The Poor Standard of Customer Service Hotlines

I had to call up one of those call center service lines today.  Being in a country that is multi-lingual, we are given the choice to select which language we want the customer service (CS) representative to speak in.  Since I can’t even maintain a regular conversation in the national language Bahasa Malayu (BM), I always opt for the English speaking channel. 

So when I rang CS today, I was surprised to find myself unable to understand what the lady was saying to me.  Although I had selected the English line but nothing she said sounded intelligible.  I must have asked her to repeat herself four or five times before I realised she wasn’t speaking in English, but in BM! 

I’m pretty sure I didn’t make the mistake of pressing the wrong channel button because she spoke to me originally in English and then she switched to BM.  Plus I called them on two separate occasions and the same thing happened – the lady would speak to me in English first, then switch to BM.

If you’re going to have CS representatives that can’t speak English properly, and who will switch languages partway through the call, then you had best leave the option of an English speaking CS representative off the list altogether.

I had to call up Streamyx to fix my internet connection as well.  Thankfully, their CS representatives can speak English!  Unfortunately, that’s about all that is better about them.  Check out the conversation that ensued:

Me: I am having problems connecting to the internet.
CSR: What name is the account in?
Me: (it was a business account so I had to tell him the company name) It’s called *company name*.
CSR: Yes?
Me: (I repeat myself)
CSR: Some more?
Me: (thinking to myself) what else is there? (out loud) Sdn Bhd?
CSR: Thank you for verifying your account details.

In case you missed the point, Sdn Bhd is like the equivalent to a Pty Ltd for a business in Australia.  I can’t believe he was waiting for me to add that before he considered my account verified.  I mean, most companies have the suffix Sdn Bhd.  It’s practically a given.

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