Monday, August 3, 2015

Press 1 For Engrish

Something in your household has just broken. You've tried fixing it yourself to no avail, and it's too new to throw away, but not so new that you can just take it back to the store. Helpless, you find yourself having to bravely enter the fifth circle of hell in the hopes of finding a solution: by calling tech support.

Now, let's put aside the misery of having to take orders from a pushy robot (press 4 to be put on hold!), and listening to 10 minutes of a smooth jazz cover of Metallica (which is 9 more minutes than anyone should have to listen to smooth jazz OR Metallica). Once you're put through to a real live person, you're quickly reminded that you might have just been better off talking to a robot.


Yeah... but "John" sure has quite the accent, doesn't he?



Yes, that's right, if you haven't guessed it, today's post is about the joy that is Indian tech support. Now, we have nothing against Indian people. We just find it particularly hilarious that the Indian men and women that get selected to walk us through extremely technical troubleshooting are often the ones who can't really speak a lot of English.

Which is great, because on top of having to describe a process that's very complex, this has to be done through a second language. Over the phone.



And it doesn't help that they always start by having you do the most basic, inane things for the first half hour. Is it plugged in? Have you tried turning it on? I know you've just reset it 20 times, but would you reset it once more and let me know what happens? Oh, that didn't work. Okay, well can I put you on hold?

Putting you on hold, by the way, is the magic code phrase that means "I have no idea what I'm doing. Let me Google this."

But we will say one thing, though. These Indian tech support folks are always exceptionally friendly, which is a miracle for anyone working in a cramped call center. Sometimes they're too friendly. Like, they go out of their way to thank and praise you for every single thing you comply with.






It's a great strategy, though. It's hard to be a dick to someone when they've just thanked you profusely for answering the question "what is your name?"

Perhaps worst, though, is when you get someone who really doesn't know what he's doing, something that all the friendliness in the world can't make up for. Recently Bryan helped design the cover for his blog friend Robyn's new book, and found that when uploading the PDF file online, he couldn't be the one to position it. No, some member of Indian tech support did that, and then e-mailed afterwards to ask if it was okay (it very much was not). We know this was Indian tech support because his name was Abu-Dhabi Shakin-Bake (or something of the sort) and he responded with English that was every bit as terrible as his placement of the file.

And it was the most furiously absurd way to place a file, if only because he stretched it, skewed it, and essentially broke it until it didn't look anything like a cover at all.




So imagine dealing with Indian tech support on something artistic, like carefully placing an image. And trying to speak to someone who not only doesn't understand art, but also doesn't understand the English language.

It only took a week and a half of e-mailing back and forth, but the cover was finally placed correctly. As they say, the twenty-seventh time is the charm. If you want to check it out (and Robyn's awesome book about her life, which we both have read and recommend), click here. If you can't reach the link, please call Indian tech support and then bang your head against the keyboard until your face melts off.

And just remember, it won't always be this way. Not because our tech companies will stop outsourcing call center jobs to India, but because telephones are so 1990. Now everything's going the way of the customer support chat. And if you've used one recently... you know that they're also supported by those who speak English as a second, third, maybe even fourth language.



Cheers and stay classy, friends,
B&B

Beer: Lagunitas IPA (Indian Pale Ale - drink the needful)
Music: Clarinetallica (the smooth jazz Metallica cover band)



121 comments:

  1. I have nothing to add as you've covered it all. Although why they even pretend to have an English name is beyond me.

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    1. "Well, he has a really thick accent, half his words don't even make sense in the English language, and I hear a goat screaming in the background. Yep, John must definitely be American!"

      Delete
    2. Lol. I'm not entirely sure about how call centers here work, cause the only source of my knowledge on the subject comes from reading 'One night at the call center" by Chetan Bhagat and that isn't exactly scholarly to say the least. But I believe the fake names are something they cover in the training period for these call center employees. They go with common English names so it's easier for the people who call them to pronounce it.
      Also if its any consolation, I don't get tech support either. They also have this tendency to switch to Hindi when they realize you're from India. And I don't speak Hindi, So I have to ask them to repeat everything they said in English again.

      Delete
    3. That's funny, because I feel like most people don't even really use a representative's name when they hear it. I worked in a call center for 2 years, and people never called me by name after I identified myself.

      Also, slightly related, I love when my friend (with very, very brown skin) goes into a Mexican establishment and they all start speaking Spanish at her. Then, in the most typical American accent, she asks, "Uh, what did you say? I don't speak Spanish."

      Delete
  2. A friend of mine had this experience trying to get Windows 10 yesterday. After being on hold for 3 hours he had a guy ask him why he didn't just press the auto download button. My friend had started the conversation by saying the auto downloader was broken.

