Not long ago, I wrote about what I perceived as rude cell phone use. I called that my pet peeve of the moment. I also admitted my biggest shortcoming is being impatient with the world and those people in particular. Recent events have brought my attention to another thing to be peeved about in our society – customer service.
What happened to it? Doesn’t anybody care anymore? It now seems that service is often based in India and the Philippines where people working there use poor English with big accents making it difficult to understand them!
I recently had to deal with a new prescription drug company through my health insurance. I would never recommend this company again and plan to change as soon as I can at the end of the year. The firm refused to fill one of my prescriptions in the manner my physician prescribed. When I asked the pharmacist at the drug store about the problem, he said, “It’s almost always about the money.” I believe he meant that if it would cost the company more, they denied it. They have their rules and they are sticking to it.
Silly me, I thought I could change their minds about the ruling on a drug I was taking. In my naïveté, I called customer service. Now, this is an American company, but its customer service is foreign, or should we say “outsourced.” It must save a lot of money for companies to risk inconveniencing their customers so much.
After about three sentences of conversation I asked, “Where are you located?” I had to actually ask three times before the person answered, “We are in the Philippines,” in broken English. I had to spend an hour and a half that time on the phone with them, repeatedly being put on hold. After becoming frustrated, I asked for a supervisor because it wasn’t going well. Again, I had to ask five times to get the supervisor. This is not good for an impatient person like me. The supervisor had only slightly better English than the first person.
I kept asking to have things repeated and the conversation ended with nothing really being resolved for me. A week later, the problem was still unresolved so I called again. I knew this wouldn’t be good. I couldn’t understand anything and I asked for a supervisor again. I have now discovered, a supervisor at this company always can speak better and is a woman. But things still didn’t go great, and once again my problem was unresolved.
Apparently, the truth is not so valued in these foreign countries, because they lied to me about when I would be notified of their decision each time I called. In the end, I didn’t win my case, but my doctor found a way around it.
So, now I already have a have a bad feeling about this kind of “outsourced service,” but then here comes another problem, this one involving internet service at my house. I am on my computer a lot, as you may imagine, and I need Wi-Fi. I do have a job here after all. When I called the company for help, I was sent to tech-support – oh great. They should be able to help me. It was just 30 seconds on the phone until I asked the person where he is located. I was told, “You have been routed to the Philippines!” Are you kidding me? I am now over-the-top frustrated. They spoke better English than the people with the drug company, but still not great. Several times I had to ask them to repeat.
This is an American company, so why do we send tech-support customer service, which is so important, to a foreign country where we have to ask them to repeat so many times? I know I’m not the only one who experiences this.
I know the people in the Philippines and India probably work for a lot less money than those in the United States. Even though I am not particularly a Donald Trump fan, here is an example of what he is talking about – keep our jobs in America.
Thank you for letting me rant this week. I’m not a patient person but I’m always working to do better. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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