A corporate firewall of incompetence

Have you ever wondered why big giant corporations and utilities have so many brainless morons working in things like "customer service" and "billing"?

I think I've figured it out.

Since my move from Pennsylvania to Michigan, I have spent untold hours on hold trying to have my utilities and services at the old address disconnected. I was assured that they were, and provided them with my new address for final bills. Yet to my astonishment, they went right on billing me!

Now, you could argue that the people who were supposed to close the accounts were incompetent. They probably were. Each time I got through to a person, I heard inordinate amounts of typing -- as if the person was writing a long essay instead of just the words "CLOSE ACCOUNT." I figured that they must have been doing whatever they're supposed to do to close my account, but I was wrong.

I had moved out in early August, and went through all of this, so naturally when the September electric and gas bills came, I was furious. So I called and told them I no longer lived there, and demanded that they close my account. To this they said that they could not close the account because they could not turn off service unless someone was there! I went around and around with them, saying I was in Michigan, and that it was up to whoever did or didn't move in to take care of any new service, but they disagreed, saying it was my responsibility. Amazing. (And absolute nonsense; I'm pretty sure thus was a cover for the fact that they just don't want to do their job and close the account, because they simply don't know how.)

Now, I have read many reports about people getting turned off for non-payment, so it occurred to me that this might be a legal loophole I could cleverly exploit to my advantage. So I told the insistent idiot to listen very carefully, and go tell her supervisor that I simply would not pay the bill, and that I was demanding that they disconnect me for non-payment! This did get her attention, so she put me on hold for around forty five minutes. (Fortunately, I have a speakerphone so I can do other things while on hold.)

Amazingly, her supervisor talked to a "field supervisor" and sure enough, the message was relayed back to me that I did not have to pay for the period after which I told them I was no longer there!

One thing that works to my advantage in dealing with customer service people is that I'm a veteran phone holder, and I'm onto the "long hold" game. I know that they realize most people will simply hang up, and let them "win."

Yes, many times when I have been in a hurry, I have given up and let them win, much as it kills me. But as Barack Obama would say, "Not this time."

If it had just been the gas and electric bill that this happened with, I probably wouldn't have bothered with a blog post. But I have seen similar behavior so many times and in so many companies that I have learned that stupidity and delay work to the advantage of companies that want your money, and once they have what's called an "account," the inextricably intertwined nature of incredibly incompetent people and deliberate understaffing can transform closing an account from a simple phone call into a major time commitment (but, if your persistence pays off, a real achievement is possible).

And just now, I had another major achievement! I got my water service finally turned off! Yes, I had called before (back in August), and went through the usual interminable hold which is called "billing," talked to the slow-witted people I know can neither count nor spell, and was told I would get a final bill at the new address. Two months later, I got a new bill today, for October!

Another call, another interminably long hold, while listening to the tappy tappy noises far in excess of the amount of tapping which should be required. Finally I was told that "someone probably made a mistake" but that "an email has been sent."

Whether I'll get a bill next month remains to be seen. But at least I didn't let them win by hanging up.

The magic of this, this corporate firewall of incompetence, is that it doesn't have to be created deliberately, and it might not have been originally.

Simply hire the most idiotic possible human beings to talk to any account holder who wants to close an account, and hire as few of them as possible. The result is that fewer accounts will be closed. For every determined asshole like me, there are inevitably other busy people who just give up and pay. Factor in the type of accounts that automatically debit people's credit cards, and the result is a lot of people paying for things they don't want, but can't get rid of because they don't have time.

(And if anyone thought this was bad, you should hear about the time I tried to close my satellite radio account. It took days. Only a crazy person should try it.)

UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and a warm welcome to all.

The personal experiences related in the comments are fascinating.

(Obviously, I'm not alone in my suspicions.)

posted by Eric on 10.16.08 at 03:01 PM










Comments

Instead of taking statistics, my school let me take a management science class that used statistics. It didn't use them much, but I had zero desire to take "sadistics". I love math, but that's not math, that's spinning math.

Anyway, the point.
There were all kinds of formulas for how much you could piss off your customers before you started losing more money by them leaving you than you saved by pissing them off.
You know how they figure out how many cashiers in a supermarket? Figure out how many customers they expect, how long each person takes to check-out and how long it takes someone to get so angry that they won't come back to that store and try to keep you as close to the line while keeping you on the "will come back" side. They also use the same formulas for how many operators to have.

