www.ReviewWritersForum.co.uk

A site for review writers
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log in  

Share | 
 

 Racist to dislike call centres ?

Go down 
AuthorMessage
WormThatTurned

avatar

Number of posts : 1105
Age : 44
Location : Kettering
Registration date : 2006-09-14

PostSubject: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Wed 31 Oct 2007, 12:02

On The One Show last night, it was suggested that racism is a factor in people not liking call centres.

What a load of tripe.

In the past I have spoken to Asian (and Scottish for that matter) sounding workers and had great difficulty understanding or even hearing what they were saying and vice versa. Thats not racist, its just frustration at people not being able to help sort out my situation. I have asked to speak to someone else on a number of occasions because the communication was just non - existent. Call centres are one of the most annoying things you can come across. I have been trying to get a 180 refund on my Virgin media account since January when I left them to no avail. You just get transferred from person to person, most of them clueless, kept on hold for ages and all the time being charged for the priviledge. Is any wonder people detest call centres, the levels of customer care are terrible.

If a person turned round and abused someone down the phone using race as the excuse then yes thats racist. BUT just to say if you dont like call centres, racism is a factor, is plainly nonsense.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
WendyBull

avatar

Number of posts : 2028
Age : 46
Registration date : 2006-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Wed 31 Oct 2007, 12:18

We had the same trouble with AOL. We got put through to the Indian call centre over and over and not only is the accent barrier a problem they also don't seem to know how to solve the problems. We got told a few times that we were promised a call back just to get us off the phone. Most of the time now we insist on being put through to the Irish call centre where they at least can understand and sort out the problem - although even then sometimes the accent is hard to understand for me and probably vice-versa.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.egrinstead.co.uk
spoilt_little_brat

avatar

Number of posts : 1427
Age : 32
Location : Conisbrough nr Doncaster
Registration date : 2006-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Wed 31 Oct 2007, 12:57

I work in a call centre; I have a Somerset accent but when we were doing our training we had to go to a voice coach to get our 'phone voice'.

I have never had anyone say they don't understand me but I have had two callers refuse to deal with me because I am a girl.

My company has call centres in Rotherham, Leeds, Swindon, Scotland and India. They have now reduced the size of the Indian call centre and is for staff to ring and not customers.

Most customers come through to the Yorkshire call centres and the Scottish call centre is only for debt and credit checks.

Oh and it is just as bad for the people who work in the call centres. Every day I will get people call who I just don't understand and they will either get angry, hang up or just go round in circles.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
koshkha

avatar

Number of posts : 1091
Age : 53
Location : Northants & S. Cheshire - depends on the day of the week
Registration date : 2006-08-17

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Wed 31 Oct 2007, 22:20

I would love to go to India and teach people to speak with English accents. I think that would be a great job. If the Indian call centres could crack the accent problem I think they'd have it sussed.

Personally I love a good Indian accent - but I'm very accustomed to the tone. I find that most people in Indian call centres are much more polite than their equivalents in the UK and more committed to the job. The problem they often have is that they are trying to give advice on products that they've never seen.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
spoilt_little_brat

avatar

Number of posts : 1427
Age : 32
Location : Conisbrough nr Doncaster
Registration date : 2006-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Thu 01 Nov 2007, 00:27

You have a very good point Koshkha about Indians. Most of the Indians I have spoken to at work or on the phones are very able, it is just the accent.

When I first started my job my first impressions was, it's like being back at school again. It is a great place to work, the money is brilliant if you get your sales and they have things like dress down days and give away prizes like cars and holidays for sales and we get Qudos points for each sale that we can turn into gifts or high street vouchers. It's brilliant and being in the position where I have a home, family etc I take it very serious and do really well at my job.

However, the amount of people under 21 that work there and just *Bad word* arse about all day makes me so mad. My department is called the departure lounge as most people that start work there are sacked or quit within 3 months. Just before I left for my maternity leave there were new people who joined my team and they were all 16, one of the lads was just thick and went behind his mate when he was on a call and started shouting rude words down the phone.

Not really brilliant customer service is it?!

