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Old 01-17-2008, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,062 posts, read 15,874,339 times
Reputation: 3677

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I had to call the IRS today about a tax question. First, I spoke with a pleasant call screener who wanted to know the nature of my question so she could send me to the appropriate department. No problem!

So, I'm on hold and then a woman with a VERY broken, Asian accent picks up the line. I could understand her but she had difficulty understanding me when I explained why I was calling. I spoke slowly. She finally understood and then asked me to wait while she pulled up an info screen on her computer. She proceeded to read me the appropriate tax codes. (I could have read those myself!) When I broke in to ask questions, she got very confused and put me on hold again. She came back and said she needed to find another subject screen to read from.

Sigh, I was finally able to get her to understand my question and she read off another checklist. I repeated back what I thought was the answer to my question and she put me on hold again so she could check with another employee.

Good Lord, what should have taken two minutes tops took 15-20. PLEASE tell me the IRS isn't outsourcing to Asian call centers, too! Is it too much to expect someone who is fluent in English answering questions at the IRS?!
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:15 PM
 
2,432 posts, read 6,006,882 times
Reputation: 1009
I expect the IRS actively looks for multi-lingual employees. But careful about using the call center for advice. If you get audited their call center advice isn't legally binding.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Small patch of terra firma
1,275 posts, read 2,124,777 times
Reputation: 536
Ok, why the immigrant forum for this? Seriously, I mean it sounds more like an outsourcing issue and should be under the P&OC forum or possibly the Business and Finance forum.

It can’t be due to illegal immigrants because, well the number of illegals phoning the IRS regarding taxes is probably close to zero, or less than that for what I should say are obvious reasons.

It could possibly be an immigrant issue if it is related to accommodating other languages, but your last comment about outsourcing to “Asian call centers” leads me to believe this isn’t an immigrant issue.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,062 posts, read 15,874,339 times
Reputation: 3677
Quote:
Originally Posted by madicarus2000 View Post
your last comment about outsourcing to “Asian call centers” leads me to believe this isn’t an immigrant issue.
Um, I was being sarcastic about the call centers. I'm not quite cynical enough to believe that the federal government could have call centers in other countries answering questions about our tax law and codes.

Frankly, I don't care if you want to move this thread. It doesn't change the fact that people who can't speak or understand English well are being hired to answer citizens' tax questions. I would have a hard time believing this is one of those jobs they have a difficult time filling.
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