While the course I took didn't mention it, I figure they must have formulas on how angry people can get with incompetent/unhelpful operators before they refuse to deal with you. Obviously monopolies like electric and water companies can have a much higher "piss off quotient". After all, what are you gonna do? Build a windmill or dig a well?

I understand that's a necessary part of business, but I purposely have set my "goodbye" number very low. If you try to walk the edge of pissing me off, then you've pissed me off.
The list of companies I won't deal with is getting pretty long, maybe I'm cutting off my face to spite my nose, but screw em. That's how I roll.

Veeshir   ·  October 16, 2008 3:47 PM

I am led to believe that the magic incantation "State Attorney General's Office" has power over their kind.

Such as "You said you'd closed the account and since you've kept on billing me anyway and refuse to close the account and refund me for what you illegitimately billed, I'm calling the...".

The other useful magic phrase is "Consumer Affairs Reporter At [Local Major Newspaper]", or whatever the local version is called.

Sigivald   ·  October 16, 2008 4:25 PM

Some companies have a system where billing is deliberately set up as a completely distinct unit, physically separated from the main office which handles delivery of whatever the service is.

This wall of separation is so solid, the main office can't even transfer you.

So, when comes the day you cancel, you eventually find that your credit card is still getting billed. So you call the main office, and they don't even have any record of you anymore -- but that "other" office still has your credit card, and is still billing it. Get the card # changed, and the bastards *find* it and bill it again, while the main office still says nothing we can do, there's no record of you here, and the tell you to FAX YOUR CARD NUMBER to some nondescript number purportedly at the "billing" office. (The credit card company was aghast that a non-thief would ever direct people to do that.)

At no point did they specifically "steal my money"; they just set the system up in hopes of piling up as much "accidental" collections as possible, and then make the process of recovering the money onerous enough to increase the odds of simple surrender on our part.

Fortunately, my credit card issue found this sort of thing very annoying, so their fraud dept. was tipped off to monitor all bills from that particular source.

This has happened *twice* to me, both with annual autobilling, so I absolutely will not do that anymore.

The moral of the story:

Avoid "pull" autobilling at all costs. Stick to "push" payments that YOU must initiate, each time; your bank's billpay system should be able to do that, as well as the old-fashioned way of getting billed and mailing checks.

If you must use "pull", use an AMEX credit card, or failing that, a VISA or MasterCard. The CC companies don't like this sort of thing either, and are inclined to be in your corner, especially if you can document.

Seerak   ·  October 16, 2008 5:09 PM

A paper trail is often helpful, too. I usually back up my calls with a letter, and my follow up calls begin "I refer you to my letter of....". It gets their attention and is woth the 10 min and 42 cents it takes.

lbphilly   ·  October 16, 2008 5:57 PM

Veeshir, I didn't know they were that cynical, but it doesn't surprise me. For a short period of time I worked in the customer service department of a magazine marketed to children and a majority of the calls we got were from irate parents complaining about the marketing department. They did the usual renewal notices starting so far in advance of the subscription expiration that people were getting their first renewal notice not long after their first magazine issue.

There followed a series of progressively more aggressive notices that eventually got to the point of "if you don't renew this magazine, then you don't love your children." Sooner or later most customer service reps would explain to the marketing people that if they weren't such jerks, we'd get fewer cancellations. They'd point to their charts and disagree.

The customer service reps hated the marketing department with a passion.

tim maguire   ·  October 16, 2008 6:24 PM

Maybe the solution is to band together, Galt's Gulch style, and form co-ops to take care of each other in a sensible way.

Some guy   ·  October 17, 2008 2:44 AM

"Days" is nothing. I spent SIX MONTHS trying to shut off ADT monitoring service to a house I moved out of. The only thing that seemed to finally get their attention was asking American Express to open an investigation into whether or not I'd been improperly billed. They concluded that I had, but could only refund 90 days of charges.

That was fine, by that point; I was just worried I'd be paying for it for years (and likely would have been otherwise).

jvon   ·  October 17, 2008 4:58 AM

That's certainly AOL's scheme.

moviegique   ·  October 17, 2008 5:09 AM

I've always found, "as it happens, I'm an attorney and understand that you have a duty to do _____. Since you don't seem to be able to do it, could you please provide me with the address for corporate counsel, so that I can send them a letter advising them of the lawsuit I am about to file?"

