Thursday, September 3, 2009

Only in America......

The battery on my laptop died recently which mandated a call to Dell Customer Service which in my book, is about as fun as a root canal.

Here's how the conversation went:

Dell Dude:
(somewhere in India). Thank you for calling Dell Customer Service. My name is Jonathan Appleby and I will be assisting you this evening. May I have your home phone number?

Me : (looks out the window to confirm it's morning and thinks to herself "Jonathan, my ass") 555-555-5555.

Dell Dude
: And your given name, please?

Me: Angela

Dell Dude
: Yes, Miss Angela, can you confirm your home number?

Me : It's the number I just gave you.

Dell Dude : Um oh yes, okay Miss Angela. Can I have the last four digits of your account number?

Me : I do NOT have that.

Dell Dude : I am thanking you for your permission to assist you, please.

Me : ::sighs::

Dell Dude : Can I confirm with you the spelling of your family name?

Me : What?

Dell Dude : Your last name, Miss Angela

Me : D E B E N.....

Dell Dude : D B E N ....

Me : No. ::pregnant pause::

Dell Dude : My apologies, Miss Angela. Let's try that again, shall we?

Me : (spells it again even faster this time)

Dell Dude : Let me see if I have that correctly. B as in Bravo, E as in Echo, D as in Delta, N as in November, E as in Echo...

Me : N as in.......Negative (growing somewhat exasperated by this time)

Dell Dude : I'm very sorry, m'am. Let me try again. D as in Delta, E as in Echo, B as in Bravo E as in Echo, N as in November, E as in Echo...

Me : (her "inner child" starts misbehaving and the voice in her head shouts out "CHAI WAILLA*!).

Me: Roger that!

Dell Dude : I am begging your pardon, Miss Angela?

Me: Never mind

(Being that my last name is eleven letters long with five e's, b's, d's and n's, this continues on for several more minutes and the real issue at hand has not even been addressed). Finally I blurt out:

Me : No offense, SIR but what we have here is a "fail-yuh tuh co-myoo ni cate". Is there a
number I can call in America to speak with an...........American?

Dell Dood: My apologies m'am. Yes that number is 555-555-5555. Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Me: You're kidding me, right? No.

Dell Dood: Well, Miss Angela. I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you for shopping with Dell. I hope I have provided you exceptional service. If you need to reference this..........

Me: (click)

This is just a glimpse of what is wrong with "Corporate America". In an effort to maximize profits, large companies are "restructuring" (read: terminating employees) and outsourcing their call centers to 3rd world countries. While this may bode well for the company, it kinda blows for the consumer.

Wonders what happened to the old adage "the customer is king?"

*character in Slumdog Millionaire

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