16 June 2011
|I am Australian, I have no accent, and the amount of times I hear people go "Oh I'm so glad that you speak english, unlike the last person" infuriates me. "the last person" is someone who has just as much knowledge as I do (generally) and can do the job just as well, it's just that people tend to be biased against anyone with an accent on calls.
You can say this is not true, but working in the call industry, this is a fact. People switch off when someone isn't speaking 100% clear english to them.
Also, the gripe above about "It's always the same steps", do you know why we do that?
It's to save you hundreds of dollars and wasted time.
We don't care at all what the outcome of a broadband fault is, because we don't get charged for it.
We do it only, and soley, so that you, the customer, the one who is calling for a "simple problem", does not have their time wasted, a technician called out, only to find out that your equipment, which, just like a car, a TV, a microwave, a kettle, or anything else electronic, can fail at any given time (yes, this includes cables). If said technician comes out, and finds it's due to this, they will quite happily hand you a bill for wasting their time, and then walk away.
You have to pay that bill, because you did not want to troubleshoot.
So, is upwards of $100 worth less than an hour of your time? I'd think it would be, unless you get paid more than that.
If that is the case, do the basic troubleshooting, then just agree to the greatly increased chance it is your fault, and we'll lodge the fault for you.
We're required by law to do so. If you want to risk it, hey, who are we to try and save you money and do the right thing by you.
Also, here's a quick study case for you:
A human being, works underground in the mines, for upwards of 12 hours a day.
He does this fine, for 4 days a week on a rotating roster.
He continues to do this for 7 years.
After 7 years, he decides he's had enough, and quits.
Is it the mine that is broken, or the man?
It's the man, right?
So, if something that was working, can stop working, then why can this not be the case with electronics?
I have yet to hear a good, valid reason from someone as to why things that were working, have to continue working.
"It's brand new" Ever heard of broken out of the box?
"I've had this for 10 years like this" So was my uncles' heart, then it gave out.
"It can't be that" Who told you that? Was it someone who's going to give you the money for the fault if they were wrong? If not, then don't believe them.
"I don't want to test that" I don't want to get tested for diabetes either, doesn't mean I don't have it, just means I don't know.
"It'll take too long to test" Would you say that if you suspected you might have cancer?
"Oh, there's this growth out the side of my face, but I don't have the time to get it tested" sounds pretty silly, doesn't it? You're calling to get something fixed, not to get quick fixes. Doctors don't do it. Mechanics don't do it. Computer technicians definitely don't do it; and these are people that are actually face-to-face with the problem.
Here's an experiment for you.
Have a health issue, something random and niggling.
Call your local medical center.
Speak to the receptionist there and demand to speak to your doctor.
Complain until you get your doctor.
Proceed to explain all of your symptoms, both related and unrelated (I've got a sore toe, which has to be related to my illness even though I stepped on something which could have caused the sore toe), and get irritated when the doctor attempts to ask you some questions.
Tell the doctor that you pay him to fix this, not to try and play 50 questions over the phone.
Now, how far along that chain do you think you would get? Step 3, maybe? That's right, doctors, the people you trust with your very lives, will not attempt to diagnose issues over the phone.
Yet we do it.
So, here's a thought. If you call us, you want us to fix things, correct? (this is assuming you're not just calling because you are angry at something completely unrelated and just want to yell at someone because, after all, it's not like they've got anything better to do. Before you say this is blowing it out of proportion, I can assure you with 100% accuracy that I have had multiple calls detailing exactly that. Sure, they usually apologize after abusing call center employees, and that makes it OK, right? That's what I say to my woman when I hit her around, it's OK because I apologized afterwards.)
Therefore, if you want us to fix things (here comes the amazing mental leap, figured out with my stupendous powers of deduction), how's about you be helpful with us, and help us fix things? If we ask you something, it's not because we're being mean. It's not because we hate you. It's because we're trying to cover you, in case the tech that comes out after everythings' said and done, tries to charge you for equipment faults. We're being derelict in our duty if we don't try to do that for you. We don't want you to have to go away from the call angry because we didn't fix things, but in the end, that is real life. That is common sense. Sometimes, things just aren't able to be fixed first time.
And yes. Sometimes people make mistakes. If anyone can tell me, with complete veracity, that they have never, ever make a mistake in their entire lives, then I wholeheartedly recommend you contact the nearest center of organized religion to state your claim to a sainthood (or equivalent).
Let's just pretend you made a mistake, an honest mistake. You're going to feel pretty bad about it, right? The last thing you need, when you're trying to fix things, or even if you're fixing someone elses' mistake, is someone abusing you.
After all, if these "faceless people" on the end of the phones, were actually in your house, talking to you face to face, would you really swear at them, insult them, call them liars because they're inferring your precious hardware might be faulty, or cables might have worn out (Yes, cables, as they carry an electrical current, can get worn out. It's much more complex than that, but it does happen. Google it if you don't believe us. After all, you don't pay Google, so it wouldn't possibly lie to you, would it?). I challenge any of you to say you would. If you do say you would, then I fear for your interpersonal skills. Gone are the days where people are taught to be polite; not just "to their elders", because that does not work, and I've come across my fair share of abusive, insulting, grizzly old people who do not show respect to someone only trying to help them get back online, but to anyone and everyone.
In closing, imagine if you were on the other end of the phone, or your child, or parent, or close relation. Imagine if it was someone you love. Would you really be abusing them, for just trying to help you as best as they can? Is it really that hard to think "this person is still working here, so obviously they must have some inkling into what they are doing"?
All we ask, is that you treat us with the same respect, and trust, that you yourself would like to be treated. Believe me, if all call centers treated the customers like they treated us, there would be many more complaints than there are now.
All we are, are people, trying to do a job. Let us do that without stress, strain, anger and vitriol, and in return, we will help you to our fullest extent.