No, it doesn't get my account squared away on the spot. But it ends the endless game of Customer Hot Potato, and funny enough, within three or four days of writing a short letter to corporate counsel, I usually get a phone call from a supervisor apologizing, and informing me I've got my way.

Now, it's entirely possible you don't have three years of your life to dedicate to studying the law, the energy to study for and pass the bar, and the willingness to pay a couple hundred bucks per state of licensure to keep a law license current. On the other hand, you probably are smart enough to be able to ask for counsel's address and then look up your state's laws on unfair trade practices.

Al Maviva   ·  October 17, 2008 5:33 AM

I've always found, "as it happens, I'm an attorney and understand that you have a duty to do _____. Since you don't seem to be able to do it, could you please provide me with the address for corporate counsel, so that I can send them a letter advising them of the lawsuit I am about to file?"

No, it doesn't get my account squared away on the spot. But it ends the endless game of Customer Hot Potato, and funny enough, within three or four days of writing a short letter to corporate counsel, I usually get a phone call from a supervisor apologizing, and informing me I've got my way.

Now, it's entirely possible you don't have three years of your life to dedicate to studying the law, the energy to study for and pass the bar, and the willingness to pay a couple hundred bucks per state of licensure to keep a law license current. On the other hand, you probably are smart enough to be able to ask for counsel's address and then look up your state's laws on unfair trade practices.

Al Maviva   ·  October 17, 2008 5:33 AM

This is mainly the result of hiring incompetent people. Many of these type positions in companies either hire incompetence or employees who have achieved a high level of incompetence or indifference are sent to these departments.

monique   ·  October 17, 2008 6:30 AM

This is mainly the result of hiring incompetent people. Many of these type positions in companies either hire incompetence or employees who have achieved a high level of incompetence or indifference are sent to these departments.

monique   ·  October 17, 2008 6:32 AM

Had a similar problem with the AT&T merger w/ BellSouth. I apparently was sending my bill payments to the wrong (old) address - and they couldn't figure it out on their end to move the money from 1 account to the other.

Not to mention I was getting 2 bills instead of my former 1 for a single phone account.

Needless to say, we are no longer with them.

GaMongrel   ·  October 17, 2008 6:49 AM

We seem to be turning into Russia, where (at least in the past) people waited years for a phone hookup and stood in lines for days for routine administrative services.

I inadvertently stumbled on the solution to the autopay dilemma and how to get rid of those pesky debits when I lost my card and had to have it replaced. The debits fail due to new #/new exp. date. It's a major pain replacing lost cards but easier than getting rid of these auto payments.

The convenience of electronic debit and a checkless system is an almost total loss of power and control over our own money. I am sure this is a feature and not a bug -- of the banking system. The dangers of a cashless society are real. And yes, everyone working for customer service IS an idiot. Companies won't pay for competence and have nothin but contempt for their customers.

Peg C.   ·  October 17, 2008 7:07 AM

The is due to the nature of outsourcing and callcenters.

I do phone tech support, and I've noticed that the great weakness of outsourcing is that outsourced companies don't have the authority to make decisions.

And the companies that do the outsourcing have VERY tight contracts. If they deviate from what is allowed or scripted, they can lose cash or lose the contract, there are plenty of other call centers ready to take their jobs.

This is the real cost of oursourcing the ability to fix things at the first level.

Peter I.   ·  October 17, 2008 7:10 AM

In France (where I live) the only way to get a "service" to stop is to send them a registered letter canceling it. This does however work 100% of the time because they can't claim they lost the letter and is pretty fast.

FrancisT   ·  October 17, 2008 7:14 AM

The pervasive culture of ineptitude in the US is one of the top three reasons I left the country. It only took one visit to the local immigration office ... dealing with a smiling, helpful government employee, who gave me the right information and got me in and out in 5 minutes ... to never want to return.

Render   ·  October 17, 2008 7:21 AM

Take the power into your own hands.

Many companies allow you to charge the monthly bill to a credit card. Once you move, simply tell the card company to stop the charges since you cancelled service.

Quite simple.

Dr. K   ·  October 17, 2008 7:21 AM

Shoot, the utilities are nothing. They're rank children, in fact. Try dealing with PayPal sometime.

Letalis Maximus, Esq.   ·  October 17, 2008 7:29 AM

After a long hold at a remote division of the power company

Me: Did you know that your music on hold is Beethoven?