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    1. Yes, but did he plug in the computer to the wall? Is the computer running? If so, has he tried to catch it?

      Delete
  3. Wait, so you're saying smooth jazz is a bad thing? If you'd said telephone hold music, I would've wholeheartedly agreed, but this I cannot stand for.
    Very nice work on panel 9 of this week's page (ThankYou4), it looks really good!

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    1. If you tell me you like Kenny G then we just can't be friends anymore.

      And hey, most people would say "I really like the panel where he's molesting your face with his lips" but I guess we all have our ways of saying things. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Had to look him up, but that's not all that enjoyable, no. Has a way too pop-y feel to it, too, which I guess comes from the romantic thing they're going for?
      https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=smooth+jazz
      This is more like it.

      Delete
    3. I just hope you know that that link has a picture of Kenny G in the upper righthand corner (guy with the frizzy Weird Al hair and a soprano sax) and I laughed way too hard.

      So when I say smooth jazz sucks, I mean the cheesy stuff that he plays. That you would probably hear while on hold or in an elevator.

      Delete
  4. These days I have access to techXpert through my ISP (free) and so far their written English has been good in their customer support chat. I also spoke to one of them on the phone the other day and he was definitely a regular English speaking guy. However, I have had experience with the Indians in tech support. Particularly when I was working and all our support was from India. By the way, there have been idiots who didn't plug in or who couldn't see to do anything because there was a power cut.

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    1. Wow, you know your company is bad when you're working for them and the tech support is outsourced to India. Ouch.

      Idiots really have ruined it for the rest of us. Now when someone calls tech support, they have to assume we're all idiots and ask things like "did you press the power button" or " are you sure you're not actually using a toaster instead of a computer?"

      Delete
  5. I haven't had to call the tech support much, but there was one time I was put through to the Indian team. It wasn't that bad, as the problem was ultimately solved, but the first half hour was a painful rendition of "Have you tried turning it on and off?" "Yes. I already did that." "Okay do it again." and all the usual stuff. The problem is they have to stick to a script. It's how they get around the language barrier. I've considered being an outsourced tech guy. It was made known to me in the application I would be given a script and a database of problems and a flowchart on how to fix it. They need no actual tech ability. I think it was knowing how frustrated I'd be talking to someone who knew nothing that kept me away from that job. Plus I couldn't handle the hate.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I once worked in a call center at IBM. We were also given scripts, with a huge flowchart of "if they say this, do that." It's pretty much how the call center world is run. I was one of the few technical guys who wouldn't abide by that and would just fix their problem instantly and courteously on my own... which is why the manager hated me and always rated my calls as unacceptable. STICK TO THE SCRIPT! ITS WORDS ARE YOUR GOD NOW, BOY.

      Delete
  6. Oh this is so hilarious! I love how they try to repeat your name back to you. How hard can my 3 letter name be? D-E-B??? Oh thank you for calling Bev. We appreciate your business Den. What can I do for you today Zeb? And my all time favorite, try unplugging and plugging your computer back in Meg. I mean seriously!

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    1. Holy shit, how did I forget that? Yes, we both know that pain. Because, you know, in all their years of working they've never met a guy named Bryan or Brandon before. Worse is when they try for formalities and butcher your last name. "Yes, Mr. Peedayus, so can we get you to do a reset? Thank you, Mr. Pedo. We value you, Mr. Poodasus."

      Delete
    2. Even worse, I shout, "It's not MRS. In-gu-al" (They can't ever say my last name.) "I'm not married."

      "Okay, MRS. Enn-gil, is there anything else we can do for you?"

      Delete
    3. That's funny, because when my wife calls (and the account is under my name, aka her husband's) they always call her MISS.

      Delete
  7. Verizon chat JUST did the "your welcome" thing to me this past week!! Aren't they working off a template?! Geez.

    Also, re: the whole "plugging it in and turning it on" thing. I wonder if perhaps they realize they can save XX amount of money by asking those questions first, since if they don't ask and if it's not plugged in, it must take hourssssssss to try to fix...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's MY welcome! I have it all to myself, and no one else can have it but ME!

      Sadly, they have to start with the idiotic stuff first in case that IS the problem. Which I can see, because a lot of people are stupid. BUT...what I hate is when they ask me to do something like that, and I tell them I've already done it, and they insist I do it anyway. I promise, dude, it's plugged in and I've reset it a million times. Can you give me actual help now?

      Delete
  8. GAAAAAAH! *headdesks in sympathy*

    Still doesn't compete with when call centers CALL YOU.

