Overseas call centres

Now, I don’t mind paying cheap and getting cheap, but when you’re paying the same and getting a totally different service.

Yesterday I called the Orange directory service. It’s on 118000. I asked for the phone number for “Sues Tyres” in Cannock. I was looking to get one of my tyres checked, but I didn’t have the number. The guy on the end of the phone was obviously located in the UK. The conversation went like this..

118000 – “Morning, Orange Directoty Enquiries, what number please?”
Me – “I need to find Sues Tyres in Cannock”
118000 – “Sue as in the name Sue?”
Me – “Yup”
118000 – “Here’s the number..”

Now, unfortunately I forgot the number and the text didn’t come through (not sure why), so I called a competing service – 118118. This time I got through to an offshore call centre. I won’t say where, because I don’t want to seem xenophobic, but I really don’t believe in outsourcing when the customer (me) is paying the same amount as 118000 (actually, I think 118118 is possibly more expensive)..

118118 – “Good afternoon 118118.”
Me – “Errr… MORNING. Can I have the number for Sues Tyres please?”
118118 – “Zoo? Can you spell that please?”
Me – “No, Sue. Sue as in the name.”
118118 – “OK, and her surname is Tyres?”
Me – “No, it’s a company. A company selling Tyres.”
118118 – “Is it the one on North Street??”
Me – “I don’t know. It’s in Cannock. I don’t know where in Cannock, that’s why I need to call them.”
118118 – “I have one on Norton Street? Would you like that?”
Me – “Is it in Cannock?”
118118 – “Yes”
Me – “Well, that’d be good.”