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Old 10-13-2014, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,135 posts, read 8,656,408 times
Reputation: 6097

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...or someone in the US

I'm usually calling about an error or something that needs to be investigated and I don't need to be read a script.

A few months ago, I had 2 departments with Amex not talking to each other (I got a supervisor out of Utah and cleared this guy's account problem up in one hour over a $2.00 charge fee). Common sense prevailed with the Utah supervisor but prior to that, I was tearing out my hair as was their client.

And, these are jobs that paid about $40K per year formerly based out of South Florida now outsourced to India and the Phillipines.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
4,827 posts, read 7,244,871 times
Reputation: 7662
I hate that. For the OP, if it's only tracking (you mentioned a tracking number) but if that's the case, why not just look it up online. You can also get the information as to time of delivery and who signed for it.


I hate calling customer service for most of the companies I do business with. I know they want cheap labor so they outsource to places like India, Pakistan, and the Phillipines but what good is that if your customers have to call 3 or 4 times before they can actually get an answer they can understand?!?!?!?

Let's not forget about local businesses that hire foreigners with heavy accents. My primary doc for one. There is a woman in his office. Nice as she is, I cannot decipher a word she says. I think she's either Russian or Polish. Impossible to understand. And, when I talk to her, she'll stand there with a blank look on her face for at least 2 minutes until she responds --- likely translating what I said into her home language --- (and I have to ask her to repeat herself slowly because I can't understand what she's saying!) It really drives me crazy.

I also work in an office where I have to make multiple calls daily to various other offices. Unfortunately, those offices think it's OK to have someone answering the phone who has no command of the English language whatsoever and they sound like they are either mumbling or are speaking with marbles in their mouth or like they're just speaking in some gibberish.

Annoying!
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:58 PM
 
3,947 posts, read 4,110,923 times
Reputation: 4711
Quote:
Originally Posted by melissapla12 View Post
Ok not sure if this is the correct thread to post this

With my current job, I have to call customer service on a daily basis (Fed Ex, UPS, DHL). Every now and then, I get someone who I cannot understand due to their heavy accents. (Just guessing they are overseas). It seems rude to me to say “hey I cant understand you transfer me to someone else”

Has anyone ever dealt with a situation like this? Should I just say “Transfer me to someone else?”

I recently had a situation when I needed to call Kohls last Friday about an error on an order and I called about 5x and could not understand ANY of them.

I finally called someone today who told me she was based out of Dallas. I understood her and she helped me and I was able to get the situation taken care of.
I've never had a problem with understanding a customer service sale reps' English from overseas.
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Eastern PA
1,263 posts, read 4,385,708 times
Reputation: 1160
You can have me call for you - after yrs of medical transcription and heavy accents, I can understand so many people that others have extreme difficulty with. (All kidding aside, I do make calls for my friends, family, and elderly neighbors who ask me to, it is very upsetting when you have important business and can't understand the person who answers the phone)
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
17,631 posts, read 11,080,300 times
Reputation: 37650
It's getting worse every day. I live in Florida and the Hispanic population is growing by leaps and bounds. Every day I get people at work who want to ask me questions but they know very little English, or, their accent is so thick I can't understand what they are saying.

When I bought my new computer I was on the tech line often and the calls would go to India, and it was impossible to get someone on the phone who I understood.

I used to try to put the blame on me by saying things like "We have a bad connection here" or something like that, but now I just tell them straight out I can't understand what they are saying. Why should I try to mask that the problem is their inability to speak English ?

The Tower of Babel comes to mind when I get one of these folks on the phone.

Don
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:07 PM
 
917 posts, read 1,045,552 times
Reputation: 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amisi View Post
I hate that. For the OP, if it's only tracking (you mentioned a tracking number) but if that's the case, why not just look it up online. You can also get the information as to time of delivery and who signed for it.


I hate calling customer service for most of the companies I do business with. I know they want cheap labor so they outsource to places like India, Pakistan, and the Phillipines but what good is that if your customers have to call 3 or 4 times before they can actually get an answer they can understand?!?!?!?

