Bare Facts (was babybear3333)

A (usually) lighthearted and amusing outlook on the real happenings (and vivid imagination) in the day to day life of a walking disaster area/accident waiting to happen/prone to 'blonde' moments 40 something single female...:)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Call-centres...ARGH!!!


Outer Mongolia????

Not really sure if the phenomenon of call-centres has actually reached Outer Mongolia yet, but it can't be far away...lol...

They got them in India and Idaho (not sure about this fact either, but Idaho rhymes better than Texas;) and surely, not far from where you live, there are buildings filled with call-centre workers chained for a shift to a headset and computer terminal.

The most worrying part about the trend to outsource to other countries is that the people you end up speaking to are being paid a pittance, they must be, otherwise routing calls to international numbers woudn't be cost effective.

And before anyone asks, yes, I have been there and done that...I've actually worked for 3 large call centres. Cut my teeth at BT as an operator, and yes, thier training is still second to none...The other 2 were a bank and a mobile phone company.

The recent trend to outsource call-centre work from the UK to far-reaching corners of our planet is still confudling me though (ok, stop sniggering, I know I'm blonde).

One of the most irritating and frustrating experiences I've ever had would have to be calling a well-known ISP provider and being put through to a call centre in India!!! I'm not predjudiced or racist in any way, but why the hell connect customers already in difficulty to a call-centre which just cannot cope with the query??? Seems a pointless excercise and just wastes everyone's time and money...and leaves me sitting on the end of a phone with the alarming urge to punch someone on the nose!!!

Having worked in a number of these places, I'm very familiar with the way these companies operate thier excuse for customer care. The number of times I've navigated my way through an automated queuing system only to find that when I've chosen option whatever number, aftera very long and laborious series of choices, that my option isn't covered, is NOT funny!!! But what does the silly sounding cow that spouts these choices say if you don't press anything? Usually not even the choice to return to an earlier menu or group of choices is offered. What frequently happens is the voice says they haven't recognised the choice selected and would you please mind choosing again!!! No, I don't want to choose again, I want to speak to a person, not a bloody machine!

Another of the worst experiences has to be getting 'lost' or 'stuck' in the automated service and not having the chance to be put in the queue for a live bod to speak to...

Automation pergatory :(

Left to roam aimlessly through the auto service not realising until you check and find that you've been waiting 3 days!!! Most of us realise this quite quickly and unless you get a message actually telling you there's a delay, my advice is to hang up after 10 mins and try again.

Having had the 'luxury' of seeing it from both sides I 'spose I should be more patient. After all, it isn't the fault of the poor sod you eventually (if you get lucky) get to speak too that you've had so much trouble getting through the maize of the phone system.

Another major failing of call-centres is that the agents/customer service advisors don't generally have any real authority to put things right or problem solve if your query differs even slightly from the norm.

There is very little continiuty for any major or on-going problems and the frustration of having to go over the details time and time again is rather off-putting for most people.

No-one seems to want to, or be able to take 'ownership' of a customer's problem and follow it through to a satisfactory conclusion for both parties.

A perfect example was when I moved home and wanted a certain service switching to my new address and a new telephone number...lol...

I wasn't laughing by the end of the sorry 4 month battle, I know :( But that's for another rant...pmsl

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