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    1. My favorite is when some Indian guy calls you, trying to tell you he's from Microsoft and your computer has a virus, so you need to pay for some program. Those guys are so easy to mess with. My favorite is pretending my computer is just my microwave. "It's currently set on potato. Is that right?"

      Delete
  9. I thought I'd like customer service chat better, because I hate talking on the phone. After dealing with AT&T chat I wanted to beat them with my phone.

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    1. Yeah, chat really isn't any better. It's all of the same stupidity, except you can't hear it in their voice.

      And wow, how's that for degrading? Not only did the customer beat your ass with her phone, but now you have to help her fix the damage. Damn!

      Delete
  10. So what are you planning to do with your welcome? I like to take all my welcomes and keep them in a display case in the spare room.

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    1. I keep mine is a safety deposit box, because when the thank you economy crashes - and mark my words, IT WILL - those babies will be more precious than gold.

      Delete
  11. The thing is, I'm guessing a lot of the stupid questions wind up being the real problem, especially for that critical 50+ crowd. And me.

    I called our office IT guy at work once because my printer was only printing the first page of a pdf. I'd tried everything - I'd made sure that it was set to print all pages and not just page 1, etc.

    When the IT guy came down to my office, he looked at the doc and said, "It's a one page document, Katy."

    Granted, I didn't need to call india to find that out, but that's still the kind of special training and knowledge that you can't learn in school.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I have a bachelors in Information Security and worked in IT for about 12 years, and no one taught me about pdfs. It's just kind of something you learn on the fly, I guess.

      Sure, there are some stupid problems, but the worst is the blind leading the blind. Aka some poor Indian who doesn't know how to use a computer very well, reading off a script and leading someone else who doesn't know how to use a computer to some kind of resolution. I'm amazed anything ever gets fixed that way.

      Delete
  12. They make you jump through idiot hoops

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    1. I want to jump through a flaming idiot hoop of fire.

      Delete
  13. B&B:
    OMG....(LMAO)...this is SO damn brilliant.
    (and spot on)

    I have been through the EXACT same things you mentioned...and was not nearly as "amicable" as you have been.
    I tend to get PO'ed at anything that comes close to CHRONIC STUPIDITY.

    Basically, I go from 0 - BITCH in a nano-second (gosh golly, were you plugged into the wall at the time, sir?)!

    Thankfully, we have local stores for computer assistance...and they ALL speak English (and don't call anyone "dude" along the way...lol)

    And what IS it with all these "Indians", anyway:
    Don't we already have PLENTY of NATIVE AMERICAN ones here in the USofA...who could do a much better job.
    There's a novel idea - customer service from a SHAMAN!
    Maybe true peace with the mother earth MIGHT make some of these Asian "imports" work better?
    Microsoft Dream-Catchers...love it!
    We'll never know until we give it a ho.

    Fantastic post...had me snort-laughing all the way.
    :)

    Stay safe out there, guys.

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    1. Ha! I just love the idea of a shaman diagnosing a computer over the phone. "Have you tried sacrificing a lamb to the computer gods while dancing around a pit of embers? No? Okay, try that and let me know what happens."

      Delete
    2. Tried it, didn't work... was damn tasty though.

      Delete
    3. We knew we liked you for a reason. No good lamb should ever go to waste, after being so perfectly braised over a smoldering computer fire.

      Delete
  14. haha yep, nailed it. As they go through all the crap any idiot can think of first. Plugged in, blah blah blah. I did all of that. Can you do it again, sir? Uggg thankfully I've got english speakers the last two times I needed any, so it was easier.

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    1. It's terrible when you get an English speaker, though. Like, someone who clearly even lives in your same state. And they still run you through that crap. Come on, man, do I sound like the kind of guy that didn't turn on his monitor, or didn't plug in his mouse?

      Delete
  15. I hate even the thought of calling tech support for anything. It's just a nightmare.

    My mom and I just got new cell phones. We went from an Apple phone we both loathed to Droid Turbos. I can honestly say I like it better...even if I still don't know what the heck I'm doing. Text messages are particularly troublesome, but I suspect that once I figure out what I'm doing wrong I'll want to hit my head into the wall for being such a moron. On the worse side, as much trouble as I'm having, my mom is having more. She spends a great deal of time talking (not nicely) to her phone. Yikes.

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    1. I believe you're supposed to talk into the phone. Not directly to it. Your welcome (IT experience, here, with a minor in 1st grade level English).

      And don't forget about The Google. If anything, tech support is now a last resort, since The Google has pretty much every answer you could ever need.

      Delete
  16. Ah yes. The tech support call. The type of experience that can lead to chronic migraines. I rarely call in to such places, because I suck at talking to strangers over the phone.

    Them: "So what is the problem, ma'am?"

