Why can't customer service workers speak English?

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vito

Hunter
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
3,061
Location
Northern Illinois
This is one of my pet peeves. You have an issue where you need to contact a company and when you call you get a seemingly helpful person whose English is incomprehensible. I understand that their English is a lot better than my knowledge of whatever language these people speak in the Philippines or India or South Korea or wherever, but it drives me crazy. Yesterday I was trying to get to the bottom of a problem where I had purchased a gift certificate for my college student grandson for his birthday. The "certificate" was supposed to go to my grandson via a text on the day of his birthday. Of course the charge showed up on my credit card account the moment I placed the order, but a week later, on his birthday, no text arrived for him. The customer service woman I ended up speaking to, after what was a pleasantly very short wait on the phone, was friendly but I could barely understand a word she was saying. Over and over I had to say "Can you say that again, slowly, because I cannot understand you at all". After several of these comments I said "Is there anyone else there that you can transfer this call to so that I can explain my problem and understand what is being said back to me?" and got nowhere with that request. After much frustration, it seemed that she did seem to understand what I was complaining about, to which the solution was that I repeat all of this information via an email to their support team. I wish she had started with this instruction and would have saved me twenty minutes or so of total frustration. So I sent the email with all of the info, and now here it is two days later and still no response. I'll give it until tomorrow and then call the credit card company and demand that the charge be removed from my account (and since it is CapitalOne that is the credit card, I know that I will actually speak to an English speaking person who can actually fix the problem, since I have gone through this in the past). I wonder why these American companies do not realize that they antagonize their own customers by trying to save a few bucks by using some Asian service to handle their customer service.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
1,998
While I understand your complaint, as in "been there done that",
over the last year or so my experience has pretty much been just the
opposite.
I've had great service from everybody I've had to call.
I shouldn't even have typed this, now my next call will
get me a goat herder in BFE!
Dave
 

wheelgun1958

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
939
Location
Flo, TX
I had the same issue with a internet provider. After 3 days of calling, I asked "what part of Bangladesh are you located?" I was immediately transferred to a guy in Orange county (I know because I asked him when he answered the call). My issue was resolved in 5 minutes.
 

gunzo

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Messages
1,691
Location
Kentucky
I lost my patience & got rude with a Bangladeshian once & asked to speak with a person that grew up speaking english.

He showed me, transferred me to a Brit. This country boy didn't understand him much better. Next time I'll ask; Y'all got anybody workin there from Ky, Tn. or WV ?
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,629
Location
Oregon City, Oregon
I talked to a customer rep a few days ago at Century Link, my landline provider. His English was broken to the point I asked for another representative or a supervisor. I was denied that request, so I had to hang up and call again. Fortunately the second rep was much more understandable, but the honesty of the answers I needed were questionable. They must be really hurting, as they will say anything to keep from losing any more business or revenue from their customers.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
gunzo said:
I lost my patience & got rude with a Bangladeshian once & asked to speak with a person that grew up speaking english.

He showed me, transferred me to a Brit. This country boy didn't understand him much better. Next time I'll ask; Y'all got anybody workin there from Ky, Tn. or WV ?

Hi,

I hate getting the call centers halfway around the world. I had a client for several years who handled a call center for her US based company that was located in Costa Rica. She said if you ever call and can't understand the person, ask to be transferred to a US call center. That may just be her company's policy, and didn't seem to work for one of the earlier posters, but it can't hurt to try.

Rick C
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,723
Location
Tucson, AZ
I don't order pizza very often but when I do the Papa Johns I call has hired some guy from India, Bangladesh, oh hell, some where in that part of the world. I'm hard of hearing in one ear and deaf in the other and trying to order what I want has been a chore. I finally got tired of it and asked to speak with the manager. Told him my problem and what I wanted to order. For the record is was the "works" with extra cheese and sausage. When the pizza came, you won't believe how much extra cheese and sausage was on the pie. Topping were almost an inch deep. I wish I could always get a pizza like that one.
Paul B.
 

toysoldier

Hunter
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
3,332
Location
Hutchinson, KS USA
The last time I was dealing with on-line service, the person was polite, intelligible, and helpful. When we were finished, I told her that her slight caribbean accent was delightful.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,897
Location
Redlands CA USA
toysoldier said:
The last time I was dealing with on-line service, the person was polite, intelligible, and helpful. When we were finished, I told her that her slight caribbean accent was delightful.

Hi,

I had one absolutely delightful conversation with a young woman working a call center in the Dominican Republic. Her English was perfect, with just a touch of an accent I couldn't pick out. It wasn't Caribbean, but overall it made for a beautiful "phone voice." They were trying to activate my grumpy cell phone, so we had plenty of time to talk.

Turns out her Dad was from Spain, Mom from Italy. They met and married over there somewhere, then came to New York City where my rep was born and lived there until she was 10-12. Then they returned to Europe, living some time in both Spain and Italy. My rep was working in the call center in the DR while finishing her masters degree.

There are people whom we should clone... ;)

Rick C
 

Muley Gil

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
588
Location
Southwest VA USA
When I was an international police officer in Kosovo, working in a UN police mission, we had police officers from over 50 countries. All were supposed to speak English...Yeah right. I had to call down to regional HQ in Prizen and report a stolen car. The officer that was working there was from Bangladesh. I could NOT get him to understand what I was trying to tell him. Finally, I asked to talk with a native English speaker. The young feller that got on the phone said, "Kin I hep you?" I asked, "Son, where are you from?" He said , "Arkansas." "Well, I'm from Virginia and Alabama. We kin talk!"
 

kramden

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 15, 2017
Messages
512
I feel your pain. I always get a sinking feeling when I make a call and as soon as they answer I can barely understand the greeting I get . All I can think is here we go again.
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,922
Location
In the AZ oven (Phoenix basin)
For the same reason that many within the United States don't. It's not expected of them.
Think about the number of US Citizens that can not speak English, even when that
is the only language they "know".

A few examples:
Whuz - - - for What is.
Yo for you (Whuz yo means?)
Ax for Ask.
AND least some now think that racist, there are MANY whites that speak that way.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
22,097
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
When it happens to me,, I do not waste my time trying to speak with someone I can not understand. I just keep saying; "Supervisor" until I get one. Or I hang up & call again. When I do get an english speaking person I can understand,, I politely tell them,,, I DO hope they are recording the conversation,, because I have an earfull of complaints about the inability to get someone I can understand,, and how their telephone answering service is AWFUL!
 

K1500

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
121
It is similar to when folks don’t use punctuation, paragraphs, grammar, etc. in written communication. It creates barriers that hinder good communication. We don’t have to be perfect but we should exert effort to communicate as clearly as possible.
 

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