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English language barrier rant

Mr Allen

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I apologise in advance for going on a long angst filled rant here but I need to get this off my chest.

I speak very clear English in a Sheffield accent, yet when I'm on the phone, nobody can understand me, particularly call centres, both UK and Indian ones.

It's rather annoying and I'm wondering who's to blame? Do I need speech therapy? Or are they just ignorant of people who do not speak the Queen's English, ie Posh people?

Has anyone else who is Aspie in England had this problem? Where you speak in a local dialect on the phone but people can't understand you?
 
It hasn't happened to me in the UK, but it has happened to me here, being a foreigner speaking a foreign tongue. I say one word slightly wrong, or I stress the wrong syllable, and it becomes incomprehensible to them. It's frustrating.
 
Rich - If the call center can't understand you, or you can't understand them, just ask them to transfer you to someone else to complete your call. I can rarely understand call centers with Indian or Asian employees so I just ask to be transferred to someone else, preferably a native English speaker.
 
When I was in the uk, I felt exactly as you do, Rich and in fairness, they should hire only people who can speak clearly.

I have been living in France for 19 years now and they are not known for hiring any other cultures other than French, unless I guess if one is in Paris.

In fact, to get a job as a foreigner in France, one MUST speak VERY good French, otherwise, they will not bother hiring or if you are in a lone job, then perhaps that would be different.

But all call centres here, are French and thus, I am pretty sure that the French would be up in arms, if someone was hired to communicate with the French public and they spoke bad French and the French would not be above saying that you should try and speak their language.

My husband and I have been complimented numourous times for speaking French and I do not speak fluient, but it is the effort that counts.
 
When I was in the uk, I felt exactly as you do, Rich and in fairness, they should hire only people who can speak clearly.

I have been living in France for 19 years now and they are not known for hiring any other cultures other than French, unless I guess if one is in Paris.

In fact, to get a job as a foreigner in France, one MUST speak VERY good French, otherwise, they will not bother hiring or if you are in a lone job, then perhaps that would be different.

But all call centres here, are French and thus, I am pretty sure that the French would be up in arms, if someone was hired to communicate with the French public and they spoke bad French and the French would not be above saying that you should try and speak their language.

My husband and I have been complimented numourous times for speaking French and I do not speak fluient, but it is the effort that counts.

Well 30 years ago I did French at school, but I've now forgotten most of it :(
 
I don't think this sort of thing is anyone's fault as such. It's just the result of the melding of a global economy and communications technology permeated with cost considerations. All of which have brought a wide variety of nationalities, individual regions and cultures who would normally have little to no contact with one another.

Then factor in whatever role stress may involve between both the customer who needs help and a service representative who may or may not have the ability to properly troubleshoot the issues with a minimum of information provided. An employee who is likely underpaid in a position with inherently high turnover rates.

We as consumers are ultimately at the mercy of corporate entities who choose to optimize or minimize their customer service which may well be factored into the cost of their goods and services. Where having local customer service and paying more for it might just prove to be worth it, as opposed to paying less at the outset and discovering outsourced customer service is damn near worthless.

About all we can do as conscientious consumers is to research such concerns before we commit to them. Where avoidance is probably our best option. Though admittedly only if and when possible.
 
The problem with call centers is the call center. I have no speech issues but suddenly do when dealing with a call center.
 
The problem with call centers is the call center. I have no speech issues but suddenly do when dealing with a call center.

Some of them seem difficult to determine whether their primary function is to simply exasperate customers into hanging up, or actually make a concerted effort to help them, regardless of what the problem might be.

And the more they automate such functions, the more I'm inclined to think they really don't care. Worse perhaps when they may perceive themselves as a local monopoly.
 
Some of them seem difficult to determine whether their primary function is to simply exasperate customers into hanging up, or actually make a concerted effort to help them, regardless of what the problem might be.

And the more they automate such functions, the more I'm inclined to think they really don't care. Worse perhaps when they may perceive themselves as a local monopoly.

I hate that "press 1 for this, press 2 for that" crap, I need to speak to an actual human FFS! And when they do finally put you through to someone, you've probably been on the phone half an hour, in most cases it's a good job they're on 0800 (free, like 1-800 numbers in North America) numbers.
 
I hate that "press 1 for this, press 2 for that" crap, I need to speak to an actual human FFS! And when they do finally put you through to someone, you've probably been on the phone half an hour, in most cases it's a good job they're on 0800 (free, like 1-800 numbers in North America) numbers.

A routine I must endure every time with my cable provider. Where I'm practically screaming "AGENT!" as the primary method of being transferred to a live person instead of a machine. But that queue only works after so much time has lapsed while talking to a machine. :mad:

So by the time I get a real human being on the line, I'm somewhat less then my cordial self. :p
 
LOL, Judge you win the prize for the understatement of the week :D

It is kind of silly to think of what those folks are paid when the real skill sets required for such a job involve psychology, diplomacy, technical prowess, the patience of Job and the ability to be understood and discern multiple dialects and accents of those whose native tongue is likely not their own. :eek:
 
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