Secretary: There's nothing we can do about it.

Ron Hardin   ·  October 17, 2008 7:40 AM

You could have just said their practices amounted to wire fraud under the RICO Act.

/Not a lawyer.

Typewriter King   ·  October 17, 2008 7:45 AM

Never give these companies your credit card number for autopay. Never let them automatically debit your bank account.

I have a bank account I use to make electronic payments for regular monthly bills. For things like gas, water & electric, I use the monthly payment plan. If the company doesn't have one, I just make up my own based on my annual usage.

Then, I set up an allotment from my paychecks to cover the bills, and automatic payments over the internet from the bank account. All I do is check the bills each month to make sure they are right, & that I paid enough to cover last month's bill. If I didn't, I make an extra payment to cover it.

When I move, I'll go into the account, stop the automatic payments, pay the last bill, & leave. They can bill me all they want after that - they don't have my money, or any ability to get my money from a credit card or automatic debit.

punditius   ·  October 17, 2008 7:55 AM

Eric,

I would suggest some modifications to your observations.

1) The BS you went through generally is not so much the incompetence of the CSR but that of the systems analyst (SA) that they hired. The sad fact is the SA was some consultant from IBM, Perot Systems or Accenture that does not no sh^& about the firms business. They sell a canned piece of crap, 'you can any system you want as long as it is corrupted', that has to be "worked around" to get anything done. That is why you hear all that tap-tap-tap in the background.

2) Management at a contact center is severely stratified. A first level CSR can't do didly if its not on the script. [If I hear one more, 'I can take care of that sir...'; I will scream.] Second level Sups have some latitude for problem resolution. But you really want to get to a manager if you can. They are the only ones typically that have over ride capability on the computer system.

3) Its a statistical probability that the system as designed was not programmed to lose customers. I have seen 2 system designs from well know development houses that have lost contracts because they never thought about the fact that customers are 'portable' and will move!

4) What I have found most useful in these times is a 'bundle account' . It is used solely for paying those ACH/Visa autopays that companies love these days. I merely transfer the funds to this account from my primary as needed. When I get ticked with a company I just close the account. Then set up a different one with a different bank. Its less painful.

20 years at a top telco has taught me that you went through is structural, by design and caused by upper management punting to some 3rd party who only wants a check.

JohnMc   ·  October 17, 2008 7:59 AM

I just had this experience with a Citibank credit card. When I told the Indian at the call center that I wanted to cancel my card, he switched me to another office and after about a minute Citibank hung up on me. They put up an obstacle course of incompetence to stop you from stopping your income stream to them.

Microsoft is the worst. I spent an hour on line with their Indian support trying to get a question answered. I was passed on from office to office six times, waiting at least five minutes between transfers, sometimes being referred back in a circle to an office that had already passed me on to another office. I believe that the point of Microsoft's support line is to deny you support and to discourage you from ever calling support again.

And that's another reason Microsoft should die.

Tantor   ·  October 17, 2008 8:01 AM

AOL is notorious for that sort of thing, google "Consumerist" and "AOL" for starters.

dorkafork   ·  October 17, 2008 8:03 AM

My company handles call center operations for many clients (so I suppose I'm like a tobacco company lawyer, or a clubber of baby harp seals).

We get good satisfaction scores from our clients and their customers. Why? Because doing this stuff well IS HARD. It costs money, but mostly time and patience, to train service representatives not only in the processes, but in common sense. In the story above, that is what was missing.

But hoo boy, don't get me started on the Help Desk for that PC company founded in that guy's dorm room. Shockingly awful.

Jim   ·  October 17, 2008 8:43 AM

It's all bean-counter driven: hire the cheapest possible staff, regardless of quality.

In the short term, there's a boost to the bottom line. In the long term, there's a flight to quality and a hit to the bottom line. By which time the bean-counter has spent a well-earned annual bonus.

Your situation is special, in that you're dealing with a monopoly. They can afford the stupidity. Here's my non-monopoly story.

I'm currently at a place that outsourced and offshored the development of mission-critical software systems. The contractor delivered, and continues to deliver, crap software, and since the contractor has all the knowledge, the company is actually being held hostage.

The company is attempting to take the projects beck - building an organic software development team, and insourcing more and more of the work. In the meantiime, however, there are now YouTube videos mocking the company's sowtware, and the reviews of the software at F*ckedCustomer.com would peel paint.

