India Uncut

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Friday, May 27, 2005

No more accents

Mid Day reports:
Call centre executives can at last throw their annoying Texas drawls or fancy Brit inflections out of the window – BPOs have decided to do away with foreign accents in favour of plain, natural English.

Rajesh Ramola, a trainer at Personaliteez, a Mira Road call centre, explained: β€œIn the beginning, clients, especially Americans, were unaware their calls were being outsourced, so we were forced to speak in an accent. Now everybody knows, so there is no point to it anymore.”
Hmmm. And will they revert to their original names as well? In some BPOs, Krishnamachari becomes Chris, Harvinder becomes Harry and Janaki becomes Jane. The reason for that, of course, is not just deception, but to make it easy for the customer to pronounce their name, if required.

Imagine this conversation:
Customer: Hello, is that the XYZ service centre. There are some problems in my latest credit card statement? I haven't subscribed to all these, um, websites?

Executive: Tee hee. What's your credit card number, sir?

Customer: Um, where is this call being taken?

Executive: Ghatkopar, sir, in India.

Customer: And what is your name?

Executive: Sir, my name is Pamulapartivenkata.

Customer: What's that? Sorry?

Executive: Pamulapartivenkata. And that's just the short form. Would you like my full name?

Customer: Um, forget it. Bloody Indians. @#$@*&# *&$%#@&! [Hangs up.]

Executive: Of course, you could call me Pam or Pamela. Except that I'm a man. Hoo ha ha, ho ho. Ha. Ho. Hee. Have a good day, Sir.
Well, at least the accent's gone. Sensible decision. Deception is bad.
amit varma, 10:58 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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