Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Engaged in Battle with the Call Centre; Let's Get One Thing Straight. If I'm Meeting You Socially or Ordering a Hamburger, Feel Free to Call Me Mate. If You Work for My Bank or Phone Company, I'll Settle for {Lsquo}sir' or {lsquo}Mr Bathersby'

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Engaged in Battle with the Call Centre; Let's Get One Thing Straight. If I'm Meeting You Socially or Ordering a Hamburger, Feel Free to Call Me Mate. If You Work for My Bank or Phone Company, I'll Settle for {Lsquo}sir' or {lsquo}Mr Bathersby'

Article excerpt

Byline: TUESDAY With Damian Bathersby

IS anyone else out there who really, really, really objects to dealing with an Indian-based call centre every time they want to talk to their bank or some other corporate giant?

It's not a racist thing and it's not about the fact they are taking jobs away from Australian workers.

Sure, I object to that but it's not at the front of my mind when I've rung my bank or phone company with a simple inquiry, only to be greeted by someone with an Indian accent calling me "mate".

Let's get one thing straight.

If I'm meeting you socially or ordering a hamburger, feel free to call me mate.

If you work for my bank or phone company, I'll settle for "sir" or "Mr Bathersby".

What really gets up my nose is the number of times the language barrier turns a simple query into a major drama.

It seems we now have to spend 15 minutes going around in circles while the person on the other end works out what I want and I try to translate what they are telling me.

We went through sheer hell a few years back because of exactly that scenario. We needed to increase our credit card limit, which was achieved with little drama with someone in Australia.

But then, just 12 hours before we needed to access the money, we had a simple query about previous statements and this time our call went through to India.

My wife had the pleasure of going around in circles for a good 30 minutes with an Indian man named Bruce (yeah, right), during which time he found it impossible to get a handle on what was a really simple request.

My wife demanded to speak to his supervisor or someone in Australia but Bruce refused, claiming he was the ultimate authority in the whole wide world.

So she gave up in disgust and said something along the lines of: "Look, don't worry about it. Just cancel it, okay! …

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