    Me (frozen with fear at being put on the spot like this): " Uh...uh...I...uh...have a problem with my...uh...computer type thing?"

    Them: "Could you please describe the problem to me?"

    Me: " Uh...the thing won't do the...uh...thing..."

    Yeah, basically I'm the type of caller that would get put on hold a LOT. Not because they have to Google anything, but because they're not allowed to swear at me directly.

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    1. Okay, now I kind of want to hear an Indian person swear at you.

      "Just tell me what is happening with the computer, you shitting ass! You are a stupid! How are you so fuck, you goat nipple?"

      Delete
    2. Aw man! In that situation, I don't know if I'd start crying, yell back at them, or laugh. I guess it depends on the day, and how long they've been swearing at me. The laughing would probably just piss them off even more, though...

      Delete
  17. I'm with Candice. I get so frustrated, I yell at them to speak in English and in common language "because I'm not paid for my computer technical skills like you are!"

    You were very kind, BnB, to not include my curse sessions with these peeps:
    "Why won't you accept my friend's f*n cover!" "I've tried this 3 f*n times! It's perfect, but you people keep f*n it up?"

    "Ma'am, you didn't save it right. Please try again and then call us back once more."

    "How do I know it's going to work next f*n time? You keep f*n rejecting it!"

    "Is there anything else we can do for you?"

    "No you already f*d this up plenty!"

    Ah, thanks for the laughs and this post. You guys are the best, and you speak in common language too. I like that.

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    1. I had no idea you actually cussed at them. That's funny. Also, you didn't save it right? I guarantee you, there's really no wrong way to "save" a file.

      "Crap, I saved it backwards! No wonder it won't work!"

      Delete
    2. Right. I mean, you're right - of course. I was laughing (MUCH, much after-the-fact) about the fact that I cursed up a storm and then was asked "Is there anything ELSE I can help you with, Mrs. En-guwell?" And when she told me I didn't save it "right," I had. Because YOU found it right away! =)

      Delete
  18. Haven't we all been there? There is nothing as frustrating. On the other hand, my son works in tech support for At&T. He handles the calls that the regular techs can't help. Half the time, it's because they can't understand the people calling in.

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    1. I think it's probably just a nightmare for both ends. I used to work in a call center, and it was not fun at all. I wonder if the Indian people go home and tell their spouses, "Ugh, I had to deal with American idiots all day long. One woman called in, and I spent 30 minutes trying to help her, only to figure out her problem was that she didn't push the power button hard enough. After I fixed it, she just hung up. What an ungrateful idiot."

      Delete
  19. I tried to do one of those chat things recently, and the person just kept pasting the same incorrect piece of information into the chat box. It was clear that "she" had one answer to a group of questions, but it wasn't the answer to the question I was asking. I eventually just disconnected and called.

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    1. Yeah, that copy and paste stuff is awful. It never resolves anything. I've been lucky to only have online chats recently where the other person actually types everything. Now granted, the spelling is terrible, the grammar is nonexistent, and punctuation doesn't exist (so I can only assume I'm being asked a question). Also, since everything is hand typed, it will hilariously say "Pradeep is typing" for 2 minutes straight, just to end up with "okay thank you" as the typed output, but at least they try.

      Delete
  20. So true! I hate calling Tech Support. About anything. More than once I've hung up and called back and repeated the whole process because the accent was so horrible I couldn't understand anything.

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    1. I haven't had to hang up because of the accent, but I have had to hang up because they didn't understand my problem and kept asking me to troubleshoot the complete wrong way. When the customer is telling you how to properly troubleshoot things, you know you're doing your job poorly.

      Delete
  21. This was extremely funny, BEER BOYS. Several laughs, several India Pale Ales, and tying your shoes is a great way to start the day!

    Being computer illiterate, I have had many experiences with the Indian tech support folks. (Makes me wanna load my Colt .45 and play "cowboy".) You're right though, they never seem to get flustered and snarky no matter how much I start to lose my cool.

    Here's my number 1 pet peeve about having to conduct ANY kind of business on the phone today (and not just East Indian Tech Support)... After you get past all the "Press one for English", "If this is an emergency, hang up and dial nine one one" bullshit, you will be asked to input your account number using the buttons on your telephone touch tone pad. Then, when you finally get to speak with a real live (supposedly alive, anyway) person, the first thing they'll do is ask you for your account number. So remind me again then why I had take the trouble to input that number into your system using my phone BEFORE you came on the line!

    It also bugs me that it's always "Press one for English". Why is English ALWAYS number one? Why isn't "Mexican" sometimes number one? Why can't English occasionally be number two or three? I think it's demeaning to other languages like "Mexican" and "Chinee" when English always gets to be number one in the recording, and the others always get relegated to a lower number.

