Thursday, August 26, 2010

Outsourcing? Correcto! The case of the Peruvian call center in Chile.

The other day I found myself the recipient of the annoying screen of apathy. Yes, the screen of apathy. Despite having lived in this apartment for four years, I still don't have a solid structure/plan of when I pay my bills, and as such, I don't always pay my internet bill exactly when they'd like me to. The screen of apathy is the screen that pops up when you should be looking at one of a host of items, including work, the other work, the other other work, the blog, etc. And it's the rerouting of your internet to the screen of Telefonica's you-didn't-pay-your-bill-you-idiot.

Except I had. I got online to my spiffy bank late on Sunday night, transferred funds, typed in those ridiculous codes on the back of a card so one steals my identity and accidentally pays my bills for me, and all was good with the world. And then I went to the gym and came back, and poof! I no longer had internet. And there was great sadness.

I could have gone elsewhere, but I'd just done something strange and burny to my ankle, and it seemed a better idea to lay low here at the batcave than to wander limpingly through the streets bleating pitifiully, "wifi? wifi?" So instead I called Telefónica. Which was fun, where fun is the word that stands in for a barrel of what's the opposite of monkeys?

First of all, the number I was told to call on the screen of apathy was disconnected. Yay! Then, through genius machinations on my part, I discovered a working number, which I called and was told through the careless use of an endless supply of words (why do they talk so much? are we long-lost relatives?) that it was not the right number, but then I got the right one and all was good.

One disconnected phone call and seven non-connecting phone calls later, I got connected to the nicest Peruvian woman working in the most gigantic call center I have ever heard. There was so much chaos, so many people talking that I kept on answering questions that had not even been directed to me.

I was very happy for the help, and the woman did get my internet going again, but mainly she said "correcto." It was like talking to a person who has "you know what I mean" or "right" as their verbal tics, but hers was "correcto." I said something, "correcto." She said, something, "correcto." We were all very correct, and after she fixed my internet problem, or at least promised it would be fixed within an hour (and it was), I asked her if she was in Peru. I mean, I could tell she was Peruvian from her accent, but there are not a small number of Peruvians living in Chile (Spanish speakers, check out this article that talks about Lima Chica, from one of my favorite Chilean websites, Plataforma Urbana), so I asked her if she was in Peru.

And you know what her answer was already, don't you? Correcto.

This was my first experience with a Chilean company subcontracting out their call centers to somewhere else, and while the Peruvian accent (or some variation thereof) is lovely to listen to, I can't help but wonder how much money they save by exporting jobs if people a) can't hear anything the people are saying andt then b)keep the people on the phone for a long time, just to keep on hearing them say, "correcto."

You know what I mean?


Marmo said...

I called the other day a Movistar callcenter, regarding a cell phone problem, and a polite Colombian answered me. I know he tried his best to help me, but almost sold me a different internet plan, a different cell phone plan, and tried to change my girlfriend´s cell phone plan too!
I don´t really like too much this call center outsourcing, it´s just not so correcto to me.

Marmo said...

Debo agregar que poco despues de escribir el comentario anterior, me llamó mi polola por que al verificar su estado en Movistar, ahora gracias a nuestro estimado amigo colombiano Su telefono figura a MI nombre, y le están cobrando a ELLA sus llamadas y las mías, más algunos servicios que no hemos contratado.
Al hablar con él por teléfono fui muy claro en decir que no queríamos hacer ningún cambio, sólo averiguar cuando podría navegar por internet en su teléfono nuevo.
Espero esté disponible la grabación, eso si que no ha estado muy correcto.
Toda una coincidencia xD

Abby said...

Wow seven connections? I think I would have given up (that's what they want, right?). I have VTR and routinely pay my bill late (because it routinely arrives after the due date has passed) and I've never gotten the apathy screen. Maybe I'm just lucky...or maybe VTR waits a few months before shutting it off.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, they connect you with someone who, supposedly, speaks your own language. But, yeah, I guess they're just trying to discourage people from calling at all.