Call Centres!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by halo_jones, Aug 4, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Profit; its part of our business model if you dont like it tough

    0 vote(s)
  2. Service; your custom is important too our business

    0 vote(s)
  1. Are they about customer services or just less customer service for more profit.

    Whilst i could rant and rant i am quiet serious how long is an acceptable time to be on hold on an 0845 number when supposedly call centres are now such large employers in the UK, and of course :x offshore.

    edited for not winning the spelling bee :oops: again
  2. 0870 numbers are even worse. Cross Country trains expected me to call a premium rate number just to get fares information!


    for geographical numbers that you probably get included free in your talkplan.
  3. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    The AA caused me some similar fun last week.

    They sent me a letter to thank me for updating my policy information. I hadn't, so, concerned about identity theft, I called their 0870 number.

    After the long lecture about how wonderful they and their products are, I was invited to key in date of birth, postcode, policy number and the 'special' number printed on the letter. Then I was put through to a person, who asked my date of birth. At this point I'd been on the phone ten minutes, and my patience was in short supply.

    Me 'I've just keyed in my date of birth, isn't it on your screen?'
    Call Centre Lady 'the computer is broken and can't pass me the information you've keyed in, so I can't talk to you because of Data Protection'.
    Me 'but I'm ringing you about a potential threat to my data protection, and you already have four pieces of information proving who I am'
    Call Centre Lady 'I can't help it, the computer is broken'
    Me 'so even if I talk to you you can't log the fact that someone who isn't me has updated my policy information'
    Call Centre Lady 'I can't talk to you until you give me your date of birth'
    Me 'Please may I talk to a supervisor?'
    Call Centre Lady 'They're all busy at the moment; can someone call you back?'

    Me, screaming loudly, puts the phone down.

    Anyway, Supervisor Lady did call me back.

    No process exists to speak to people if the computer is broken.
    No standard letter saying that in fact it was the Post Office who had updated my information by sending out a new version of their address software.
    Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Guess where the 'invitation to renew my policy' is now?

    Call Centres. Our way of cutting costs whilst continuing to increase charges. Customers can like it or lump it.
  4. And once again shifted too India because they cant deal with my query in the UK office ... i should have put this in the NAAFI and at what cost as i have to call on a mobile also.
  5. A useful thing to remember when contacting any call centre is they will answer the money making calls before any others. The best way to beat the system is not to press any other numbers once you get through, if you do nothing the call will "default" to an operator as soon as one is available which saves you sitting in a queue waiting for one of the 2 1/2 agents they put on the queue answering non-monet making queries.
  6. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    They're getting wise to that. Recently I was told by the screening system 'you have not selected an option. Please try again'.

    Not sure about the money-making bit, either. Here's a recent example of where they'd rather be incompetent and cost themselves money, than be competent and carry on collecting.

    Pipex - excellent broadband, utter cr'p admin.

    For some reason, Sainsbury's have changed from Visa to Master card.
    I rang Pipex to explain to the nice man in India that the old card number won't work any more. I gave him the new card number, and all the other details. He assured me that my new card will now be billed for my broadband. I wasn't sure he understood what was going on, and he did have to repeat a lot of what I said.
    Six weeks later I get Pipex's Brummie credit chasing department on the phone wanting to know why I've missed a payment.

    I honestly don't know which was worse, but I do know that neither of them had command of English, neither of them understood the concept of customer service, and neither of them had any idea why I might have been even mildly irritated by their company's behaviour.

    Pipex Brummie had a classic reply to my request to speak to a supervisor 'They're in another building and they're all too busy to talk to you'.
  7. As an aside, a company called me yesterday after being given my details (and presumably my debt) by a service company I owe money to.

    'Is that Mr ****** speaking?'

    'Yes, it is. What is it you want?'

    'First, I want you to give me your name, date of birth, the first line of your address, and your postcode please.'