Let's not forget about local businesses that hire foreigners with heavy accents. My primary doc for one. There is a woman in his office. Nice as she is, I cannot decipher a word she says. I think she's either Russian or Polish. Impossible to understand. And, when I talk to her, she'll stand there with a blank look on her face for at least 2 minutes until she responds --- likely translating what I said into her home language --- (and I have to ask her to repeat herself slowly because I can't understand what she's saying!) It really drives me crazy.

I also work in an office where I have to make multiple calls daily to various other offices. Unfortunately, those offices think it's OK to have someone answering the phone who has no command of the English language whatsoever and they sound like they are either mumbling or are speaking with marbles in their mouth or like they're just speaking in some gibberish.

Annoying!
It's not that easy with my job sadly.. When I call its because there is an issue with the shipment (customer will call us and say hey we are missing something so I have to call and investigate).I can tell you the abolute worst customer service goes to UPS..But I have even dealt with people at work who struggle with English because Spanish is their first language. I'll speak to them in Spanish(which I am fluent in) to help them out and they'll continue to speak to me in English.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:31 PM
 
2,962 posts, read 2,729,942 times
Reputation: 6561
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh-eve View Post
I am a foreigner with heavy accent and will never understand why they had me answer the phones at Bank of America (it wasn't my main task though). I felt so bad about it but needed the job.


It's tough enough when you enter a nail salon and they bark "Pick ya calla" at you. I usually pretend to read a magazine when I get my pedicure done to avoid conversation. They don't understand me and I don't understand them and it is just too exhausting.

Americans are so polite - if you are a foreigner in Germany, they would probably tell you to either speak clearly or shut up.
I like the German mindset, because while it is good to attempt to communicate, customer service calls are poor place to have to be annoyed (again). Interestingly, there was an article some time back about call centers coming back to US due to rising costs abroad and the problems of inefficiencies (too many dropped calls, length of calls, complaints, etc...).

My technique is also to to hang up and call back when I get the occasional incomprehensible service rep. I usually ask them where they are located. Most of my service calls for cable, credit card, cell phone, airline etc... usually go to some place in the southern US or Midwest states (recently).

Now, I'm envisioning 'Oh - Eve' with a thick German accent.... and since we are upon the Halloween season, the thought of a tall lovely German woman in one of those nice Halloween costumes is enticing.
Do you sound like Marlene Dietrich?


Marlene Dietrich Blue Angel screentest 1930 - YouTube
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,841 posts, read 25,215,602 times
Reputation: 26179
I just say, I'm sorry but I can't understand you. Is there an English speaking representative available? If they say no I ask for a manager. I am polite but firm.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:36 PM
 
Location: U.S.A., Earth
4,452 posts, read 2,853,877 times
Reputation: 3938
I've had recruiters with heavy Indian accents trying to communicate with me. Sometimes, I break down in my mind exclaiming "I don't care that I'm unemployed! I don't want this job!" I can't understand what the @#$ you're saying!"

Similar workaround here, just have them email you the details. I really do feel for those who have no alternatives.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,930 posts, read 6,463,695 times
Reputation: 44187
Quote:
Originally Posted by ackmondual View Post
I've had recruiters with heavy Indian accents trying to communicate with me. Sometimes, I break down in my mind exclaiming "I don't care that I'm unemployed! I don't want this job!" I can't understand what the @#$ you're saying!"

Similar workaround here, just have them email you the details. I really do feel for those who have no alternatives.
I've had this happen to me a few times recently. I'm going for an interview tomorrow and the position appeals to me. I won't be interviewing with him but his customer which is a State Of Maryland government employee. It is legitimate.

My suggestion is not to write a potential job off for this reason. I asked him to send me an email so we could communicate better.

I agree with you and if there is any way to transfer communication to email that is what I recommend as well. I have no problem with asking a customer service representative to transfer me to someone else because I cannot understand the accent. It's only happened a couple of times as I am good with putting together information but can relate that sometimes it will be necessary.
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