Friday, February 29, 2008

Update From Bangalore: My Gas Technician Will Be Here "Between the Day"

Wow. I've had some frustrating calls with Indian customer service reps, mostly because I have a hard time understanding people with thick accents anyway, much less over my crappy Verizon cell phone. This guy was either hard of hearing himself or some kind of idiot, because I literally repeated everything, EVERYTHING three times, and not cause he asked, but because I'd say it and there would just be silence, and he'd then keep talking like I hadn't said anything.

Washington Gas has had my last name misspelled since I turned the service on, so I figured I might as well fix that. Oh -- wait, first, he was like, "That's not the phone number we have on record," and I said, "I only have one phone, so why don't you?" He then ran off some Maryland number I've never heard of. Idiots. Then we had some fun trying to spell my name. After five or six repeats, using military letters (alpha beta): "That's only three letters." "I SAID TWO S'S!! ARG!"

"Is that all?" "Uh, no, I already told you that's not the reason why I was calling -- why would I wait on hold for 45 minutes to change two letters in my name?"

So I explained to him the situation, which he did not understand, but put me on hold anyway. Then he came back, asked me to repeat it, put me on hold. Then he came back, asked for one bit of info, put me on hold. One more bit of info. On hold. And everytime he came back he said, "Thank you for your patience with holding," and...well you can guess what I wanted to say to that.

I read him the "flex connector" thing from the note. Which he didn't hear at all, even though it took me at least 10 seconds to read fully. Then he kept asking, "Is it fixed?" "I can't tell from this note." "Okay, but is it fixed?" "I don't know!!" Three minutes later. "Did he fix the problem?" "I AM NOT A GAS TECHNICIAN, HOW THE HELL WOULD I KNOW IF IT'S FIXED!!"

After my 20th time on hold he came back and said, "Okay we'll try to send out a technician today." "What do you mean *try*? I've been without heat for 2 days and it's 20 degrees outside. Send one over NOW. This should be your top priority." "Okay please hold." Then: "Okay a technician will be coming over between the day." "What?" "*unintelligible english*" "Wait, what?" "Between the day." "Oh my god, that is NOT an English phrase." "Please hold." Two minutes later, "Okay a technician will be coming over between the day."

[[smashes head on desk]]

They tell you at the beginning of the phone call that you should stay on the line after you speak with a rep for a customer survey. Of course I've never actually done that because my phone calls to Washington Gas typically end with me with hanging up angrily on the service rep and throwing my phone across the room. This time I held on: "Washington Gas is having technical difficulties." And then I got sent to the main menu.



At 9:38 AM, February 29, 2008, Blogger christian said...

Thank you, come again!

At 9:42 AM, February 29, 2008, Anonymous Max said...

Say it ain't so! Washington Gas has an Indian help desk? That is so f'ed up. But really, it doesn't matter where a company's help desk resides -- they all suck. When you call Comcast in DC I expect them to answer the phone by saying, "Thanks for callin' Comcast, what the fuck do you want motherfucker?....OK we'll be there between 8am and 5pm, bitch!"


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