Try to work with me if you’re in customer service…


I called the technical support desk about one month ago and someone answers the call with a foreign sounding name. I suspect, based upon the options I selected, I’ve been routed to India or Malaysia who handles this companies first level technical support.

A woman took the call and she gave her name very quickly. She said something that began with ‘P’ and ended with ‘ti’. To save my life, I would not have been able to spell nor pronounce it. I asked her to repeat it, and she sounded surprised. Even a second time, I was getting closer to her actual name but it wasn’t until I asked her to spell it when she spelled ‘Padmavati’. For whatever reason, I like to get the name of the customer service rep that I’m working with.

Look, I don’t have a problem with this company outsourcing some of their technical support. Many companies do it or used to and I’m accepting of that fact. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve spoken to someone from Asia — some speak clearer than others do although most of the time I have to get their name spelled. My complaint revolves around the representative introducing them self at the start of the call. I suspect most callers through this customer service channel are from the States or Canada and therefore may not be familiar with some of these foreign sounding names. To that end, why not have the representative introduce them self slowly and even spell their name. This might set a better tone for the call. Many American are just not used to some of the unusual names that they are introduced to over the phone. Factor in the accent and you a potential misunderstanding.

Have other Americans run into this issue calling overseas customer service support?