Potty Page

September 1, 2004

Stop farming out your bloody call centres!

Oh no! It's another rant.

Today I phoned up Zurich to enquire if John and Matt's bikes would be covered in the policy, or if we would have to pay extra.

In the old days this would be easy...

Hello, is my bike covered under the current policy?
I'll just check... no sir/yes sir

But no, they seem to have farmed out their call centre to a Bombay sweatshop instead. Cheap for them, but it means poor service and a lack of trust of my confidence in the company. Companies... your call centre staff are all I see of you. If they don't seem to understand simple request, or understand how the company works and just go down a crappy tree on a computer program it does not fill me with confidence.

My 'simple' request went something like this. I can't remember the name of the person I spoke to, but I've chosen a suitiably English one for you. Yeah that fooled me...

Me: Hello, is my bike covered under the current policy?
Jane: Bike?
Me: You know, bicycle.
Jane: Bi-cycle?
Me: Erm, how about cycle?
Jane: Oh... you mean pedal cycle.
Me: Yeeeeah pedal cycle, that's the fella.
Jane: Yes, if it's worth less than 500 pounds.
Me: Cool. Is it covered if I were to, say, leave it in the shed?
Jane: Shed?
Me: Garden Shed.
Jane: I'll just check... it's covered in the home.
Me: Yeah, what about the shed.
Jane: Driveway... ah yes it's insured in the shed.
Me: Cool, I'll get back to you if I want to renew with you.
Jane: OK, thank you for calling Zurich Insurance, have a nice day.

I don't have anything against Jane, if I were in a call centre here and some guy in India wanted to know if his rickshaw was covered, but called it a jinriksha (ok, so now I know that's what they are called in, erm, Japan(?)), I wouldn't help the company image either... I just don't think she should have really been given a job where she is what the public views of the company - she could have been asked anything at all about levels of cover or whatever and she just wouldn't know, half the time because she wouldn't know what it was, because someone called it by a term that's not in the database/her vocabulary.

I think I only managed as well as I did because I realised I was talking to someone on the otherside of the world straight away, and was patient with her. People who don't even know that companies outsource abroad would have just been like 'Erm, I'll take my business elsewhere'... something I may well do also... not decided yet.

Clearly I'm not the only one. Hehe, Zurich are mentioned in the comments too...

I think Demon have gone and done it too. You can't have a problem solved by someone who doesn't even know the semi-techincal aspects of how things work. Demon failed me when I used the phrase 'So, I checked and did a 1471'. I think everyone in England knows what that means. Other people around the world it means I dialed 1471 into the phone and got a voice telling me who'd last called me. Now, if I were to phone-up Force9 and have a similar conversation they would know exactly what I was talking about, and would probably even think on their heads to come to a solution instead of 'Hmmm... no idea' when it's not found on their problem solving tree...

I don't mind phoning up somewhere and just buying something from an offshore place... like say suppose I wanted to buy, well something I wouldn't need techincal support or whatever and I just read a number to them and it arrives... yeah don't care about that, 'cause you don't need to know anything to do that! That's why there are websites that sell things... anyone can do it.

It's the centres where I want to ask them a question about their product when I seem to know more about it than they seem to do that annoy me... yeah, I know you get some of these in Britian as well - but it's a damn sight easier to pass off that you know what you're talking about if you do actually have a vauge idea!

Posted by Ed at September 1, 2004 1:59 PM | Rant |