I pit tech support help desks in India

My first pit thread…oooh, all a’shiver. Basically it says it all in the title…I’m sick and tired of calling for tech support only to be transfered (usually on some shitty phone connection) to some seemingly poorly trained Indian tech who can’t understand ME (I understand them fine) when I talk to them. I end up having to repeat myself constantly, to explain things over and over, and get off the wall answers to questions I’m not even asking. Its SO fucking frustrating. Its getting to the point now that I check out tech support with different vendor before I recommend to my customers equipment or services…and if they have an Indian (or several other Asian countries) help desk I will recommend another a different vendor (assuming THEY have tech support here in the US).

This isn’t a matter of being anti-outsourcing, or of being prejudiced against folks in other nations or in some flag waving desire to keep jobs here in the US. I just fucking want good service when I call for tech support…I want to be able to explain my problem once and get an answer thats at least in the ball park of what I’m asking…hell, I’d be happy if they were talking about the same PRODUCT in most cases (yeah, I’ve actually called such a help desk and had to explain patiently for over 30 min. to some bozo in New Deli that I’m talking about a completely different product, and while your explaination is nice and all IT DOESNT FUCKING HELP ME OUT ANY SINCE I’M NOT USING THAT, YOU FUCKING MORON!)

Don’t get me wrong…even American help desks are full of morons. But generally speaking at least they are staffed with morons who understand me when I’m speaking to them…and usually I can get through the first tier moron reading off of a sheet pinned to his wall (‘Lets see: Step one, have you ensured the power is on?’) and get someone who actually has a clue eventually. Its one less thing to be frustrated about if they actually understand the questions I’m asking them…even if they don’t know the answer right off.

Companies that outsource their tech support but expect to service mostly American clients really need to re-think this whole outsourcing thing IMO. Either they need to ensure that the techs in whatever country they plop their help desk down in actually understand english AND understand AMERICAN english (in other words institute some kind of quality control you fucking morons), or they need to move those help desks back to the US.


Thank you. Saved me the trouble.

I do have to say that the one time I got Indian tech support, the guy was excellent. He stayed on the phone with me not just long enough to fix the problem, but through an entire intallation. It took about an hour. But I probably just got lucky.

Just a couple of quick thoughts here: First, I would love to see these types of threads without the need to add the “I’m not a racist” disclaimer. If the person reading thinks that just because you, as a customer, ask to deal with a representative that you can communicate with that this somehow makes you a racist or un PC or what not, well, that person is just a hopeless moron.

The other thing is that this:

Is what will solve the problem in the long run.

What brand of computer is this?

It isn’t just tech support. My company (well, it’s HR benefits administration contractor) had to move its “support” back to the US because of exactly that problem. They went with the lowest bidder and now it’s costing more than if they’d kept it at home.

Whenever I have to work with new vendors (I’m in IT), the location of their core-hour and after-hour tech support is one of the first ten question I ask the representative.

Its not a computer…one of the instances I was talking about a firewall product, another was an automated tape backup system/software. In another case it was routers/switches.

Probably, but it seems a pretty standard disclaimer. And since most folks don’t have a clue who I am or where I stand on things I figured I’d drop it in to prevent any tangents popping up.

True enough…its helped already. But, since this is the place to vent and since I had a run in this morning with just such a situation when one of my engineers got frustrated and handed me the phone I figured I’d go ahead and vent. :slight_smile:

There are truely excellent tech people in India…I know, I worked there for one of my former companies as a contractor building infrastructure. And to be honest sometimes I have gotten good tech support from one of their help desks that are outsourced by companies who’s products I use. However, generally the support has been very poor both from a technical perspective AND from a language perspective. As I said, its not so much that I don’t understand what they are saying…its that they don’t seem to be able to understand what I’m saying. Granted, I do speak with a bit of a mexican/south west accent…but no one here seems to have a major problem understanding me. And 2 of my engineers have no hispanic accent at all (one is from New York so that might be part of the problem :)), so I don’t think its just me.


My biggest customer just outsourcec much of its first tier tech support to a company in Bangalore. It’s not worked out very well, but it’s had nothing to do with anyone’s accent:

  1. Quality of phone service to the centre in Bangalore has been spotty.

  2. The outsourcing company, in the spirit of companies taking on big contracts since the beginning of time, apparently presented the Grade A employees when negotiating the contract, then switched them out for the turkeys after the deal was done.

