0800 Calling India

A few years ago there was a craze for British and American companies to provide its customer service from Indian call centres. A plethora of centres opened to employ tens of thousands of people. It seems the novelty is over and the companies are rapidly moving their customer service back. So why have India’s call centres not worked for UK and American companies?

In an article in BBC News claimed that customer dissatisfaction with the Indian accent has been the main reason for its failure and apparently, people do not like accented speech. This surely cannot be true as phoning up call centres in Newcastle can be equally hard to understand. However, it is a reason given by many companies.

For me, the accents weren’t the problem, it was the length of time it took to explain the issue or problem. Making phone calls in your lunch hour just didn’t work. Calls would become frustrating because of a lack of understanding of the language and ultimately, customer service was really poor.

After two hours of getting nowhere on the phone to repair our boiler, a huge bill to call out an emergency plumber despite our insurance and the headache of claiming the money back, we decided that we would boycott any company using overseas call centres. Having made this choice, we have found customer service departments locally to be more helpful, resourceful and effective.

Maybe now they have brought the call centres back, they might even consider having a human being answering the phone rather than an automated system which is equally infuriating!






2 Comments to “0800 Calling India”

  1. Here here! There is nothing worse than attempting to communicate with someone who is meant to represent customer services for the company you are calling, but is able to understand or articulate your request. Furthermore having to repeat the same thing incessantly is also a deal breaker.

    I find it hard enough calling take away places for pretty much any food group and spending most of my time explaining the same thing 100 times. At least put someone on the phone who understands, thus increasing your chances of getting the order right and perhaps having more time to squeeze in more calls/ orders/ business!

    This is from someone with an ear for language and multiple accents!! I can only imagine how frustrating this would be otherwise.

  2. I find Indian-English accents difficult to understand sometimes as I find people can speak too quickly. My experience of dealing with Indian call centre staff is that I found them to be awfully robotic and scripted in their way of dealing with a query. Obviously this is their training and not their fault but they were not problem solvers, only advice givers and were not able to follow multiple connected problems trhough to resolve.

    Another problem I had was the the false way in which they were presented. I find it sad that, for example, they had to adopt English names and watched Eastenders as part of their training. I don’t watch that awful programme, imagine being forced to watch it.

    Anyway I have had the equally awful experience of having to call an Indian call centre in India for an Indian mobile phone related query. I just want to be able to set up voicemail on my phone and no one to this day has understood what I’m going on about and I have been hung up on numerous occassions. I have tried calling it an answer machine, voice mail, message system but nothing seems to get through. Perhaps I need to try calling it ‘Woicemail’!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: