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NOT The Jetsons!

When I was younger I thought by 2008 I would be living like the Jetsons.  I expected robots to be everywhere and flying cars to be the norm.  Technology has given us a lot, but sadly I am now living in Outsourced Automated Attendant Hell….this is definitely NOT the Jetsons.

When was the last time you had a customer service issue and had to call the 800 number?  Were you stuck saying “yes”, “no”, “other options” for the better part of an hour, or did you immediately get hooked up with Ramesh?  Let me apologize to anyone that might be offended in advance.  I am not trying to stereotype…..I am simply discussing my own experiences!  Now, on to Ramesh……

I don’t know whose bright idea this whole outsourcing thing was.  Corporate America is all about making a profit!  So what if the service is shotty…..they will gladly lay us off and replace us with Ramesh and Gupti for a fraction of the cost.  

I almost feel like it’s a bad joke.  It starts when I get that computerized male voice that tells me to listen to all the menu selections before making a choice.  Him, I can stomach….it’s the cheery female that tells me to “just say the word” and she’ll assist me.  It always goes horribly wrong!  I say something like “statements” and she says “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand.  Please repeat your choice”.  I say “statements” like 5 more times and she throws out stupid stuff like “wait times” and “summer tents”!  When I am thoroughly annoyed I might sigh or suck my teeth.  That sends her in a whole new direction and out of nowhere I hear “transferring”. 

Initially I am excited because I will finally get to talk to a real person.  My excitement is short lived when I hear the accent of the person on the other end.  As a person that spent more time in India than should be allowed by law…….I can hear the head bobbling in his voice and am immediately deflated.  I know this is going to be like torture.  I have gone from one dimension of hell to another.  The automated attendant was bad……but Ramesh, who will tell me his name is Richard, is about to send my pressure up for real!  I understand we all have to work, and the customer service centers in the middle east are there ultimately to help me, but they would help me a lot more if they did something other than read from a script!

I called a certain airline today with a question about my frequent flyer account.  I noticed I didn’t get the points for my last flight, and was inquiring about how the matter could be rectified.  After ten minutes of Automated Attendant Hell, I was transferred to a representative.  As soon as he connects, I hear the head bobble in his voice.  He tells me his name is Richard….but I know he’s a Ramesh!  I go through the steps of confirming my identity and ask about the missing miles.  He proceeds to tell me “it is standard policy that it can take as many 72 hours up to one week for miles to post to your account madam” *side bar: I hate madam*.  I tell him the flight was taken in early May.  He repeats his script about 72 hours again.  I tell him my flight dates again.  This time he says “sometimes it takes a little longer than 72 hours madam, but I assure you they are being credited properly to your account.”  Now I am annoyed!  How can he assure me of anything? 

My teeth are very tight when I ask him his name.  “I am Richard, Madam,” he replies *liar*. The fact that I know his name is not Richard only adds to my fury!  “Look Richard, I took this flight 2 months ago.  Do not assure me of something you are not certain about.  Either add the miles right now or transfer me to someone that can.”  Do y’all know that fool had the nerve to repeat that 72 hour line to me again!  I was through!!!!!! 

Needless to say I hung up on “Richard” and took a few minutes to calm down and drink a cup of herbal tea.  When I called back, I did the automated attendant thing again, but this time I got Becky!  I have never been so excited to hear an American IN MY LIFE!  She was kind of dry, but anything was better than Ramesh and them!  As a matter of fact at that moment I would have preferred Boomquisha popping gum and cracking sunflower seeds in my ear over the bobble head crew! Becky assisted me and I am confident my miles will be properly credited.  In the meantime….is anyone else out there living in Outsourced Automated Attendant Hell?








July 2, 2008 - Posted by | Laughter, Opinion, Society


  1. In addition to the frustrations that these outsourced “customer service atendants” can cause, it should be known that a LARGE number of identity theft is not caused from some punk kid hacker hacking into your computer, it comes from (drumroll please)…………….. Places like India and Thailand (and other places) where “customer service” is being outsourced….go figure…!

    Comment by Lamont | July 3, 2008

  2. I agree with Lamont-I know someone that has experienced the ID theft from another country.

    It’s really depressing to think that a hardworking citizen lost their customer service job over here to a person in another country that just repeats one-liner scripts.

    Comment by Randi523 | July 3, 2008

  3. Let me see…3 days, 10 technicians from India, reboot of the hard drive, re-config of the hard drive ( I lost everything), $70, 2 hours on hold and for the in sourced american “third party” techinican to “unplug the laptop and plug it back up” and it worked. I won’t even touch the identity thft…I am still trying to dig out of that on.

    Let me just say glad I don’t practice the “right to bear arms”…I might be on the terrorist list in India!

    Comment by Venom | July 3, 2008

  4. OMG! JC you nailed this one right on the head. Whenever I have to call a certain Atlanta based carrier to make a reservation, I hold my breath because I know…I just know that although I’m right here in the ATL, my call is going straight to …………………….INDIA! Be prepared to have lots of time to spend repeating yourself. It is one of the most frustrating things I have to deal with on the “regular”. UGH!!!

    Comment by can't commit clover | July 3, 2008

  5. For me to be in Customer Service for the last 22 years, I’m also disappointed with ALL the outsourcing. I have had to deal with this w/Hewlett Packard on a regular regarding my laptop. Its frustrating to constantly have 2 repeat yourself and then get no help. They are taught to repeat the script word from word and not stray from this. It’s a shame you have to call back to get some assistance. However, this is ALL over and we wonder why US is going 2 hell n a hand basket. What happened to helping ourselves before helping someone else. I’d rather pay more to get GREAT customer service.

    Comment by JerzeeCook | July 5, 2008

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