Recently we switched from Time Warner to AT&T Uverse for our phone, internet and television. After we made the switch and cancelled our other service we received a call from Time Warner to find out why we left and what they could do to keep us as a valued customer.
I took about 5 to 7 minutes to talk to this woman and discuss some of the issues we had. Of all the reasons I stated for making the change, the one that struck me the most was when I mentioned the tech support problems that I had over the years. I have been in sales and customer service for over 20 years now. If I would have displayed some of the behavior that I have experienced with this company, I should have and would have been fired. I do not think that this problem is exclusive to Time Warner and fully expect to have the same problems with AT&T. The problem seems to be systemic.
One of the biggest problems is the language barrier. The jobs have been outsourced to countries where American English is not the first language. If I am speaking to someone from England, they have expressions that I have never heard. I am sure they feel the same way when speaking to us. It makes it very difficult to explain the problem, and for them to fix it and explain the solution if you are not speaking the same language in every way. I do not call this technical support, I call it technical frustration.
Yesterday I was calling the HP support line because I could not get my dad's all-in-one printer to scan and ended up speaking to someone in the Phillipeans who, I am sure, was a very nice man. After a very long hour we did solve the problem but there was some question if the printer was under warranty. The man actually asked me if I could scan in the receipt as proof that it was covered. I then patiently explained to the man that if he would kindly help me FIX THE SCANNER I would be more than happy to send it to him. This was not due to the language barrier, this was due to incompetence.
I am frustrated by this for several reasons. The first being that if I didn't have a working knoweledge of computers, I wouldn't ever have been able to work with this man to solve the problem. My second problem is that there are plenty of people in this country that can do this job, and with the state of the economy the way that it is, there is no reason that they can't get American people working in America.
Everyone complains about this, so it should be no secret to companies that this is a problem. I am willing to bet that the company that brings this service back to the states and is willing to pay what it takes to get competent people will make this money back quickly. Please, will somebody please step up to this plate. I promise that I will buy whatever it is that you are selling.
As a special note to my dad, it was a privilege and pleasure to fix this problem for you, and I love you!