Call Centres-yikes!!

So, what did you do Friday night?
Friday evening ,after work, is the most relaxing time, knowing for the next two mornings, we don’t have to curse the alarm and rush with eyes half-open to the shower and run the rest of the marathon.
And wouldn’t you want to strangle a guy who is hellbent on spoiling your evening because he just wouldn’t start listening and stop talking,endlessly rehearsing the lines he’s learnt.
What I’m talking here is trying to book an air ticket on the phone and getting a desi guy, with nascent-English skills and no common-sense or IQ at all, on the phone!!
The story goes like this…we had to book tickets from India to US for my parents-in-laws’ upcoming visit, this summer. My husband was browsing fervently for a couple of days to get good deals, but its summer so forget about good deals, the airfares are skyhigh!!
Anyway he promised he’d finish booking that Friday evening and we would head out for dinner, it had to be done this Friday. And he finally got the best possible with our desired no of stops, layover times etc at orbitz.com. And he was about to book it online, when I popped in-“Why don’t you call them up once to know the change/cancellation policies?”
I had this look on,which translated to-‘Its our hard-earned money, just so you know!!’
And wish he hadn’t like always, but this time he decided to pay heed to my advice, though he claimed he knew the answers, just to avoid seeing my blown-up-as-a-balloon face on a Friday, he dialed the 1-866- number...?.
So the one-sided unperturbed conversation was on – “This is Anil sir, how may I help you” and soon “sir” changed to a heavily accented “Pharaag” for “Parag” ,and not affected at all by any trials of interruptions, started the saga of best deals et al, like a 1st-grader would recite the rote table of 4.
My husband was thouroughly irked and giving me the look of –‘Why do you put me through all this’, but anyway he did succeed to intercept and say ‘Cancellation policy’, when phat came another one like a table of 5 –‘Its $50 fee for the airline and $30 for our services for any change’.This conversation was on the speaker phone,so I wrote out on a paper, like the wise one-
Q1. What if we have to cancel?
Q2.Till when is the ticket valid?
But that guy, soon as he would hear the keyword ‘Cancel/cancellation’, it would trigger him to rattle off with ‘ $50$+$30, that’s $80’.
I had to barge in then and I shouted at him in the most acerbic tone –‘Listen, I understand and remember by heart that $50 + $30 story, but I have a different question.’
This time he got a little intimidated and said he would forward the call to his superior. And we were on an endless hold. And thankfully the superior did answer the questions and we were spared of the patience-test.
But by the time the final booking was done, the evening was over!!
All hopes of Chinese or Italian cuisine were razed to the ground and I had the cooker shouting and announcing the humble ‘arhar daal’ ready and the rice cooker saying COOKED. And to top it all, all this talk was on the kitchen phone,so I had to periodically shush and cajole the Hawkins cooker’s whistle throughout,with hubby’s glowering eyes on the poor thing, as if the cooker were the monster in this ordeal!! Next time dear, you plan to call 1-800 number, don’t you dare do it in the kitchen - lesson generated, hope its learnt!!

Comments

  1. Too good Sara..awesome...

    I really wait for ur posts for you very well create a mental image in the eyes of the reader..!!

    Ultimate patience test..i wld say..

    At times it really helps to directly go to the airlines counter..Here in Germany, we cant even call the helpdesk, for Germans prefer to reply only in their language..))

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  2. True, that it was an ordeal that can give a nightmare any time you come to think of it...however, the good side of it, I hope, is to trust your hubby..when he says he knows the answers :-).

    A lesson learnt !!

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  3. a truly welcome entry Sara, really waited a long for yet another of ur vividly knitted post! really made me felt as if I was actually hearing that cooker shout! :)

    I had few experiences too, esp as my employer is from US. Whenever I make a call at helpdesk, it goes all around the world but US. Many times its Indians and as u said, they wud skip their 'accent' on hearing Indian on other side.

    But just a day before I bumped in some Brazilian dame, and boy! it was a tough conversation as I had to give her my full name! After 30 mins we were done with half, and I had to tell her, "Cool! We did it! but thats just the first half, rest is still pending!"

    And mind it, my call gets routed mostly all the way from Hyderabad to Pheonix to Chennai!! :)

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  4. Hey Jas...thats a terrible routing from Hyd to Pheonix to Chennai..wondering who is ur service provider...)

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