All this because some bean-counter decided educated, knowledgeable, motivated Americans were just too damn expensive.

That said, God bless bean-counters. If they weren't there to drive stupid, shortsighted decisions, I wouldn't be billing at near the rate I do.


Patrick
--

Patrick Carroll   ·  October 17, 2008 8:47 AM

I like your trick Typewriter King - I'm pretty stuck with some autopays because they give me really worthwhile reductions, but I don't trust them. Your idea of a special account firewalls 'em. And Eric, I too have the sense of needing to be in touch with my inner asshole when I'm doing a slow burn on hold.

LorenzGude   ·  October 17, 2008 8:51 AM

This reminds me. I haven't received an electric or gas bill in over two years.

Amazingly, complaining about that doesn't work either. And yet every month they come and take meter readings. You can bet that I am not going to spend an hour on hold to push to sort out the issue either.

Fred Fry   ·  October 17, 2008 8:53 AM

In Japan, it seems common (well, I do it) to fill in a bank form giving the utility company money the right to withdraw your monthly utility payment. I've moved four times and never had trouble ending or starting services. Some services I pay with an autobilling credit card, having confidence that the firms with which I deal will be responsive, as they usually are in Japan: the customer is king.

Checks? Never seen one in Japan.

AOL Japan, however, was just like dealing with AOL USA, even thought they did provide English-speaking support staff. They apparently just exported the whole thing, deficiencies too. I kept paying for access to AOL in the US (in pre-WiFi days), but it almost always failed: the US and Japan offices seemed, uh, oceans apart.

A minor annoyance of life here, however, is that you often need a guarantor. I have had to ask Japanese colleagues or my Japanese father-in-law to be a guarantor for every lease I've signed and even for a credit card. They always agree, but it annoys me that I am sometimes required to ask others for stuff that should solely be my own responsibility.

Were I in the US, I think I'd only pay by check for regular repeating charges: They get my money when I am ready to send it.

CG   ·  October 17, 2008 9:06 AM

My aunt rented her house (which she was having trouble selling in a slow market) to a moron who moved out in the middle of winter and had the gas service discontinued without telling her. The pipes froze.

NancyB   ·  October 17, 2008 9:06 AM

I work for a customer dis-service organization; a large municipal water department. Here's the secret: Pay 20-25% below market. Hire only GED and 'barely graduated' due to that. Have awful job stress conditions caused by a fundamental failure to read the meters. *Don't* give them canned scripts. *DO* give them a computer system based on a 1970's architecture. Do make it so arcane that only someone with years of experience can understand all the odd notations and abbreviations. Don't train/update them on the field processes, when those change, so that they know the consequences of the orders/requests they pass on. Back them up with an IT department that is so anal retentive that I don't have words for it, and yet somehow so unfamiliar with their system that they don't understand why the reports they create often print out junk data.

Watch the fun ensue.

Ubu Roi   ·  October 17, 2008 9:07 AM

SPRINT.....stay away from Sprint for all the awful customer service reasons mentioned above. Their customer service is on par with AOL. Every single month we have to call them about auto billed items....they promise each month to kill....the next month, it's on the bill again...aaarrggggggggggggg

TimeTested   ·  October 17, 2008 9:15 AM

I've had similar experiences. . .My response has been to just send an old-fashion, USPS letter whenever I can explain what I want in 3-4 sentences (I still call if it's more complex). I figure can draft and mail a short letter faster than I could navigate the typical phone option tree, much less deal with their customer service.

Curmudgeon   ·  October 17, 2008 10:03 AM

This happened to me when I switched from dial-up to DSL. I kept getting billed for the dial-up account even though it was closed. I was busy and it was cheap, so I never got around to dealing with it.

Then the credit card they had expired. They kept racking up charges and referred my "account" to a collection agency. Being a lawyer, I politely offered in a certified letter not to sue them for a deceptive trade practice if they dropped the matter. So far so good, but I'm not confident I've heard the last of this.

KenB   ·  October 17, 2008 10:49 AM

you're in a new state. Don't pay.

What are they going to do?

David   ·  October 17, 2008 11:52 AM

First, "corporate firewall of incompetence" is a great and absolutely necessary phrase. I am adding it to my regular vocabulary.

