Nul points to Equifax’ call centre – which, apparently, is in the Philippines.
They, most certainly, were one of the organizations in mind when I was talking about “procedure” getting in the way of simple humanity.
So far, their UK base has dealt with me in a wholly civilized and possibly quite intelligent way. Nonetheless, I was a systems analyst once upon a time and, now that I have seen how they have dealt with the problem of me “changing” name, I have my doubts that the solution will work very well.
But maybe it will. I dunno. All I wanted was to phone their call centre, ask if it was at all possible to talk to the person who had dealt with my query in the first place or to pass a message on… and then to explain my concern. Sorted, yeah?
No. I phoned. I waited in a queue. I then began one of those calls from hell, with someone whose English comprehension appears to be less than perfect, and who gets by on the basis that she can, nonetheless, follow a script. Problem with that is: the moment you go off-script, this type of operator is left floundering.
Memo to Equifax: credit checking is one of the most sensitive areas of financial life. For many individuals, it is an issue that directly affects health and well-being. So where do you get off, off-shoring a call centre dealing with inevitably difficult and tricky questions to somewhere like the Phillipines? How DARE you, in fact, off-shore such an important function!
I digress. The call started badly, as call operator instantly swung into script. Then she balked at my name. Are you Jane Fae? Yes.
No: I mean are you the person whose name is on the account? Yes. My name is Jane Fae.
This one was bad. We waltzed around that three, maybe four times. I was becoming very upset. She was pushing me to up my volume, which in turn was lowering the pitch of my voice, which I hate.
I told her that she was being insulting: that she was upsetting me. She played call centre ploy no. 23: I am sorry the line is bad. Nope. One of the clearest lines I’ve had in a while.
I was rude. My bad: I almost never do that nowadays, but the bland refusal to acknowledge that anything whatsoever was going on in the conversation…that she was upsetting me… was itself pretty insulting.
I used the s-word, suggesting that she was stupid: I think, but can’t be sure, that I said she clearly wasn’t understanding what was being said.
After the third or fourth time of saying I was Jane, she said she had to check something. The line went dead. Then she was back.
OK. How might she help me. I said put me through to a supervisor. Why? She couldn’t do that without a reason. I said because I felt insulted and upset by her treatment of me. To complain about her behaviour. Oh: but she needs to know the reason for the call.
Through gritted teeth, I explain that I am simply trying to see if there is a note on the record giving contact details of the person I’ve been dealing with on my case so far and asking if I can talk to them/put a message thru to them.
Note? Notice? Notification? She’s back on her script. She hasn’t understood what I’ve said at all, but she’s picked out one phoneme at random and is trying to respond to that.
Line goes dead again.
Then she’s back. No. The supervisor can’t talk to me. How may she help me?
Aaargh! I say she can’t. I say she has upset me, insulted me and I am going to terminate the call. She is still trying to reconnect to one or other of her scripts when I put the phone down. Oh, dear. I think this one is going to prove difficult.