Monday, January 07, 2008

Rude British callers upset Indian call centre workers

Indian call centre workers are falling sick because of verbal abuse by infuriated British callers.

According to research by Glasgow's Strathclyde University for the Union of IT Enabled Services, which informally represents call centre workers, 1.6 million people who work in the industry in India, mostly in their twenties, are plagued by ailments like heart attacks, ulcers and insomnia which are caused by the stress of dealing with irate customers.

The Strathclyde University study found that 77 per cent of Indian call centre workers felt "very" pressurized and 45 per cent identified difficult customers as the main source of their stress, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.

The study will be published later in January. A recent health survey by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations has revealed that the outsourcing industry was most at risk from diseases that would hit productivity.

It estimated that heart disease, strokes and diabetes would cost India more than £100 billion in lost productivity over the next 10 years.

"Youngsters love spending the kind of money their parents only dreamt about, but I'm worried that stress and illness will turn them into zombies," Karthik Shekhar, the union's general secretary, has been quoted as saying. Staff in call centres in India, who deal with customers in Britain, have been quoted as saying that they have been shocked at the ferocity of the verbal attacks they encounter from the callers. The call centre workers are routinely called "Pakis", a term of abuse, by their callers.

One call centre operator said she was tired of wishing customers a good morning only to hear: "Oh, I'm through to India am I? Put me through to someone who can understand English, you f****** cow."

"I think they were angry that their jobs had come to India," said another call centre operator. "They were so emotional and angry, it was like instant hatred. I'd want to cry but I couldn't, I had to take the next call."

10 comments:

Matt said...

I keep seeing the statement that we are rude and upset indian call centre workers.

In my experience the only rudeness that has ever been displayed is a retalitory act in defence of ourselves.

I had a call from a "3com" trying to sell me a 3G phone. I told them numerous times I wasn't interested. And he kept on pushing and pushing, I eventually asked to be put thorugh to a manager. He told me he was the manager of the call centre and that I was a complete as*hole and c*nt. When I said pardon me! He then told me how I didn't understand English and that he could speak it far better than I could.

So what did I do? I verbally tore him to shreds. It is exactly what he deserved.

How about writing an article how rude money grabbing Indians call us at home on a TPS listed number. Then attack us for not wanting to buy into their ridiculous con of a deal!

Wake up in MOST cases they get what they deserve!

Anju said...

It might be possible that the caller be someone who uses swear words or rude language, it is best to be direct and say "you should not use rude language. If you continue, I will have to hang up the phone." I have found this generally helps the situation. If the caller is a frequent customer, you must determine if you want to keep them as a customer if they continue the abuse of the agents. You may wish to have this person always transferred to a supervisor if it is someone that cannot be lost as a customer.

Matt said...

Anju: I don't know if that is a response to my post or not. I am not complaining about the customers abusive language rather the call centre workers. These workers are making outbound sales calls to unlisted numbers.

If someone calls me a stupid as*hole simply because I won't buy their product, it is unlikely that I would or any other person would say

"you should not use rude language. If you continue, I will have to hang up the phone".

Anonymous said...

I totally agree I have up to 3 calls a day from 3g who use the sales pitch is Mrs Turner there, when I say no she does not live at this address they try to sell to me. I've told them I'm not interested but they then get rude and abusive. My cousin has had the same problem and the lady at the Indian call centre kept ringing their house and swearing at himself and his wife both of us are registered with TPS but these calls still get through. We have both contacted 3g to be told its nothing to do with them, something needs doing about these Indian call centre staff as they don't seem to be able to take no for an answer.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Matt. I too have had the same kind of experience.

They first call you and lick your feet if they feel you will buy and if you say "I am not interested" they start abusing you in there mother-tongue.

Its not fair.

Adi.

Anonymous said...

i also work in a call center and our clients are from the UK. from my experience they are polite, actually more polite than americans, and they only get irate if they are treated unfairly. though i, most of the itme, compromise with them, and they do not get irate anymore. i am not into sales, and more into customer service. i think, british or not, you will only get irate if you are provoked.

Anonymous said...

What a great last post, its nice to see some balance

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Anonymous said...

I find the canned scrips which are inviolable. There is no personal introduction and present themselves as a corporate edifice or some western name. When the contact is made in this manner my response is usually colourful but remains eloquent and florid using my knowledge of street Indo-Aryan and Dravidian uttering. I am not sorry that speaking to someone raises their risk of stroke and heart attack. I consider it a bit of gandmasti. Here is a suggestion, why not destroy the reputation and piracy of these corporations in our calls and admit they are cha cha chod?

Anonymous said...

"Rude British callers upset Indian call centre workers".

Good!