It’s an old story. Doesn’t matter if it’s India or Indiana; if you outsource, you face new and possibly difficult quality concerns.

Last time I needed tech support I quickly begged, “Please don’t send me to India! I’ve difficulty communicating with your support people there.” and I got transferred to Canada instead. Doesn’t hurt to state the problem up front. Even if they haven’t outsourced to a couple of different locations at least you’ve expressed your needs and it may get back to someone who gives a shit.

Ahhh, I long for the days when I could call the 2nd floor and get a new toner cartridge for our LaserJet when it was out. Now I have to call India and have them place a ticket.

Tech: “So the printer is not printing?”
Me: “It’s just out of toner.”
Tech: “Nothing is printing?”
Me: “No, it’s just spotty, some parts are fine, others aren’t printing. We just need a new toner cartridge.”"
Tech: “What kind of error message are you getting?”
Me: “No error message, it’s just out of toner!”
Tech: “Well, first I’m going to need all your information…”

4 hours later, the guy comes down from the 2nd floor with the toner. Wow, good thing we don’t have any timelines to deal with back here. :rolleyes:

The only thing I object to is when they say, “Hello, my name is Donald, how may I help you?”

YOUR NAME IS NOT DONALD! Your name is Jagdish! I know it, you know it, so why do we play this game?

For the record, odds are that the “moron” in the US call center isn’t that bad, it’s that corporate suit boneheads decide that tier one support has to follow a chart written by a suit and not a real tech and the worker gets in trouble if he or she doesn’t follow it. In fact, I’ve seen plenty of cases where the tier two reps were significantly dumber (got their jobs by sucking up to dumb suits) but looked smarter because they didn’t have to follow the stupid checklist.

Well, ok, sometimes there are real morons, but again that’s often a suit to blame again. I had some examples of workers who couldn’t pass the competency tests but got on the call floor anyway because they were dating someone who had some pull (in which case they got promoted pretty quickly, spreading their incomptence far and wide) or to fill seats or whatever.

Don’t be so sure.

If memory serves, HP/Compaq Australia outsourced their support to India a little while ago and they lost so many customers as a result that they brought it back to Oz.

I deal with support people on a regular basis and it can be very difficult to understand them. I often end up asking them to email me.

Some of these outsourced help desk support groups have an instant message type chat support now…but I’ve even run into some problems there. However, email and chat seem to work better sometimes than talking to the tech on the phone.


Because if they DO admit their name is Jagdish, racist assholes make an issue out of it.

Not that you’re a racist asshole, but believe me, it’s a problem. They really have no choice.

Yet, their secret is safe if they don’t, even though they all sound like they were recruited out of a Kwik-E-Mart? I don’t care that they are in India, I don’t care that they are not Americans, I just object to the blatantly transparent deception, that’s all.

The first computer I purchased from Dell, I was so pleased with the service. I believe my tech support calls were routed to Texas and the staff was fantastic.

Now, I am starting to think Dell must have done extensive research to ensure their technical support was as shitty as possible.

My last experience involved calling the 800 number. After 20 minutes, the lovely Indian gentleman answers and asks for my service code. I give it to him. He informs me I am a priority customer and as such should be talking to the priority service desk. I tell him I did not purchase extended technical support, but he insists he cannot talk to me and transfers me.

I’m on hold for 1 hour and 32 minutes. They ask for my service code. They tell me I don’t have priority access and thus they will not help me. When I explain that I’ve been waiting the better part of two hours because of the first guy, they blind transfer me back to India to wait in the queue again.

When I actually get to speak to someone, they can’t understand the issue. I explain it as slowly and clearly as I can manage, but they cannot comprehend the issue. I thought my head was going to explode.

I had the same problem with their online technical support chat function. The representatives either have only the most rudimentary understanding of English, or they have absolutely substandard training.

YES YES YES YES YES!! My experiences mirror yours: when I got my first Dell, back many years ago, customer service was fantastic. A few years later, I encouraged a friend to buy one in part because she’s not terribly computer savvy and we agreed good tech support was essential. Oh boy, did I ever learn how far their standards had fallen.

Also, after you go through the long queues and multiple call transfers, the answer is always “Reinstall the operating system.” It’s the one-size fits all solution to any computer problem. Missing a printer cable? Reinstall the operating system!