And lets be honest, if you have a debt problem (which is what 99% of my customers have) and are getting final warnings through your door, you have just had the bailiffs (sp?) out and are really upset and mad, the last person you want to be talking to is some 16 year old who keeps putting you on hold, is laughing with their mates and doesnt have a clue what your problem is.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
helencbradshaw

avatar

Number of posts : 1982
Age : 50
Location : Here, There and Everywhere, but usually in a hotel somewhere
Registration date : 2006-03-18

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Thu 01 Nov 2007, 01:33

koshkha wrote:
I would love to go to India and teach people to speak with English accents. I think that would be a great job. If the Indian call centres could crack the accent problem I think they'd have it sussed.

Personally I love a good Indian accent - but I'm very accustomed to the tone. I find that most people in Indian call centres are much more polite than their equivalents in the UK and more committed to the job. The problem they often have is that they are trying to give advice on products that they've never seen.

Didnt BP try this anglification thing in Iran in the 1950s with spectacular failing.

Personally (and having previously worked at Director level internationally in business development of the Call centre outsourcing market) I have never been a fan of offshoring, in this way not for reasons of accent, (I LOVE hearing different accents, they are a great talking point and easy to exploit to your advantage at times!!) but for reasons of the practices which are in place, which I don't particularly approve of.

THat and the comparative advantage is soon lost once everyone goes there and service will be on the move again, to new developing countries - as companies seek to gain further cost advantage. In the 1990s Scotland, Holland and Ireland grew their market share considerably due to Regional Selective Assistance capital grants (although all areas tried to plug their accent etc!!). Now it's India, China, Philipines etc
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.reviewwritersforum.co.uk
Mauri



Number of posts : 452
Registration date : 2006-04-07

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Thu 01 Nov 2007, 13:39

I remember watching a documentary a few years ago based on a call centre in India the people manning the phone were very highly qualified polite and weel trained but some of the abuse that they had to take from callers in the UK was unbelievable and it has to be said quite a lot was racist abuse...
Back to top Go down
View user profile
plipplop

avatar

Number of posts : 210
Registration date : 2006-04-25

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Fri 02 Nov 2007, 23:39

WormThatTurned wrote:
On The One Show last night, it was suggested that racism is a factor in people not liking call centres.

What a load of tripe.


Indian call centre advisors DO get a lot of racist abuse. I know somebody who always asks call centre advisors what colour the Tyne Bridge is. If they don't know the answer, he tells them to f off and stop taking our jobs, hoping that the companies concerned will not be able to get advisors prepared to deal with UK customers.

To say that people don't like call centres due to racism is probably putting it badly. People are racist to call centre advisors but then they're abusive to UK advisors too.

Incidentally, one of the biggest problems in outsourcing is the Data Protection Act. As India doesn't recognise it, many companies won't give the advisors out there access to the same info that their British counterparts get. This means that they tend to get the calls nobody cares about, with limited access to customer information (in some cases). It's therefore hardly surprising that they're ill-equipped to deal with the call.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
WormThatTurned

avatar

Number of posts : 1105
Age : 44
Location : Kettering
Registration date : 2006-09-14

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Mon 05 Nov 2007, 21:03

plipplop wrote:
WormThatTurned wrote:
On The One Show last night, it was suggested that racism is a factor in people not liking call centres.

What a load of tripe.



To say that people don't like call centres due to racism is probably putting it badly. .

Like I said "what a load of tripe"
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bandcamp

avatar

Number of posts : 31
Age : 33
Location : A pub, Glasgow
Registration date : 2006-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Mon 05 Nov 2007, 21:52

***
Warning: What follows is a bit of a rant. Not directed at folk, or trying to excuse the fact that companies outsource to try and save money... but jeez, will you please not complain to UK based agents about it?
***

Apparently a lot of companies like to have call centres based in Scotland because the of the accent - I believe 'calming' was the word used, yet it does not make the slightest bit of sense if based in Glasgow and hiring a bunch of neds (chavs) - who are anything but calming at times!
Irish as well, although it is with great pain that I admit that whenever I speak with some of my Northern Ireland counterparts I haven't got a clue what they're saying until my 'Derry' switch flips on, and I start to get a grasp about 3 sentences in to the conversation. My own Mum and Gran are from Northern Ireland and yet I still have difficulty.

