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  1. #1
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    Default This is going to sound racist

    ... But it ISN'T.

    I received a phone call today (at work) from someone who I hold an account with (to clarify the company and employee are in Australia). I could hardly understand the person as they had a very heavy accent and their English was not very good. Pretty atrocious actually. I think they were trying to tell me there was some type of mistake with the bill and I owe extra. Anyway after about 10 minutes of me ripping my hair out and saying "I don't understand, can you please clarify XYZ" I had to say "apologies I am having trouble understanding, please send me an email with a written explanation of what has happened, including what action is required of me." I was at work and couldn't afford to spend half an hour playing "guess what I mean" with someone.

    After receiving the email I sort of understand the gist (I think) but still needed to send an email back seeking to clarify some things.

    I not against foreign workers in Oz. Or people with accents. Or people speaking a foreign language in Australia (hey I told my mum off for commenting to me that a neighbour should speak English as they are in Astraya).
    - I'm against people being hired to work in Australia in roles they are required to deal with the public in.... When they cant communicate effectively...when the public can't understand them. (Language doesn't have to be the key factor involved although it was in this particular case).

    The girl I spoke with was probably a lovely and smart person but I'm pi$$ed I lost 30 minutes of my time today trying to understand something that should have been a 2 minute conversation.

    Rant over.

    What would you all have done in this situation?

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  3. #2
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    Usually I say that I don't have time to get into it right now and that I want everything sent to me in writing.

  4. #3
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    How frustrating. I would have asked to speak to someone else.

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  6. #4
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    I think the expectation that you should have been able to understand the employee is a reasonable one.

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  8. #5
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    Could you have asked to speak to someone else or her supervisor?

    I agree though it is really frustrating when you can't understand someone especially when you don't have time to waste and it is in regards to money!

  9. #6
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    That would have been really frustrating . I would have done exactly as you did.

  10. #7
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    I worked once at a call centre (insurance claims) and part of employment was being easy to understand over the phone....but where is the line drawn with race discrimination? As in 'you didn't get the position as you are hard to understand on the phone' your hard to understand due to your accent....But I agree, nothing worse than someone taking your time and can't understand what they are saying

  11. #8
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    I have that problem with one of the doctors in my clinic. He's Indian and a lovely guy but I can't understand a word he's saying and he speaks so quickly! We just ask for specifically not him when we go in now just so I don't have to try and cope cause I would often come out more confused than I went in and several times he didn't actually do what was needed cause he hadn't really understood me either.

  12. #9
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    Often it has nothing to do with accents.

    Some people are just $hit at getting to the point and stating their business.

  13. #10
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    I absolutely understand this.

    I feel bad when I get annoyed when I'm put through to a foreign call centre. Half the time they cannot understand me... rather than me not being able to understand them. They don't understand what I'm trying to explain to them... while they're reading off some "standard" answers or whatever, but don't know what I'm trying to get out of calling them.

    I find it very very frustrating, as I don't call unless I have to, I spend ages waiting to get through to someone, and then my call goes nowhere because they don't even know what I'm asking of them.


 

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