    ...or you can call me "Meathead".

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. It's true! In fact, to show how not biased we are, English should be the very last option. And we should offer many, many other languages.

      "Press 1 for Yiddish (oye, these guys!)
      Press 2 for Spanish
      Press 3 for Polish..."

      And so on and so on. Then, finally, when all the other numbers run out, you get...

      "For all other languages, press 0."

      Then you get someone who speaks English, and you proved that by not even acknowledging its existence, you are DEFINITELY not biased toward English over other languages.

      Being PC is exhausting, but it's certainly worth the (non)reward!

      Delete
  22. Oh I have had to deal with this and I became so irate, I told them to please place someone else on the line so I can understand what the Bleep they are saying. Now I ask my ex who is a tech support for computer issues with the Canadian government sites. I then walk away because I want to take a sledgehammer to the dam thing-the computer not my ex. I deal with press 1, press 5 press 672 daily because of my job. I must speak with the banks and other finance companies so I have dealt with many different accents. In some cases I say thank you and then hang up because I simply can't understand them. Part of the problem is the thick accents and part of it I know my hearing is not the best-deadly combo. Love the pig in rubber boots

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    1. I'm glad you clarified, because I have a few exes I want to take a sledgehammer to.

      What I love is when you press 1, then press 5, then press 672, and they tell you it's the wrong department. Then you do it again, thinking you're crazy, but you take the same path, which is where you need to go to fix your problem. And you get the same person. And then they keep transferring you back and forth, each one denying responsibility, until you just give up and dropkick whatever you were having trouble with into outer space.

      Delete
  23. Just keep turning it off and on again until the problem fixes itself.

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    1. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting dif...

      Oh, wait, it worked. Huh.

      Delete
  24. If you;'ve never seen it, may I suggest the film Outsourced?

    It was recommended to me when I was given the project of outsourcing my department at me previous employer (an assignment that was the inspiration for making them my previous employer).

    I have to say, though, I had a tech support experience with Amazon over their music app that wen pretty well/ Part of me thinks that most things are tied to management-if management sets an expectation that the customer service experience will be a good one, I think it permeates the environment (ever have a bad experience at a Disney park?).

    Don't worry though, it won't be too long before customer service jobs are based in the US. As we continue to outsource everything else and destroy our economy, it will be financially viable to bring those jobs back.

    Of course, people won't be able to afford anything, but now it will be Indian nationals calling here for tech support and getting some guy in Jersey asking if they checked to see if the fricking thing is plugged in da wall"

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    1. No, I haven't seen it. It's a romantic comedy, it says? I hope it's heavier on the comedy, lighter on the romance. I don't know if I really want to see two Indian tech support guys falling in love.

      And say what you will about Amazon - I know all of their tech stuff is outsourced to India - but I've never had a bad experience with them. They always go above and beyond. The other day I ordered a video card for my wife's computer, and the shipping information wasn't updated. It wasn't delivered on time, so I pulled up a chat to ask tech support where it was. It was in transit, would be one day late, and to apologize they gave me a $100 credit. That's insane.

      Also, I just want to see an entire skit devoted to Jersey tech support now.

      "Eyyy, you gotta hold the reset button for 30 seconds to clear the memory over here*, you jackass."

      *ovah heeh

      Delete
    2. Imagine the Jerky Boys as tech support...

      Delete
    3. I did not think the main focus of the film was the romance (there was a bit of one so much as the American learning to appreciate the other culture.

      I thought the end was quite a funny twist...

      Delete
  25. The amazing thing is when tech support actually works. I remember that happening once, but, in all fairness, who would want a job like that?
    By the way, good job on Robyn's book cover. I am really enjoying her writing. I'll start reading your books soon, too, but I started with hers because she's way cuter than you two.
    For your next IPA choice of drink you should listen to Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale".

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If someone hasn't made a beer called "Whiter Shade of Pale Ale", they desperately need to.

      And yes, Robyn's much cuter than us. I don't think the hair helps. I mean, it works for some creatures, but not for others. Bunny rabbit? Cute and fuzzy and fun to pet. Adult male with hair sweater? No. Just no.

      Delete
    2. You guys...! I say that I a loving way to the three of you cuties. Thank you!

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. Oy vey, I tried to correct my typo with another typo. Of course, I meant "in a loving way." And I wanted to add that I wake up with bunny rabbit hair every morning. You can't see it in my Avatar, thanks to the hat.

      Delete
    5. Bwuahahaha! Where did you find a Donald Trump lookalike rabbit? Oh my, that's hilarious!

