Someone recently told me — as several of us were complaining about having our support phone calls sent to countries where English is not the primary language of the support person — that if you request to have the call handled by an American-English-speaking person, they have to transfer you.
Today I got to put that to a test while trying to make a balance transfer with Capital One. When I called their help line, the gentleman who answered the phone had such a strong accent that I was literally having to ask him to repeat every sentence that had 5 or more words in it, and so the transfer-to-America request came to mind.
I asked him, “Excuse me, but where are you located?”
“I am having
a difficult time
you.”“In the Philippines, Sir,” was his reply.
“I’d like to ask that you transfer me to an agent in America, please.”
“May I ask why?” he asked.
“Yes, it’s because I am having a difficult time understanding you, and therefore I am also uncertain as to whether you can understand me fully.”
He began laughing. “Oh, I see…” He chuckled again. “You’re having trouble understanding me,” he repeated, somewhat condescendingly. When I confirmed that that’s what I had said, he said, “Okay, I will transfer you to an American-speaking assistant. I hope you could understand that.”
LongStoryShort: I was transferred, but not without some grief.
I did however report it to Marissa, my ‘American-speaking assistant,’ who, as it turns out, was working in Canada when we spoke. She assured me that she would make a note ‘a-boat’ my difficulties with the man in the Philippines. The rest of the call went as smoothly as the best American customer assistance I have grown to expect.
At the end of the call, I asked to be transferred to her supervisor to whom I complimented her excellent, friendly and patient service.