Monday, July 25, 2011


I usually don't answer the telephone when I see any 800-number calls, but let them go to voice mail, but today, I was waiting on a call-back verification on my "New Yorker" subscription which I had just accepted a few minutes earlier.

The caller told me that his name was "Scott" and he wanted to tell me about exciting new benefits on my Discover Card. Recognizing that his voice sounded as if he were from India, I asked, "How's the weather in Mumbai?" He timidly laughed a little and said, "Oh, I'm in Kolkuta!" I knew that "Calcutta" had been replaced by "Kolkuta" but I didn't know about the pronunciation. I said, "I didn't know that's how it is pronounced!" He had said "Kohl-kuh-tuh" whereas I would have still have pronounced it as "Cal-cut-uh". After a short, but polite conversation, I declined the services offered.

I just received the following e-mail from my friend Lee, and I don't know if it is true, but I am going to try it:

Subject: "800" number calls

Any time you call an 800 number for a credit card, banking, charter communications, health and other insurance, computer help desk, etc., and you find that you're talking to a foreign customer service representative (perhaps in India, Philippines, etc.) please consider doing the following:

After you connect and you realize that the customer service representative is not from the USA (you can always ask if you are not sure about the accent), please, very politely (this is not about trashing other cultures) say, "I'd like to speak to a customer service representative in the United States of America."

The representative might suggest talking to his/her manager, but again, politely say, "Thank you, but I'd like to speak to a customer service representative in the USA."


It takes less than one minute to have your call re-directed to the USA. Tonight when I got redirected to a U.S. representative, I asked again to make sure, and yes, she was from Fort Lauderdale.

Imagine what would happen if every US citizen insisted on talking to only U.S. phone representatives from this day forward. Imagine how that would ultimately impact the number of US jobs that would need to be created ASAP.

If I tell 10 people to consider this and you tell 10 people to consider doing this--see what I mean--it becomes an exercise in Viral Marketing 101.

Remember, the goal here is to restore jobs here at home; not to be abrupt or rude to a foreign phone representative. It is not their fault U.S. companies outsourced the jobs.


Mona Lisa said...

I went on snopes and found out it isn't true!

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