 'smells like cat urine' - News - Gadgets & Tech - The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/new-dell-latitude-6430u-laptop-smells-like-cat-urine-8913677.html)

Caco

TWT
31st Oct 2013, 02:06
Why is it that some of the inhabitants of these sub-continent call centres feel the need to give themselves Anglicised names?

Which would you prefer ?

'Brian' or Sharma Verma Gupta Malhotra Bhatnagar Saxena Kapoor ?

ex_matelot
31st Oct 2013, 04:02
A good way to get any broadband queries escalated to tier-2 - or an engineer in England is to take them off script and "go nuclear". Rather than go through the whole rigmarole of "Have you tried the router in the master socket / checked filters...etc" I just blast them with a load of radar theory and tell them how I've tweaked my pin attenuators and now the prf on my Echo-Fox band is higher but still experiencing significant sub-refraction and anomalous propagation. Usage of limited area full auto extraction windows shows slight improvement but now I have spoke jamming from 185/210 state 4.

Cacophonix
31st Oct 2013, 06:43
I just blast them with a load of radar theory and tell them how I've tweaked my pin attenuators and now the prf on my Echo-Fox band is higher but still experiencing significant sub-refraction and anomalous propagation. Usage of limited area full auto extraction windows shows slight improvement but now I have spoke jamming from 185/210 state 4.

:D:D:D

Caco

HuntandFish
31st Oct 2013, 09:36
My Boadband stopped working and the line was noisy even for speech calls . Rang the Indian Call Centre started going through the checklist but was then asked to call back on another line as the one I was using was too noisy!!

doubleu-anker
31st Oct 2013, 11:39
Must admit I tend to loose my rag when dealing with these people.

Wanted to ring my Loyd's bank, just down the road but teeming with rain. Took me 5 mins to speak to who I wanted, via 2 transfers at an Indian call center.

Fareastdriver
31st Oct 2013, 20:04
Wanted to ring my Loyd's bank,

TSB, which recently split from Lloyds, use Brits at their call centre.

radeng
31st Oct 2013, 20:55
>TSB, which recently split from Lloyds, use Brits at their call centre. <

They may do, but they are just as f***ng useless. They wrote to me to tell me that accounts ending in various 4 digit numbers were now with them. Not being able to find anyone to talk to, I wrote and asked what the account numbers were and asked for statements of the accounts. Two weeks later, they wrote from "Customer services" to say they couldn't find that information, and I needed to go into a branch. Needless to say, the branch couldn't help with the statements but they managed to find the account numbers. The telephone service gave me the amounts, which in one case, I promptly transferred to a better paying ISA elsewhere: the other account I emptied. Now they want me to write to or visit the original branch to close it.....

So it will sit there with nothing in it until THEY close it.

Banks? I spit me of banks!