Ick, overseas call centres

7 Jun

I’ve been on the phone for over half an hour.  On my mobile.  Ugh.  I’m only trying to upgrade my phone since my current contract expired and my phone sucks.  I’m not even talking to a different phone company, I’m talking to my existing one.  It’s an easy request: sign me up for another 24 month contract and give me a new phone, thank you very much.  They already have our details, my phone number, my customer number, etc. Easy.

You’d think anyway.  But not when the call centre is in India.  Now I have nothing against India, or Indians, but when you’re trying to get service for an Australian product from somewhere else in the world, it just doesn’t work.

I’d been talking to someone for a while, going through all the details, repeating myself a million times: yes I want a new phone, this is the one I want.  Yes, I understand I will be on another 24 month contract, etc.  We’d gone through the whole thing.  He even checked to see if they had any of the phones I wanted in stock.  They did, but not the colour I wanted.  Oh well, black will do just fine.

“Your account is showing as overdue.  I can’t upgrade your phone if your account is overdue.”  He told me.

“Well, our account is direct debited, so if it’s overdue, it’s because you guys didn’t take it out on time.”

“It says overdue.”

“Well it’s not.”

“I’ll just check it out for you.”  He put me on hold. Again.

I can see you’ve paid, the system just hasn’t updated it yet.  I’ll just put you on hold while I fix it up for you.” Sigh, but at least we were almost done.

“Good evening, Vodafone, this is (I can’t remember, Raj or something) _____”  Great, I was supposed to be on hold, not transferred.  ARGH!

“Um…I was speaking to someone about an upgrade, but I think he transferred me accidentally instead of putting me on hold.” Giant sigh.

“Ok, I’ll transfer you to upgrades.”

“Good evening, Vodafone, this is _____.”

I said my whole bit again, blah blah blah.

“I’ll just transfer you to upgrades.” Kill. Me. Now.

“Hello, Vodafone, this is ___.”

I told the story again. SIGH.

He didn’t know who I’d been speaking to.  I could hear other consultants on the phone to other customers in the background.  Maybe a “hey, who was speaking to Sheri??!!” to his collegues would have been a good idea.

Nope, I had to go through the entire process.  Again.  Sigh.  Give him the pin number, tell him which phone, give him our address (they had our old one), let him look it up to see if they were in stock. Yada yada yada.

“I’m sorry, I can’t upgrade you today.  Your account is overdue.”  Anger and impatience rising…

“No it’s not.  The other guy was trying to put me on hold to fix all that up when he accidentally transferred me.”

“It’s overdue.  I can’t upgrade you if your account is overdue.”

“It’s not overdue, your system just hasn’t updated the payment yet.”  Maybe because you are in India

“Ok, hold on while I check it.”  Yeah, you could have been doing that already, instead of arguing with me about it.  I was on hold for ages.  Sigh.

“That’s all fine, I can put this through for you now.”  Really?  That’s what I’d been trying to tell him for the last 20 minutes.

He had to go through all the terms and conditions with me.  No worries.  Except that I couldn’t really understand him.  It’s ok when he’s having a conversation, but when he’s reading a long list of things from a paper?  Sounds like garbledy-goop.  He was talking really fast, accent flaring.  He could have been speaking a different language for all I knew.  Luckily I had already read everything online.  I like to know what I’m getting myself into ahead of time. I’m all prepared like that.

When I got off the phone, there was a text message waiting for me.  “Hi, this is Rahesh from Vodafone, I was speaking to you about an upgrade.  Sorry, I accidentally transferred you, I will call you back right away.”  Only I was still on the phone when he tried to call, trying with all my might to actually get a new phone. Humph.

Then the phone rang.

“Hello.”  I said.

“Hi, this is Rahesh from Vodafone, I was talking to you about your upgrade.”

“Yeah.”

“I tried calling you seven times, but I can see now that you’ve already had it done.”  Then why are you calling me???

“Uh…yeah.  I got transferred 3 times, and no one knew who I was speaking to, so I couldn’t get back to you.”

He actually sounded cranky.  I’m sorry, but whose fault is it that I got transferred???  Yeah, that’s what I though cranky call centre man!

At least I’ll have my new phone next week.  About time!

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9 Responses to “Ick, overseas call centres”

  1. Lauren June 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Here’s a tip – next time, choose the “New Customers” number from the options when you first call. The sales teams are in domestic call centres (Brisbane, Sydney etc) but the support numbers all divert to India. Obviously they’ll have better sales if they use Australians! But once they have you hooked, they send you abroad, then what are you gonna do? 🙂 Usually the sales teams for “new” customers can handle your upgrade too. The worst one of all? TPG.. GRRRRRRR they make me so MADDDDDD!!!!!!!!!

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) June 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      oh……I’ll have to remember that!! It wouldn’t have been so bad if they actually knew what they were doing.

  2. LB(cruiseshipblogger) June 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    hahahaha, good blog. Love the drawings. Have you gotten a haircut? You drew yourself with short hair.

  3. Sheri's DAD June 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Sheri,
    Your drawings are getting better, funnier and just plain entertaining. Love your work!

    Dad

  4. Fire Crystals June 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    You know, I am from India and I think I understand what you are talking about. In fact it is not just Australians or Americans who have problems with the Call Center guys. In India, we ourselves face the same issues, with being put on hold umpteen times and never having our issues resolved. And to top it all off, we actually have to pay to listen to their drivel. Yep, we are being charged to talk to the Customer Service Executive.

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) June 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

      Well, I don’t feel so bad about it now…. I was afraid some people might think I’m being racist or something! Maybe it’s just that ALL call centres suck?!?!?!?!

  5. JustTheirDad June 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Will you please illustrate my posts for me? hahaha.

    You know, where I come from, you are overseas. Isn’t India more like “across the way” for you? 😉

    I know the feeling though. The company I work for has haired a division in India and I’m all for diversity and all that, and I work with some very intelligent folks from those parts, but seriously, if I can’t understand a thing you are saying, it isn’t really providing a lot of benefit.

    Great post!

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) June 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

      thanks! I think maybe they just need more training as well, so it’s not really *their *fault if they are getting bugger all training and then expected to be super customer service agents.

      P.S. I come from where you come from, I just live over here…..

  6. Clayton June 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    Love the drawings but sorry about your experience. I can only imagine how frustrated you were!!! Following you on Twitter.

    Clayton
    http://www.claytonpaulthomas.com
    Twitter: @claylauren2001

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