      Delete
  26. I think people blame terrible customer service on the language divide, but as someone who briefly managed a call center for 3 weeks at a moderately sized credit union, trust me, when companies are paying the bare minimum for customer service reps, it doesn't matter what language is the rep's primary. As long as people are barely surviving on what they're making, there is terribly small chance they can muster a modicum of give-a-shit for your issue.
    I'll take an Indian call center over an entitled American Millennial who's probably not paying enough attention to even be courteous anyday.

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    1. I definitely don't blame the language divide. I just think it's funny the attempt to Americanize them for the sake of the idiots that can't accept help from a guy named Pradeep (but can from that same guy named Paul).

      I used to be one of those millennials doing a call center job for the same wage I could have made at McDonald's. And I did give a shit, because I've always given a shit about my job. Even right now I barely scrape by, but I don't use that as an excuse to be bad at my job. Sometimes being good at my job is what it takes to get me through the day. YMMV.

      Delete
  27. My hubby only called tech support one time, and it was hilarious. (For me!) He had to read off a mile-long string of ID numbers to this Indian dude with a learning disability, and half an inch away from the finish line, the phone connection dropped. After turning the air in the entire house purple with his "colorful" expletives, my poor hubby had to re-dial and go through the whole process all over again. Good little wife that I am, I tried very very hard not to laugh too loudly.

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    1. "Turning the air purple with colorful expressions" might be my new favorite expression.

      Gotta love phone technology. They can make a phone that functions as a pocket sized PC, but they can't make one that takes and receives calls in your own house. Come on, Indian tech support, let's jump on that!

      Delete
  28. And this is why a thermonuclear war between India and Pakistan must be avoided at all costs: Our internet infrastructure would collapse. And retarded goats would start manning the help lines.

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    1. I think the world's computers would run just a little faster with Peggy Sue at the helm. She can ask someone to turn their computer off and then on again with the best of 'em.

      Delete
  29. We took their land and now we complain about the tech support. It's like the War of 1812 all over again. What did President Benjamin Franklin give his life for?

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    1. As the great Abraham Lincoln said, "I'm here to deport Messicans and chew bubblegum. And I'm all out of bubblegum." Just like orange is the new black, Indians are the new Mexicans. Or something like that. God bless Murica.

      Delete
    2. When was the War of 1812? What's the number for 9-1-1? Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?
      Sorry, I'll leave now. =)

      Delete
    3. As we all know, 9-1-1 was an inside job.

      Delete
    4. Of course, and Obama bin Ladin is to blame.

      Delete
  30. I did the online chat when I was having a problem with my phone....my landline phone and the guy kept asking me if it was an iphone or their Verizon phone. No, just the landline. I don't thin he understood that I didn't have a smart phone...

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    1. So wait, wait... you don't have a smartphone? How do you stay entertained when you're out in public and need to wait 2-3 minutes for something? Like waiting to see the dentist, or waiting for your food to come out at a restaurant? It's a statistically proven fact that that's the only way people can properly pass time.

      Delete
  31. Hahaha I just had to deal with Direct TV on a billing problem. In fact I think I'll blog about it and link back to you guys. Stay tuned

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    1. We both can't wait to laugh at your misery (I know that sounds cruel, but that's essentially what it boils down to). :)

      Delete
  32. I'm lucky that my husband is a computer guy. He never asks if I have the computer plugged in or if I reset it. Okay, he did once many years ago, and the look he received ensured that the question was never asked again.

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    1. A quick learner - that's good! I know better than to ask my wife questions like that. Or questions at all. I just shut up and fix it. Much less hassle that way.

      Delete
  33. There are a ton of Idian families here. They fit into two groups:

    Either they are the assholes that want a discount on top of an item being 70% off, make you take out 30 items, and then spend $5 all while giving you attitude (especially if it's a non-returnable item).
    Or they are genuinely the kindest people you will ever meet and their words and actions are something that only an angel would possibly be capable of. I think it's those, poor unfortunate, angels who work in the call centers.

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    1. Most of the Indian families I've met around here are #2. They're just beyond awesome, and have the patience of saints. Only one time have I seen #1, and he was arguing with the Wal-mart cashier over a price. Haggling. Because, you know, the 16 year old kid behind the counter set the prices.

      Delete
  34. One mildly evil thing I do is ask the tech their full name. I hear an audible sputter nearly every time. When they give me the long drawn out reason why NOT, I remind them that they have MY full name and address...what are they trying to hide?

    I need a few more hobbies.Obviously.

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    1. I bet you could even take that a step further.

      "Okay ma'am, can I have your social security number?"
      "Sure, buddy. But you first. Fair's fair."

