Monday, June 22, 2009

Honestly, I’m NOT in India

(Two posts today. This one and my camping trip after action report, scroll down to read that one.)

Ok, today's post is going to start with a little advice. If you ever need to call Xbox Live support…don't bother.

A couple of weeks ago my credit card got stolen, so obviously I had it blocked and replaced. Well, earlier this week I saw that Microsoft were offering a month of Xbox Live Gold for a dollar. I've been wanting to get my gold membership back for a while now, but couldn't quite justify the expense…but let's face I, I could find a dollar down the back of the sofa.

Unfortunately, my order didn't go through and I realized that my old credit card was still associated with the account, so I jumped online, took the old card off my account and tried to put in the new one. I got an error message saying the card couldn't be authorized and to contact my card provider.

Well, that was bullshit. The card was fine. I'd just used it to pay our cable bill online. I called my bank and checked with them anyway and they told me there's no reason why the card shouldn't work…so at that point, I called Xbox tech support.

Can we say "Outsourced to India?"

Ok, here's what I said, see if you can understand it:

"Hey, A few weeks ago my credit card was stolen, so I've taken it off my account. I'm trying to associate my new card with my Live account but it won't accept it. It says to contact my card provider, but the card itself is fine."

Simple, huh?

Well, it took 'Phil', a guy with an Indian accent so thick I could barely understand him…who also insisted on calling me 'Mr. Paulius'…over a fucking hour of back and forth to even grasp what I was having a problem with. Let me be clear here. I don't mean it took an hour for him to fix my problem, I mean it took an hour for him to understand what my problem actually was. A fucking hour to grasp "My credit card won't go through'.

It took another forty-five minutes for him to tell me there was nothing he could do. Apparently, because I'd tried to put the same card on my account three times without success, it had blocked my card as a 'security measure'.

However, he told me to call back in 24 hours and that he'd put a note on my account explaining my problem, and when I called back the block would be lifted and they'd be able to put the card on my account.

I called back 24 hours later, and the billing guy ignored everything I said and transferred me to tech support, who transferred me back to billing. It took 45 minutes to get the very bored sounding, very dismissive Indian dude to understand the problem again…at which point he gave the phone to one of their 'billing specialists', this time a woman who by an amazing coincidence also had a really thick Indian accent.

This time it took an hour and a half to get her to grasp what the problem was and another hour to fix it.

This was despite the fact that all she had to do was take my credit card info and put it on my account. That was it. That's what I told her she needed to do. That's what the guy from yesterday apparently left a note saying she needed to do…but that took her two and a half hours of back and forth… and if I hadn't lost my temper and just told her to do it, I'd probably been on the phone for another couple of hours.

You know what, I understand that you can probably get a whole building full of people in India for the price of a single American tech support person, but what is the point when the outsourced Indian tech-support people barely speak English and have no clue what they were doing?

In all seriousness, I got the impression that these people didn't even know what an Xbox was or what Xbox Live was or what they did or what they were for. It wasn't even like regular tech support where they go off a script no matter what you say or tell them…My biggest problem was just making myself understood…and I don't mean getting them to understand my problem, I mean getting them just to understand what I was saying.

It's just fucking useless and it really pisses me off that the richest corporation in the world won't even spring for tech support staff that speak English.


Terry Chandler said...

Welcome to the "helpless" desk. Your call is important, please hold on for the next available operator.........

rayray said...

would you like a cherry slurpee with that?