“Excuse me, would you repeat that?” “Pardon me?” “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you.” I’m tired of repeating these comments when talking to customer service on the phone. More and more companies are going overseas, outsourcing their technical support to save money.

I don’t have a problem with any company trying to save money, although it would be nice to keep work in the USA. My problem is that these service people cannot speak understandable English. Oh, they try their best, even taking on English names like Frank, George, Mary — but when I have to say “Would you repeat that, slowly?” several times, it increases my frustration. I think we have all experienced this.

10 comments on this story

I’ve called to solve a problem, and a lack of language skills gets in the way of solving that problem. Sometimes it’s so bad I hang up and call back, hoping for a better experience.

Don’t companies understand if they sell a product that will eventually need service, and then you get bad service, that it’s a direct reflection on their company and product?

It seems like shooting yourself in the foot. Go overseas if you want, but realize it isn’t smart to save a nickel now if you lose a dollar later. As my grandpa said, “Shutting the barn door after the horse is gone doesn’t bring the horse back.”

Bruce Barton