Allow me to throw Time Warner cable under the bus. I have often told people that there are only 2 possible explanations for their CSRs: either they hire the stupidest people on earth, or else they hire the most brilliant actors to feign stupidity in order to frustrate you into giving up. Try cancelling a service with them. It's easily done. Cancelling the *billing* for that service? Ah, that's another matter entirely. Each month I would call and they would claim it was taken care of, and the next month, it would be back on my bill. I know that CS can be a very trying job, so I always endeavor to be polite, but I finally lost it when a CSR condescendingly explained to me that I shouldn't worry, because my balance was zero, as my credit card had paid in full. I condescendingly explained that that would be true even if they had charged me $1,000 for my cable that month and demanded to speak to a supervisor. That solved the problem. These days I just ask for the supervisor at the first hint of trouble. It's not worth my time to play their games.

Darren   ·  October 17, 2008 12:28 PM

Not surprisingly, the same thing happened to me. I moved from one state to another, and then after a few months I began recieving late payment notices from the electric utility of the former residence.

I won't bore you with every detail of the long bureaucratic nightmare and the various twists and turns except to say that I eventually found that they resolved to a similar 'Catch 22' situation. In this case, the customer service department eventually admitted that I had in fact requested the utilities to be turned off before leaving the residence, but that this request was never honored because an account could not be closed until the billing department approved it. The billing department wouldn't approve the account being closed until after outstanding all outstanding bills had been paid, and since the account was still open they continued to generate bills. Eventually I got the billing department to issue a refund to me for the ammount erroneously billed which balanced their books - which allowed the customer service department to issue a statement to the billing department that the account could be closed, which allowed the billing department to tell the customer service department to actually schedule the power to be turned off.

It took much the same sort of confrontational approach to get this to happen.

As an enterprise software developer, I blame it on myself. We're to blame. We facillitate upper management's dreams of micromanaging the work process using low wage low skill workers who lack authority to make decisions, while delivering to them increasingly arcane and inflexible information management systems. There are real productivity gains to be had through software automation, but all too often due to bad input (garbage in, garbage out), Sturgeon's Law (90% of programmers don't know how to do their job), those 'productivity gains' are either illusionary (flawed economic analysis) or else come at a hidden cost like you describe.


celebrim   ·  October 17, 2008 12:39 PM

If you pay with a credit card, you should call customer ervice and tell them to reverse the charges for non-delivery of goods/services. You might have to complete some forms but it does work - guaranteed. Your Credit Card Issuer wants to keep their customers happy because it creates more $$$.

Frieda   ·  October 17, 2008 5:51 PM

If you pay with a credit card, you should call customer ervice and tell them to reverse the charges for non-delivery of goods/services. You might have to complete some forms but it does work - guaranteed. Your Credit Card Issuer wants to keep their customers happy because it creates more $$$.

Frieda   ·  October 17, 2008 5:51 PM

Dilbert is not only a documentary, but an operations manual.

SDN   ·  October 17, 2008 6:05 PM

I second Punditus' suggestion of not allowing "pull" payments. Once my purse was stolen, with my bill-paying checkbook and my business checkbook in it, a couple of days before the month's ACH debits for the bills were about to come through. I had to close the account, so I had to call each and every one of the companies with which I had ACH debits and spend hours on hold with each of them. I literally could not do it in the time I had before the ACH debits went through on the closed account. My *former* bank told me the best thing to do was to keep money in the compromised account (!) to cover the ACH debits, even though the thieves had already charged over $400 on my debit card, showing they were interested in stealing my money. And they would not refund me the overdraft charges either. (My *former* bank's customer service is another long story; I had to go in and close that damn account five times before it stayed closed.)

Long story short, since that fateful day when my purse was stolen, I NEVER do ACH debits. I do everything through online bill pay or by old-fashioned check.

Wacky Hermit   ·  October 17, 2008 10:50 PM

no one has mentioned my pet peeve: CSRs whose accents are so thick that it is impossible to understand them. This will sound racist to PC people but its an accurate observation. In NYC many CSRs are Puerto Rican and not only have really thick accents but talk really fast. Elsewhere its Indians. Whenever this happens I say "I want to talk to someone who speaks English" and I refuse to continue with that CSR.

Its not the accent itself, its when it is so thick I have to ask the CSR to keep repeating himself.

Speakerphones! I never get a phone - cells too - without one.

Yehudit   ·  October 18, 2008 4:02 AM

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