      Delete
  35. I do not call tech support, ever. Instead I make googly eyes at my husband until he gives up and does it for me.
    Why? Because he puts it on speakerphone and listening to the Great Scot and the Indian Tech trying to decipher one another's accents cracks me up every time. Who cares if it gets fixed? Best free comedy ever!

    (Will be playing with the recipe next weekend and will post it when it's up to snuff.)

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    1. I would pay to hear that. It also raises the question: who would be better at swearing? A Scot, or an Indian? No disrespect to the Indians, but I've seen an angry Scotsman, and my bet's on him all day.

      (Yay for awesome new recipes!)

      Delete
    2. I live with a Scotsman, and even in a good mood he can trump nearly anyone at swearing. When he gets angry? His accent suddenly gets MUCH easier to understand, lol.

      Delete
  36. My job entails a lot of calling into IT support centers, but since they're clients, they have the authority to be quite dickish. Imagine a pissed off Janandavenkatakrishnan rapidly firing off instructions in broken English, and me, only fueling the fire by continuously responding with "What?"

    Also, I'll be sure to check out Robyn's book. The cover looks hilarious (assuming that's a Ring Pop on her finger).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm just impressed you typed out Janandavenkatakrishnan, knowing there was no way to copy and paste that from my comic. Unless you REALLY do know a guy with that name.

      And that is indeed a Ring Pop. How else does a man show a woman he truly loves her, but only has 99 cents to spend?

      Delete
    2. True that. And it's a beautiful shade of blue too. Right?
      Gentlemen, take note: don't go for ruby red or boring diamonds. Go for Dollar Store ring pops at 4 for only $1.00.

      Delete
  37. Marcus Aurelius said once, If it is not right do not do it, if it is not true do not say it. I wonder how exciting life would be, if we all lived by this credo?

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    1. It would certainly be more interesting if we all told each other the truth. Even your wife asking, "Do I look bloated today?" could lead to the adventure of a lifetime.

      Delete
  38. Hahaha! I was laughing all the way through this one. I will say, that no matter how crazy the calls are, they are very polite.

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    1. I don't think I've ever met a rude Indian in my life. Some have thanked me for things I didn't even know you should thank another person for.

      Tech: "Now sir, can you please hit the Enter key?"
      Me: "Okay, done."
      Tech: "Thank you very much, sir."
      Me: "???"

      Delete
  39. ALL OF THIS. My Other used to be a prem tech, which is basically the same thing, but in real life for U-verse. The reason they ask these simple questions ('Is it plugged in?' 'Have you reset it?') is because half the time that's the actual solution to the problem. I cannot tell you how many calls my Other got sent to where the only problem was their cat unplugged their box.
    I think you're underestimating human stupidity lol

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Also, not super craft beer (mostly because it's the cheapest non-offensive beer at our local Walmart) but right now I'm drinking New Belgium's Rampant. Soo hoppy, but pretty good!

      Delete
    2. I bet your Other and I could trade horror stories for days. I (Bryan) used to be a call center rep for IBM. I have no doubt the limitless capacity of human stupidity, and I saw it many times myself. What I mean is that it's funny when they try idiotic troubleshooting on something, when it's clearly not the problem at all.

      Example: One time I couldn't connect to my Internet. I verified this on 4 devices (1 PC, 1 laptop, and 2 smart phones). When I called my ISP, the dude asked me to make sure my computer was plugged in, and tried to make me check settings on my computer. If 4 devices can't connect, IT'S NOT THE COMPUTER, GENIUS! He wouldn't humor me, so I had to spend 10 minutes doing his inane checks before we finally moved onto the REAL problem, which was not on my end. When he said, "Okay, looks like your computer is not the issue," I wanted to reach through the phone and choke the life from him.

      Also, you make me both happy and sad to live in Colorado.

      Happy: We are the home of New Belgium, and that Rampant is pretty damn tasty.
      Sad: We can't buy beer in grocery stores in this state, because we're still living in the 1920s prohibition apparently.

      Can't win 'em all.

      Delete
  40. This was hilarious..I have been on one of those calls before and why do they always have to use American sounding names. You can tell right away they are in some far away land. Then I have to keep saying can you repeat that...and I find myself apologizing for not understanding??? I like it when they say did you try to reboot? Of course I did that before I called...

    I have a confession..sometimes at work I will change my password and then try to sign on with the old one and after 3 tries it locks me out then I have to call the IT guys and ask them to reset my password..hahaha...they told me not to feel bad they get calls like that all day.

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    1. I worked in IT for over 10 years, and that's what the wife is currently working in. Without a doubt, password resets are always the #1 issue. People forget, or just enter the wrong thing in 3 times, and they get locked out. So it's not embarrassing.