So admittedly, there are occasions when speaking with colleagues based in Mumbai or Singapore that you hear the phoney American accent and BS name (I've had a Brendan once who was obviously from nowhere near Europe or America, and a Mhairi who I thought might have taken a Scottish name till I realised it could have been Marie or Mary but not pronounced correctly). I have nothing but respect for my colleagues (apart from the odd f***** who tries to fob me off with a customer with a problem that they KNOW I cannot deal with, and the ones who will refuse to take a call until you demand their ID number or they hang up... but I work hard at my job, and I know that my colleagues abroad do too and often under much worse circumstances, if I can judge by the number of folk I answer calls to and the first thing they say is 'WHERE AM I THROUGH TO?' or 'THANK GOD I'VE GOT SOMEBODY ENGLISH'. If this is the first thing said to me, you're not making a point - you're making me think the utter worst of you. And sometimes...

1. It's Glasgow (and some folk have acted the **** and pretended they can't understand because they're not through to somewhere in England.

2. Actually, I'm Scottish. I speak and understand English, as do many of my colleagues... but a brilliant moment I recall was when one of my friends had someone on a call bitching and moaning about 'foreigners in call centres' and a whole lot of other non-English stuff, who was soon quietened when she said "Actually, Sir... I am from Poland but am working in Glasgow."

I'm not trying to excuse the fact that no, apparently some people in centres cannot understand you - but hell, half of the time I have problems with thick accents of folk from my own country (sometimes my own city, that's just bloody embarrassing) - when I was learning languages in school I was taught that accents would differ and wouldn't sound the same as the tapes or the teacher... the same is evidently happening for my colleagues abroad, and as frustrating as it is, it does NOT help to shout and swear at them, or at the next advisors you get on the line.

If you have an issue with it, complain to the company directly in writing. They cannot ignore a paper trail, and will likely store every piece of mail you send in. Bitching at the poor soul you get on the line (no matter how justified your ranting may be) will not resolve the issue.




The fact that an insurance company (won't name who) have started advertising including the 'ONLY UK CALL CENTRES!' mantra, has gotten me a bit concerned too... in a way it's making me think we're being made to look like a load of racists. Perhaps not the case, just impatient folk who don't want to repeat themselves slowly to someone unfamiliar with their accent...

still...

Don't take it out on a Scottish or UK advisor!!


/ rant over.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bandcamp

avatar

Number of posts : 31
Age : 33
Location : A pub, Glasgow
Registration date : 2006-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Mon 05 Nov 2007, 21:54

P.S. Or any advisor, for that matter!

And no! We've no control over who you get transferred to! So don't ask!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
butters

avatar

Number of posts : 975
Age : 28
Location : 3 miles to the left of the universe
Registration date : 2006-03-26

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Mon 05 Nov 2007, 23:17

bandcamp wrote:
***

The fact that an insurance company (won't name who) have started advertising including the 'ONLY UK CALL CENTRES!' mantra, has gotten me a bit concerned too... in a way it's making me think we're being made to look like a load of racists.

A lot of work is going abroad, how many things are actually made in Britain? I think the whole point of the UK callers only is to do with not only the accents we can not understand (my mum has tinnitus so therefore speaking in a hard-to-understand accent will do little good), but also that they are staying within this country and not sending work abroad since it is cheaper wages there. It is not racist in my opinion.

_________________
ciao-almanac2015
butters-dooyoo

A Great site
Back to top Go down
View user profile
helencbradshaw

avatar

Number of posts : 1982
Age : 50
Location : Here, There and Everywhere, but usually in a hotel somewhere
Registration date : 2006-03-18

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Mon 05 Nov 2007, 23:21

bandcamp wrote:

Apparently a lot of companies like to have call centres based in Scotland because the of the accent - I believe 'calming' was the word used, yet it does not make the slightest bit of sense if based in Glasgow and hiring a bunch of neds (chavs) - who are anything but calming at times!

Irish as well, although it is with great pain that I admit that whenever I speak with some of my Northern Ireland counterparts I haven't got a clue what they're saying until my 'Derry' switch flips on, and I start to get a grasp about 3 sentences in to the conversation. My own Mum and Gran are from Northern Ireland and yet I still have difficulty.


