Call centers and friends in far away places

Having to call any customer service hotline is a dreaded event. No one wants to deal with things that are broken, especially if they are new and shiny and cost a lot of money. However, many people revel in making unenjoyable things even worse. The way a caller handles customer service says more about them than it does about the product or company they are dealing with.

There are many complaints about customer service that are often repeated, but also easy to refute. Many people complain when they have to wait on hold. This is a petty and egotistical thing to be bothered by. Customer support call centers probably receive tens of thousands of calls a day, if not more. Even if I thought I was special enough to warrant an instant response from a busy industry, I would be suspicious if my call instantly got through to a real person. Like they already knew I was going to call.

Besides, most people tend to exaggerate when going through unpleasant experiences. I have called customer support many times to many different places, and have never waited on hold for more than an hour. Yet, I hear horror stories about people having to wait for much, much longer. Even if these stories are true, the bottom line is patience is a virtue. Impatience, while not necessarily a sin, isn't going to get you anywhere.

Another common complaint seems a bit paranoid. I have heard and read claims that companies and people who run customer service centers don't really want to help. Supposedly there is a trend of making shoddy products to take people's money, then going through the trouble of setting up customer support hotlines just to frustrate people and absolve responsibility.

I admit, I have a soft spot for conspiracy theories, but this one just doesn't add up. In the modern era of constant, unfiltered communication, reputation is more important than ever. No real company is in the business of stealing money from people and then rubbing it in. That is a great way to be out of business quick.

Then there is perhaps the most common complaint about calling customer service: All the operators/technicians are in India! Of course, I know how difficult it can be to try and talk to someone you can't really understand. But keep in mind, the person on the other end of the line has just as difficult a time understand people with foreign accents, only he doesn't cry and throw a fit about it.

The outsourcing to India is driven by economics, but it doesn't hurt that people there seem to be very nice and polite. As opposed to impatient and suspicious.

I recently had a very positive experience with a customer service technician in India. He patiently and helpfully guided me through a problem with a new computer. I probably could have done it all myself, but it was nice to know someone had my back. Even if that someone was all the way on the other side of the world. Many folks are not as lucky as I. Then again, many don't give themselves the chance to be.

Instead of being mad about having to talk to someone far away, it is better to be glad to have a chance to make a connection with another person in a very different place. A person who is trying their best to do their job, which is to help you with your problems.

In truth, they are probably trivial problems anyway.