Asian customer support people are the worst x11ty billion

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Doc Brown, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Holy crap, what would possess a company to put an Asian chick on the phone for support?
    I just got off the phone with Thermaltake, and I want to slam my head into a wall to make the pain go away.
    I barely could understand her, and it was obvious that she barely
    could understand me.

    They would be better off farming it out to India.
     
  2. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    I can understand a Japanese run company wanting to hire their own. But damn, at least get one who is American born.
     
  3. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    The only reasonable objection to outsourcing is the language barrier. The language barrier is a fault of both sides; I'd still say foreigners understand americans better than the reverse.
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    negative. foreigners are only about to comprehend responses that fit within the confines of a drop-down, and are then able to read a verbatim response from the computer screen. Any deviation, follow-up, or questions requiring any thought process are strictly forbiden.

    My local telco carrier is Qwest, and I had the worst experience on Saturday dealing with a support guy from India. Really pissed me off.
     
  5. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    So, what you're saying is that it's a function of company policy, yet you're going to assign fault to 'foreigners' in general.

    Correct me here because I know you're better than that.
     
  6. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    When pushed, these guys may even admit to agreeing with your diagnosis but are limited in tshoot steps by company policy and the program in front of them.

    Get pissed at companies implementing stop-loss in such a shitty fashion.

    (I can't deny the existence of many reps, domestic and abroad, that could easily be replaced by pre-recorded voice prompts)
     
  7. mdaniel

    mdaniel S is for Shiksa

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    How is it my fault, as a native English speaker, that a company puts someone I can't understand on a help line? Its very common for people to understand a foreign language better than they can speak it. Making yourself understood to the people you're there to help should be a job *requirement*, not an option.
     
  8. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    :werd: Same with professors and TAs who don't speak English. And yet we'd be a bunch of racists or something if we fucking fired them.
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Absolutely not. The language barrier is secondary to the culture barrier. The reason why it's hard to translate certain phrases from one language to another is because the people who created those languages understood certain concepts better than others, or didn't have to find words to describe certain things. The classic example is how the Inuit have something like 50 words for different kinds of snow whereas some African tribes have no words for snow, but a much more pertinent example in this context is how there are no Japanese words for "engineer" and "system" -- I'm dead serious, I've been working on bilingual user manuals for some software for months now at work.

    Digression aside, the fact that people are raised in a culture and taught to speak a language that describes that culture and its ideals in detail is far more of an obstacle than the simple translation of words alone. If you don't believe me, try using some Russian or Scandinavian software sometime; the design considerations are drastically different than American software, with much more emphasis on proper backend functionality and much less emphasis on a comfortable user interface. It goes along the lines of Ikea furniture -- it's not that they think rectangles are comfortable, its that the comfort is secondary in importance to the strict functionality of the object. Getting around these cultural biases is the biggest obstacle to globalization, and it's what the biggest hidden cost of outsourcing is.
     
  10. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    I have more of a fair reason to feel shorted by the situation than you guys do.

    I'm Canadian born, and French was my first language.
    My mother made it very clear to me as a child that I was going to learn to speak and read English properly, no ifs ands or buts about it.

    And this lady got screwed up when I used the term case, instead of enclosure, even though I gave her the full name and model number in a very careful, and clearly spoken manner. I did so, because I realized from her strong Japanese accent that it would be helpful if I did so.

    She has no business doing the job she's been hired to do.
     
  11. dotcompals

    dotcompals New Member

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    Being an Indian ( Asia) , I am curious to know why you prefer that company to outsource to India? You find the usage of english here is far better?


     
  12. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    I can't stand indian outsource call centers; pisses me off.
     
  13. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    India was a British colony for a long time. Indians have a better grasp of both the English language and Western culture than most of Asia does, even if the advantage is only slight in comparison to a native-English-speaking country.
     
  14. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Well I don't know why it is, but I have found that the males from India that I have spoken to for support are very articulate, and not hard to understand at all.
    The women on the other hand, are not always so easy to understand.

    At least, that's been my experience.
     
  15. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    I am 1st gen American born of Indian heritage. My father has an incredible grasp of the language but the accent *still* gets people sometimes, even after 30+ years in the US. I can't pick out the accent, of course.

    About two years back I was at my cousin's and all four of our indian-born parents were in the room, purposfully speaking a language (roughly) that we did not know. We began speaking in german, which diddn't get the desired reaction. We began speaking in african-american slang (semi-english).

    That did it. They got *pissed*. "Yeah it's english, kinda." :)

    I think exposure is a good thing, but I'll agree that the customer service experience is being hurt somewhat in the effort.
     
  16. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    I remember a college physics prof (indian guy) that asked me to "restate particular sentences" for him on the fly if I thought the class wasn't able to understand. Was better than nothing, but I know some people had alot of trouble.
     
  17. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    You guys are some real braniacs sometimes. :cool:
     

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