/ rant over.

I think the 'accent' sales pitch by the Development Agencies such as GDA might be valid, but the area was heavily subsidised for RSA grants on CAPEX/training driving a lot of business to the areas you mention (and some in England, who also cite their accent as their advantage...even the Scousers, sorry Liverpudlians.;o) )

I really don't have a problem with accents on the phone personally, the last team I ran in Scotland seemed to have a real struggle understanding the English customers' accent, which was a bit of a shame considering the customer base and location of most of the properties (hotels). Then again I only have to live in a place five minutes and I start to absorb the new accent and dialect

I love regional differences to accent in the Uk, and it's really peculiar that we can detect a change in people who live perhaps 30 miles apart (e.g. Manchester/Liverpool) and the Irish accent is fairly easy to distnguish between Northern Ireland/Eire level, yet in Australia I couldnt detect a difference in accent from people living 2000 miles apart...
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.reviewwritersforum.co.uk
plipplop

avatar

Number of posts : 210
Registration date : 2006-04-25

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Tue 06 Nov 2007, 00:34

In actual fact, it is my plan to help UK businesses do away with people completely - they're a pain in the arse.

Self-service tills in Tesco? Love 'em!

Self-weigh counters in the Post Office? Use 'em all the time.

Down with people, I say. They're an expensive liability. They need, like, managing and everything.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
atticusuk

avatar

Number of posts : 1972
Location : Northampton
Registration date : 2006-03-08

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Tue 06 Nov 2007, 10:52

plipplop wrote:

Indian call centre advisors DO get a lot of racist abuse. I know somebody who always asks call centre advisors what colour the Tyne Bridge is. If they don't know the answer, he tells them to f off and stop taking our jobs, hoping that the companies concerned will not be able to get advisors prepared to deal with UK customers.

I would fail that question as well so the bloke is obviously a *Bad word* of the highest order.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Ciao's Favourite Member



Number of posts : 1075
Registration date : 2006-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Tue 06 Nov 2007, 23:51

A lot of the problems I've had calling Indian Call Centers is twofold.

Firstly, if the problem veers off any kind of script, it's near impossible to get any problem sorted leaving me to resort to post to get resolution. I've had issues with Sky and Next amongst others where I've had to quit a phone call and resort to email and snail mail. (Admittedly, if I can get an email address forst, I'll avoid the phone where possible

Secondly, the poor buggers have to listen to my (posh) Belfast accent, which is not easy on the ears even though I'm understood by Americans and Indians on a daily basis through work.

However the frustration involved shouldn't ever result in racism, but it would be short sighted to suggest that dislike of foreign call centres is racist.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
spoilt_little_brat

avatar

Number of posts : 1427
Age : 32
Location : Conisbrough nr Doncaster
Registration date : 2006-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Wed 07 Nov 2007, 18:41

'WHERE AM I THROUGH TO?' or 'THANK GOD I'VE GOT SOMEBODY ENGLISH'. If this is the first thing said to me, you're not making a point - you're making me think the utter worst of you.


I have this said to me a lot; it has never made me think anything bad of the customers, I understand as a customer myself where they are coming from and more often then not agree with them.
Although they work hard, there are some Indians at my work and I cant even understand them when talking face to face so god knows how they cope with people on the phones.


The fact that an insurance company (won't name who) have started advertising including the 'ONLY UK CALL CENTRES!' mantra, has gotten me a bit concerned too... in a way it's making me think we're being made to look like a load of racists. Perhaps not the case, just impatient folk who don't want to repeat themselves slowly to someone unfamiliar with their accent...
still...

I think saying it is UK only based is a good thing. Obviously there will always be someone that you cannot understand, but being put through to people who dont understand what I am saying, or I dont understand them, before I have even started to rant on about why I am calling in the first place really bugs me....saying that though, so does people calling me at work to start an account or ask a question when they dont even know a word of English Neutral
Back to top Go down
View user profile
helencbradshaw

avatar

Number of posts : 1982
Age : 50
Location : Here, There and Everywhere, but usually in a hotel somewhere
Registration date : 2006-03-18

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Wed 07 Nov 2007, 20:35

I find the UK only call centres mantra attractive for several reasons, none of which are racist or anything to do with my ability to understand accents different to my own.

