Taking it to the bank

I had a disturbing experience recently during a telephone conversation with the customer service department at Wachovia Bank. Having considerable difficulty understanding the individual I was speaking to, I inquired as to the location of the call center. The individual would not state the location of the call center, only that it was Wachovia’s customer service. On my next visit to the bank, I asked the customer-service manager the same question. After an evasive answer, the woman conceded they indeed had a call center in India.

I do not believe I am a particularly biased or prejudiced individual. I do not believe everything we do as Americans is always better than [an]other country’s. What I do believe, though, is that when I bank with a financial institution in this country, my financial information will remain in this country, subject to U.S. laws and jurisdiction. With identity theft a growing concern, I need more reassurance that some individual in New Dehli is not sharing my information with his brother-in-law in Bangladesh or anywhere else. Call me paranoid, but I have now switched to a local bank with call centers only in North Carolina. I may be overreacting, but I am sleeping much better.

—  David Walker
Black Mountain

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3 thoughts on “Taking it to the bank

  1. emma

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/24/business/outsource.php

    Here is an article from the International Tribune about how India is outsourcing their outsourcing.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. Especially when it is your personal information.

    I would like to be able to understand their english at the very least…I had a sales call from Yellow Pages and after asking the young man to repeat himself several times I finally told him I did not have time and hung up. A few seconds later he called me back and hung up on me.

    I mean if you are going to try to sell something at least use someone who speaks passable english.

    Microsoft has the same problem with their customer service…after repeating my name at the end of every sentence and putting me on hold because he had “never heard of this problem before I must check with my supervisor”…only to be told three times to repeat my question, I finally gave up and fixed the problem myself.

    Some customer sevice.

    I know at some places they give these people “American” names and actually give the workers english lessons to try to get them to speak without an accent. It’s not working.

    Outsourcing is really not working – on so many levels.

  2. Rob Close

    “Hi. Would you be interested in switching over to TMI Long Distance service?”
    “Oh, gee, I can’t talk right now. Why don’t you give me your home number and I’ll call you later.”
    “Uh, sorry, we’re not allowed to do that.”
    “Oh, I guess you don’t want people calling you at home.”
    “No.”
    “Well, now you know how I feel.”
    – Telemarketer and Jerry, in “The Pitch”

    sorry for the seinfeld quote, but ’tis a good one.
    and not wanting your private info outsourced to ANY foreign land where our laws are weak isn’t racist; it’s common sense.

  3. craig

    The letter makes an interesting point about personal information and protection of it under international law.

    And also, I agree there’s often a communication problem. I once tried to order a pair of computer speakers by phone through a computer manufacturer whose name rhymes with “hell” and whose other products I’ve bought easily before by the same method.

    Well, the order taker was quite a friendly, enthusiastic fellow. But I felt bad because I couldn’t understand a word he said, and I’m sure he couldn’t understand much of what I said, either. Although I’m not sure where he was located on the globe, I’m guessing it wasn’t anywhere near my home in Winston-Salem.

    Eventually, after many repeated utterances, we agreed that a normal conversation was just not going to happen and we parted ways amicably.

    Unfortunately, no speakers were obtained and no sale was made.

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