    I'm sorry, but I'm not giving those details to just anyone over the phone. Particularly to people I don't know that have made unsolicited calls asking for them.'

    'But unless you confirm your details, I can't speak to you. Data protection Act.''

    'What do you want?'

    'We are a debt-recovery company, and I need to have you confirm your details.'

    'See, I really only have your word for that, but you could confirm your identity by just telling me how much I owe, and to what company.'

    'I can't, data protection'

    'Then we seem to have reached an impasse madam. Goodbye'.

    This debt had been passed to a 'debt recovery company' after my partner called them, credit card in hand, and offered to make an arrangement to pay the outstanding amount off. They refused the money, repeatedly, because she was not the person named on the account.
  8. GFB,
    Believe it or not there are still people out there with rotary-dial telephones and that is why all call-centres have a default answering point - that and on the odd occasion that a push-button phone may be faulty.

    I know where your coming from though, I had an even worse experience with TalkTalk aka Carphone Warehouse which also has its CC in India. After waiting 48 mins to be answered I was taken through the usual scripted responses i.e. have you turned your PC off then on again etc.

    I knew it was a network fault from the info shown on my router but would this guy have any of it - no way. He gave me another 0870 number to call which was his 2nd line support and when I asked him to put me through he said he couldn't because he was in India and the only number he had was the 0870 one which he could not use from his location.

    Little wonder there has been such a huge backlash from disgruntled customers demanding that they get at least a natural english speaker to deal with queries.
  9. I had a problem with my Sky BB Modem and kept getting some call centre in India, she was very polite, but - I couldn't understand a bloody word she was saying - so I hung up and tried a different option and got some bloke in Northern Ireland with the strongest Belfast accent I'd ever heard, he was brilliant he got me sorted out in about 20 seconds.
  10. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    The BT Indian Call Centre is the worst.

    I have 'caller with-held' permanently on my phone. I'd started to think it had stopped working.

    Trying to get Mr. Mumbai/Chennai to understand what the facility was and why I thought it wasn't working took fifteen minutes.
    Then, in a voice just like the chap in 'It Ain't Half 'Ot Mum' he said
    'Yes Madam, you are registered for that service. Is there anything else I can do for you?'.


    Their Irish and Scottish Centres are much better though.
  11. msr

    msr LE

    You "Which section?"

    Them "Er, um"

    You "Right, so stop talking sh1te and tell me <whatever you wanted to know>."

    Simple :)

  12. And it just gets worse having been in to my bank it is a reasonable size branch, and ask to see the branch manager.

    Then after explaining all i.e. Mahoosive student loan, no job at all on the immediate horizon and not money to cover a DDM about to go out and my proposed plans and problems.

    She says she has to call the call centre. to get authority to deal with my case, and by her attitude she hate Indian call centres as much as the customers

    The world has truely gone made
  13. Thanks 'Ripley' nice link and now in my browser favorites
  14. Actually, an increasing number of companies are moving their call centres back to the UK because the widespread discontent by the public – as expressed in this topic – is buggering up their brands. I think it was Nationwide who were rather smarter than the others and spent a year or more researching the matter first. They concluded not to touch India, nor any other country for that matter, because they feared the impact on their reputation.

    Furthermore, I was told a while back by someone who provided consultancy services to one of the major banks, that his client was losing more money than it was saving due to its customers moving their accounts to other banks because of unsatisfactory service from its overseas call centre.

    So the big companies are learning but it will take time for them to change.

    Finally, I am a director and founder of a call centre, and our average time to answer is 10 seconds so don’t condemn all of us!

    Granted, however, we are not in a colossal aircraft hanger with hundreds of agents sitting in coops. We operate a bespoke live telephone answering service and we answer calls on behalf of clients when they can’t answer them themselves – media response, lines busy, no one in the office, out of hours, staff absent, people in meetings, emergency call outs, help lines etc.

    If the mods will allow it, I would be happy to give a link to our website so people can get a feel for what we do. I will enquire.