However, if there were a company that guaranteed answer times and first call resolution, now THAT would be something... Laughing
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.reviewwritersforum.co.uk
spoilt_little_brat

avatar

Number of posts : 1427
Age : 32
Location : Conisbrough nr Doncaster
Registration date : 2006-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Wed 07 Nov 2007, 21:32

helencbradshaw wrote:

However, if there were a company that guaranteed answer times and first call resolution, now THAT would be something... Laughing

Sometimes in the summer as not many people have their gas on so are not having many problems with their pre-payment meter/debt, I will only take about 20 calls in 8 1/2 hours, so am just sat about with my status set as available and talking to my friends, but in the debt department as it is the time when BG send out bills/ reviews of your account there are loads of phone calls and the waiting time is always over 10 minutes, then in the winter I am taking calls one after the other. They were just changing people around to different departments when I was leaving for my maternity leave though to deal with waiting times.

The thing I find is that they say no customer should be waiting longer then X minutes (although I have seen waiting times over an hour) but that is based on each call lasting 400-500 seconds, where in reality I have calls on a daily basis that last near an hour. We also get told our average seconds per call every day and if it is above what is should be very often then you really get into trouble, when really they should be spending their energy getting more staff.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
atticusuk

avatar

Number of posts : 1972
Location : Northampton
Registration date : 2006-03-08

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Fri 09 Nov 2007, 16:53

helencbradshaw wrote:
I find the UK only call centres mantra attractive for several reasons, none of which are racist or anything to do with my ability to understand accents different to my own.

However, if there were a company that guaranteed answer times and first call resolution, now THAT would be something... Laughing

Not sure that is possible, still the best I have experienced is First Direct, no button pressing and nine times out of ten the first person you speak to sorts it out.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Ciao's Favourite Member



Number of posts : 1075
Registration date : 2006-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Sat 10 Nov 2007, 19:34

helencbradshaw wrote:
However, if there were a company that guaranteed answer times and first call resolution, now THAT would be something... Laughing

...and didn't try and sell you something while you asked them to sort out a problem!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
helencbradshaw

avatar

Number of posts : 1982
Age : 50
Location : Here, There and Everywhere, but usually in a hotel somewhere
Registration date : 2006-03-18

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Sat 10 Nov 2007, 21:13

Ciao's Favourite Member wrote:
helencbradshaw wrote:
However, if there were a company that guaranteed answer times and first call resolution, now THAT would be something... Laughing

...and didn't try and sell you something while you asked them to sort out a problem!

Now you are being completely ridiculous... Shocked
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.reviewwritersforum.co.uk
spoilt_little_brat

avatar

Number of posts : 1427
Age : 32
Location : Conisbrough nr Doncaster
Registration date : 2006-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Sat 10 Nov 2007, 22:49

Ciao's Favourite Member wrote:
helencbradshaw wrote:
However, if there were a company that guaranteed answer times and first call resolution, now THAT would be something... Laughing

...and didn't try and sell you something while you asked them to sort out a problem!

That always makes me laugh. I get quite mad at work if I get a call listened into and they pick me up for not selling electric/homecare etc to a customer who has just rang up cause we have just over charged them 500 and they are screaming and shouting how they are leaving us. But some people I know at work always try and sell even if it is a bad call!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bandcamp

avatar

Number of posts : 31
Age : 33
Location : A pub, Glasgow
Registration date : 2006-03-07

PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   Tue 13 Nov 2007, 16:02

Or you get a customer who routinely gets 'final bill/late payment!' letters, and you're supposed to 'promote' (sell) something ludicrously expensive to them...
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Racist to dislike call centres ?   

Back to top Go down
 
Racist to dislike call centres ?
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» SCRAPBOOK SAVVY DT CALL
» Stamp Illustrator Call
» Design Team Call at Jeans Art Dolls
» Kaisercraft DT call!
» Which Mai-series character do you dislike or like the most?

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
www.ReviewWritersForum.co.uk :: MEMBERS FUN AREA :: CURRENT AFFAIRS-
Jump to: