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  • sheknows

    As a friend of mine said to a call agent who was clearly east Indian, after having asked “what?”for the eleventh time: ” I know you are speaking English…it’s just not a language I understand”.

  • PNC Bank uses a Philippine call center for some of its business. I find the English spoken by these individuals often to be just as indecipherable as the Indians with whom I have had to deal.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    I learned a little Gujarti, a little Hindi and it was helpful to have the book open to speak to the call centers then, and now I can learn some Tagalog if need be… just enough to help things along. One of the funniest phone calls I had re an Apple product late at night was with a male call service person from the other side of the world who asked me if my husband knew I was using the computer. lol.

    I’m surprised that china has not stepped into the call market for the US, or some of the e. eu countries. Many many people worldwide speak their native language and English very well.

  • Momzworld

    I grew up in Kenya in the 50’s among East Indians and had an ear for their accent. I agree that their dialect causes them to speak English much too fast! I have had two extremely frustrating experiences in particular with Indian call centers. The first, years ago when I had trouble with a fresh out of the box Dell laptop that wouldn’t “turn on”. The Indian woman at the other end of the line had only one line: “Is it boot-ting?” I couldn’t tell because either the back light was burned out or the video card was defective — I had a black screen! I finally said to her, “I’m going to hand up now because we are not getting anywhere” and I did.

    The second was in the last couple of years when I was trying to get an update to flash player and couldn’t get it until I called an 800 number in very large print on my screen. BAD move. I called the number, and of course, the CSR at the other end was an East Indian man with a heavy accent — very hard for me to understand. He asked if he could go into the back of my computer remotely and “help” me get the update I had just paid for! What he was selling in addition to his help was a “service” that would keep my computer running at top performance for an astronomical fee (to me!). In the process of his demonstrating all the errors on my hard drive he did something he shouldn’t have done and my computer shut down and wouldn’t reboot at all. I had lost my operating system. For 176.00 a local technician restored it and I was on my way again.

    I’ve always loved the Indian people and their culture and I have two Indian doctors that I like very much. So for me it isn’t a racial thing. But I am very, very skeptical of the skills of Indians in call centers who answer calls about computer issues!!

  • gtonton

    This sucks for the Indian call center business but the Philippines are smashing it right now, under cutting the Indians and capitalizing on their bad reputation they’ve developed. The Indians will bounce back if they can lose the negative stigma.

    George – companies house uk contact number

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