      What's embarrassing is busting someone with a folder on their computer called PORNOGRAPHY, full of... well, use your imagination. Or catching a guy jacking off in his cubicle. It's a sick, sick world out there, and forgetting a password is the least of an IT guy's problems. :)

      Delete
  41. LOL! Whew! That was epic. My brother was on Tech Support for AOL about twenty years ago, and he would get the strangest calls. I think the best was when an old woman called and complained that her cup holder wouldn't go back in. Cup holder? Yeah, she was talking about the CD tray.

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    1. I believe the technical term is "beer coaster." You can trust me; I'm a professional computerer.

      Delete
  42. Great post! I love those guys. In their defense though, they have to start off troubleshooting with the simplest of things because there are too many stupid people in this world.

    I've had to deal with a few of these tech support guys, but they weren't in a call center, unless there's cooking and a child care center nearby.

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    1. Sometimes I'm scared by how many stupid people there are in the world. I know they're out there, but please tech support guy, don't take it out on me! I'm not one of them!

      But I can see how that's hard to judge, because idiots say the same thing. They walk among us... in plain sight.

      Delete
  43. Here I am almost pissing myself with laughter...I used to get annoyed with the "is it plugged in?" questions. Then I started running an event which requires people to sign up on a website.

    Real caller's question:

    "I want to donate to my friend anonymously. I see that there's a button that says 'Click here if you want this donation to be anonymous.' Should I click that button?"

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    1. As someone who used to work in IT, I loved when people would call in and ask if it was okay to press a certain button. "No ma'am, please don't press that. The programmers just put that button in there to fuck with you. Pressing it will actually trigger the launch sequence in your hard drive, which will eject your drive through the computer and out of your roof in a flaming ball of death like a heat seeking missile."

      Delete
  44. I do so wish I could follow you via email because this blog always cracks me up when I do manage to pop in for a visit. I would like it Indians could speak to someone speaking say French when they ring a call centre or and yank with a strong accent so they can't understand a bloody word just like the rest of us

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey, thanks for the reminder! We added that on the sidebar... it felt like we were missing something. Really livens up the place, don't it?

      I'd just love to see someone call Indian tech support and use a bad Indian accent. That's probably offensive, though... in the most hilarious way possible.

      Delete
  45. I don't know. I've done tech support for some folks who just didn't know what they were doing at all. It was absurdly easy, because the solution was simple. Did I mention I was never in tech support? Yeah, they'd call me in billing, and I wasn't allowed to turn down helping them. Stupid company.

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    1. I wish I would have known that. I would have gone in and asked you to change my oil. Then pulled up a lawn chair so I could watch.

      Delete
  46. This reminds me of a few weeks ago when I had to call my mother's bank to find out why she was overdrawn. Made it through with no problem, but the person put me on hold because he was having computer issues which was preventing him from getting to where he needed to be to answer my question. Got left on hold for about four minutes w/o him ever coming back on the line. Got fed up and hung up.

    I actually got a basic answer to my question before his computer crashed though.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. Now I wonder - who does tech support call when they need tech support? Is it all just an infinite loop?

      Delete
  47. My wife works with many Indian folks (not the bow and arrow kind). She says they are extremely friendly and if you punch one in the face as you are walking down the hallway they apologize for being in the way of your fist.

    Of course, she works at a place that writes computer codes and billing software "lah tee dah" for Obamacare and the State of Michigan so it is full of the language challenged.

    As for myself I stay in the backyard. I haven't seen any Indians back there yet, just a racoon and a skunk.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So what I'm to understand is that your wife is responsible for Obamacare? THANKS, OBAMA.

      Raccoon and skunk is okay. But if you see moose and squirrel, consult doctor. Moose and squirrel no-goodnik.

      Delete
  48. The chat windows are THE BEST. Now I don't have to suffer the white-guy-guilt of not wanting to talk to an Indian!

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    1. I want to talk to Indians, but on a circumstantial basis. My Indian neighbor? Totally. Any time. The tech support guy that works for Dell? No way. I'd rather slice my own eyeballs out with a spork. The owner of the local Indian buffet that makes killer craft beer? All day every day. That guy rocks. The Indian guy down the street that doesn't clean up after his dog? No, fuck that guy!

      Delete
  49. If it makes you feel any better, tech support in India for Indians is of the same high standards as what we get in the US!

    I offered my advice on my blog (http://www.porkcircus.com/2015/09/27/windows-fun/) but I'm not sure how well that worked out for Parag Jain... :(

    Ah well...can't say I didn't try!

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    1. I think Parag Jain's fatal flaw was not answering the phone when Official Certified Microsoft Support Special Team™ called from India informing him he had a virus on his computer but they could fix it with their veddy veddy special software.

      Delete