Monday, October 24, 2016

Hello, My Name is Bob!

Customer service and telemarketing services are two major pet peeves of mine.  I would be willing to bet that I have many who would jump on this bandwagon along with me.  How many times have I been interrupted in an important task by the phone ringing and it happens to be a telemarketer trying to sell me something, survey me or scam me?  It seems like it is happening more and more often.  Some days must be "the day" that most of them feel it is better to call than others.  It can be the land line or my cell phone. Better yet, when they both ring at the same time?  What is going on in telemarketing land? 

There are some ways to handle the problem, for the most part; at least to help decrease the amount of calls that you may be receiving.  Yes, there are the obvious ways, which would be to not answer or to block that number after you don't answer.  There also are some creative ways to stop them in their tracks and I must say if you have a weird sense of humor, such as I do, it can make you chuckle.  I have answered our home line when the caller asked to speak to Steve, my husband.  I said, "Speaking."  The caller said that he was sorry, he mistook my voice as being feminine on the bad phone connection that we apparently have. Then, very calmly I explained that I used to be a male but that I did the Bruce Jenner operation so now he is speaking to Stephanie.  WOW!  CLICK! Just like that, the caller could not get off fast enough.  

There is another fun way to play with their minds when you have a few moments or two.  My husband answered the phone and was asked if I could come to the phone.  He started telling the caller that he wished that I were home to come to the phone.  It was too bad that I was out with one of my boyfriends and he had no idea where I was, when I would be home and even if I would be home that night.  This time, instead of a click, there was silence before this poor man started feeling so sorry for my husband, and he said to him that he felt for him and wished he could help.  They carried on this conversation for a few more minutes.  I had to get up and leave the room to keep from laughing too loudly.  

My favorite method is the quick and easy (at least so far it has been) just come right out with the question before they get started and ask them what is the name of their company again because we are on the Federal Trade Commission Do Not Call List and we must report them.  A loud click will follow, usually before you can get all of those words out of your mouth.  

The ONLY time these methods would not work is if it is the RoboCall.  The thing to do when it is not a real live person is to just hang up as soon as you realize it is a recording so that you can block that number.  

What really is frustrating is when it becomes the RoboScam Call. We've all gotten them.  It is a recording saying that you will be arrested if you do not pay up to the IRS immediately or the ever famous one about Microsoft telling you that your computer is infected with a virus and you need to press 3 in order to be instructed on how to get rid of it.  A live person then comes on the phone line.  My husband followed it through once just because he was feeling devilish at the time.  He told the caller that yes he was on his computer, and he was clicking what he was told to click. This went on for about 5 minutes and then he told the caller that he must believe the S on the front of his shirt meant Stupid, however, he did not have his computer on and he just wasted his scam time with someone else.  We have not received another call from them to date.  Way to go!

The saying that if it sounds too good to be true, it is!  That is what I have nicknamed the recorded messages of, "You have just won a three night cruise or a stay at the Marriott.  All you need to do is press two on your phone."  Right!  

Now most of these telemarketing callers I can understand just fine. Let's move on now to major companies' customer service.  With what I have experienced and others have told me that they have experienced, I do not understand why a major company would outsource workers here in the US and go overseas.  I do understand that it costs less and I am aware of cost effectiveness.  What I do not understand is the customer service representatives' communication with me. Most of the time, I must ask them to repeat what has  been told to me.  I will say that they seem to be trained to remain calm, however, it is me not remaining calm when I can't understand what I am suppose to do in order to get my Dell back up and running. So I am sure that I am as frustrating to them as they are to me. Let me also say at this time, that the representative does not need to answer the phone by saying, "Hello, my name is Bob."  His name is no more Bob than mine is Madonna. 

Perhaps it would not hurt to have the corporations send out trainers to help in translating the American culture and possibly to work on accent neutralization in order to make for happier customers when they are dealing with a problem that requires customer service.  It is very important to be globally aware of differences and to integrate our knowledge and cultures.  What we don't need is poorly trained professionals pretending to be something that they are not.  

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