Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Really Grinds My Gears: Outsourcing

I haven't done one of these posts in so long because for the most part, I've been irritant free for the past six months. And when I have been pissy, I've chosen not to dwell on it.

Until today, when I got my latest credit card statement and saw a $59 charge. A $59 charge that I didn't make. You know what this means right? Yep, I had to call India.

I don't think about outsourcing on a daily basis. I know it exists and I know it sucks for pretty much everyone involved except the corporations and big businesses who are making money hand over fist off the backs of a cheaper workforce. I know it takes decent jobs away from Americans and I know that the people doing the jobs in India are probably getting paid way less than they deserve. I also know that every time I have to call India, I am a TOTAL ASSHOLE to the person I'm speaking to.

I don't mean to be an asshole. But when I saw the $59 charge on my credit card statement my eyes glazed over and I thought about all the many different ways I could spend $59 in one month: two tanks of gas, 12 gallons of organic milk, a few new outfits for the girl, a fun trip to the liquor store for Jay, new sneakers for the boy, etc. I know it may not seem like a lot, but that's my $59 dammit. So yes, cue bad mood.

I make the call. But of course the first person I talk to isn't a person at all and I have to stand in my kitchen screaming, "I WANT TO TALK TO A PERSON!" about six times until the machine says, "I understand you'd like to speak to a representative." Correct.

The machine puts me on hold and I'm forced to listen to what sounds like the soundtrack to an Indian wedding.

Then a fellow named "Tim" comes on. (Of course that's his real name.)

After I give Tim all of my information, the conversation that follows goes something like this:

Tim: How can I help you today Ms. Jackson?

Me: (on edge) Hi Tim, I'd like to dispute this $59 charge.

Tim: And why would you like to dispute it?

Me: (um, duh.) Because I didn't make it.

At this point, I don't know what else was said. The connection was really bad and I could hear a lot of feedback coming from the other representatives at Tim's workplace. Plus, Tim spoke really fast. I was put on hold again, forced to listen to more belly dancing music for 20 minutes, and then Tim returned. I think he took care of my problem. I also think I may have signed up for credit card protection. Not sure though. I guess I'll know for certain in a month or so.

As a side note to all of this: Have any of you watched the NBC show Outsourced? I haven't and have no desire to. I find the whole premise very ill conceived and honestly, just depressing to the point where it sorta makes my stomach ache. Any thoughts?


Maria Rose said...

I feeeeel your pain! I hate making those types of calls.

PSI did watch an episode of Outsourced, meh...

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Oooh no, I have too many "thoughts" to post here. My husband wanted to check out Outsourced because it is a frustration that can make either one of our heads explode.
So we did....once. Insipid.
Enough said.

One thing they got right. And I know this because back in the 80's when my company was owned by an airline they did this.

They get American names. They field calls from certain regions, let's say "Tim's" region is the great lake region of the midwest. They are given newspapers to read from Cleveland,Chicago, detroit, etc. They are current on those accents and their news. it was weird!

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

I find that my patience is gone before I get even dial the number.

I watched Outsourced...once.

The WoodLand School said...

I watched the movie Outsourced (the show is based on it) ... enjoyable. The tv show made me laugh out loud only because one character is absolutely RIDICULOUS (and also appeared in Office Space, a movie I loved).

When I called my credit card company last week I spent 1/2 an hour on the phone with a *woman* who insisted her name was "Kenneth". The absurdity made up for the annoyance :-)

Theresa said...

ugh......I'm horrible about being rude to those people too... but come on, any time you have to call customer support for any reason, you're obviously already in a bad mood for SOMETHING... or you wouldn't need to call them.

Dani said...

The Mr. takes care of all India-related calls. I deal with Comcast, the cable company.

Often times, that's a very fair trade.

Hope you get your $59. And blow it on something fun.

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

"Outsourced" is not worth watching. Trust me. I've only seen it because I'm an "Office" fan, but that's going down the tubes too.

I totally feel your pain....Nothing is more irritating than dealing with the "Tims" of the world -- oh, except for dealing with a health insurer when they try to deny a claim for stitches due to a dog bite (yes, my daughter got bit by a strange dog. I took her to urgent care. Got stitches. Our #$@(#$ health insurer said it wasn't a "certified" claim). But they like getting my on-time premiums. Grind my gears.

Jem said...

I HATE talking to people who don't have an american accent. I don't care how "racist" or un PC that is; I just don't give a shit. When business needs to be done, FREAKING TALK TO ME IN ENGLISH.

Second, I hope your issue is resolved.

Third, Outsourced sux.

Fourth, Jay and I need to hook up for a few drinks. If he can put that much away in one night, I'm sure he and you and I can have a great night.

Fifth, I may or may not have drank a bottle of wine AND vodka with my bestie tonight.

Daphne said...

I hate pretty much any sort of customer service call, but especially to the outsourced ones. It would be one thing if they were actually helpful, but usually it's just a waste of half an hour. Come to think of it, that is usually my outcome with Comcast as well.

Jessie aka Jem said...

Oh. My. Gawd. My apologies about my intoxicated comment! I still mean what I said, but maybe with a little more grace. :-) Eesh.

Mandy said...

oh i loathe being on hold with service calls...i would rather scrub the toilet any day.

outsourcing sucks. my dads a welder. he encouraged my brother and i to go into plumbing, "it's the only thing they can't outsource". now he works on a loading dock. really sucks.

Tammie said...

jessie: no offense was taken and absolutely no need to apologize. i rely on you to tell it like you mean it, un-p.c. or not. ;)

plus, im totally jealous that you can drink wine and vodka on the same night. i can only handle one drink a night anymore. im getting old.

Tammie said...

jodi: i could devote an entire blog, not just a post, to rants about my health insurance and how much they charge and how little they do. they are the worst!

Anonymous said...

I just say " Really, I am sooooo bad at understanding bad...May I please have someone who actually speaks English??" I ususally am transferred to someone stateside..right away!!