I'm baaack

By almcneil
Oct 27, 2008
  1. Well, I'm not exactly a newbie here, more like I've been MIA for about a year. I have posted an emergency request a few times, but I did disappear after being a regular TSer (I made it to TechSpot Booster!) Since I'm back, I should re-introduce myself for all the newbies and, perhaps, those who have forgotten me.

    My name is Andy and I run an in-home computer servicing at Ottawa, Canada. Actually, I'm a FORMER high tech engineer. Ottawa, besides being the nation's capital, is also Canada's Silicon Valley. I worked 15 years in it. But the high tech collapse finally caught up with me mid-2003. After that, it was 3.5 years of mostly unemployment and under-employment. After only getting two short contracts during that period, I realized that the high tech depression has no end in sight and it was time to start a new career. problem is, no one hires middle-aged people in new careers. With little carryover, we're not much better than new grads and with all that experience in a former field, high tech, that typically pays well, they decline on you. The only other choice is self-employment.

    One of my "under-employed" jobs during the 3.5 period was at a Dell call centre. Dell wanted a call centre for its US home market that provided software support where most agents spoke fluent, easy to understand english. Well, Ottawa fits the bill with lots of unemployed high tech talent, most of whom speak fluent english. it was while working there I learned all about fixing computers. Despite being a high tech engineer, I didn't know a lot about fixing computer, just a lot about using them (I designed embedded systems, not the same as a PC) I learned TONS . I left for a short contract in high tech but it didn't get renewed. Dell refused to take me back as they wanted persons for the long haul and, obviously, that was not me. I finally settled on starting my own in-home computer servicing business.

    So far, so good. On the service side, it's working out much like I expected. On the business side, it's a different story. It's hard getting inside that door. I could go on and on about it, but it's hard to win that trust but once you get it, you've got them HOOKED!! I get a lot of repeat business.

    Anyhow, I'm back and take advantage of my experience!

    -- Andy
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277

    Just to Cover My Behind

    Just to cover my behind ... !

    I recall the last time I wrote about working at the Dell call centre and made a reference to the fact it wasn't located in India, I got quite a reaction from another TSer who lives at India. Let me put my comments/position about India call centres into perspective.

    I saw firsthand the difference between the canadian and India Dell call centres. When I joined Dell in 2005, the call centre was swamped with spyware calls. There was a 2 hour wait to reach a tech agent. Finally, they decided to open an overflow call centre in India to handle just spyware calls. Spyware removal takes hours and it was cheaper for Dell to offload that to India. Now, Dell already had 3 call centres in India (customer care, hardware and high end XPS) After a while, the call centre started to post stats comparing us against the new overflow call centre in India. it was the customer satisfaction rate that stunned me! It was the SAME!! Yes, I routinely got complaints from the US customers that they didn't like the other Dell call centres in India and the Philippines because they found them hard to understand. But I then pointed out the satisfaction rates were the, 90% of the customers conceded that they are competent. I then pointed out that our call centre is located at Ottawa, Canada. Well Canada has the highest immigration in the world, "So, yes, you can still someone here with an Indian accent!" SO THERE!!

    It's not about competency.

    -- Andy
  3. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    wtf........random post of the day?

    my experience IS that they are very hard to understand. Customer satisfaction surveys don't mean a great deal. Are you going by percentages or actual numbers?
    No doubt like countless others i don't have time/bother to fill in a Dell customer satisfaction query. So are the figures really accurate? I highly doubt it.
    And they're worthless anyway, Dell won't listen, none of the corporations like Dell do.
    When someone complains that they can't understand the indians, what's the use in pointing out that their customer satisfaction is as good as Canada's?
    That could either mean you're calling the complainer a moran for not understanding the indians when most others can.........or that Canada's support sucks as much as India's.
    Luckily i get put through to Dublin in Ireland, but when i did go through to India, my god what a damned nightmare it was. Took twice as long on the phone as their irish counterparts.
    Bottom line, i was completely satisfied with the Irish support i got. Ihe indians? nah! i felt like strangling myself with the phone cord after 20 mins of some piggin english'd indian fool saying "but please sir, it is a fact that i would like for you to press the ctrl alt delete key, please"

    My god they must go out of their ways to find such ditherers to employ!

    Sorry mate, as an IT Manager with the responsibility of looking after our Dell based client/server network, that's my experience with Dell's support...........and i aint the only one!
  4. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277

    As I explained, I got the american customers to admit that, yes, our indian counterparts are competent. The real complaint is the language barrier.

    It's funny but we did get complaints about accents at the canadian Dell call centre! Canada has one of the highest immigration rates in the world and I'd say 25% of the call centre agents were not originally from Canada. We had complaints from customers about some of the agents who were originally from the carribbean and eastern europe. One agent laughed and said he got a complaint about his accent. He's from Newfoundland, an province of Canada where they have their own distinctive accent! "I want someone who speaks ENGLISH!!" were the american customer's exact words! LOL!! The agent is speaking english!! It's his thick newfie accent he couldn't understand. (and it was THICK!)

    It's a language barrier and that's all.

    -- Andy
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