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What determines where the call center is that answers the phone?

What determines where the call center is that answers the phone?

Old Sep 14, 18, 6:42 pm
  #1  
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What determines where the call center is that answers the phone?

Several days ago, I wanted to get some information on aspects of booking, points, and reservation fees on BA, so telephoned the Executive Club number on the website. The first person who answered was someone on the Indian subcontinent. It was almost impossible to understand what he was saying, although he was speaking in English. He did not know the answer to my questions, and he transferred me to someone else, who also had a very heavy local accent, and whom I could also barely understand. He, also did not have the answer to my questions, and transferred me to a third agent, from whom I did get some answers, although he had to say everything at least twice before I could understand him. On Wednesday, around 9:00 pm London time, I called to purchase tickets, and was delighted to be able to talk to two individuals who spoke with (what I believe is) an English accent. As an american, I am not used to hearing people speak with very heavy Indian or Pakistani accents, and thus it was difficult to understand them. What I am wondering is, for future times I may have to call BA, are there are times of the day when one can count on getting an agent on the phone in England, or somewhere they speak with an English, Irish, or Scottish accent?
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Old Sep 14, 18, 7:17 pm
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If you can acquire exactly 1687 tier points you get Order of the Thistle status and you will always be answered with a Govan accent, which apparently will suit you just fine.
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Old Sep 15, 18, 2:15 am
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Time of day you call, your status, number you dial, volume of calls at the time, position of Pluto in relation to Mars and so on.
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Old Sep 15, 18, 3:24 am
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Indian call centres. Revenge for the Raj.
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Old Sep 15, 18, 3:34 am
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I guess it's typical call flow management. High value customers would be first routed to UK call centres and only use outsourcers in India to manage overflow and UK non working hours. Low value customers will probably go straight to India.
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Old Sep 15, 18, 3:46 am
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Had a similar issue when I needed to contact talk talk a few years ago about my broadband system (It's not only BA that loose your data).

I got the impression that if you just wanted support and assistance then you were directed all round the globe, if you wanted to spend money you spoke to somebody in this country.
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Old Sep 15, 18, 4:02 am
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Originally Posted by rather_be_on_a_griffin View Post
If you can acquire exactly 1687 tier points you get Order of the Thistle status and you will always be answered with a Govan accent, which apparently will suit you just fine.
On a random side note re accents I remember being on a detached duty to the North East of Scotland for the first time and before commencing duty we had to book into the hotel to dump all our personal gear...I swear to god it took around half a minute for me to understand the young receptionists accent..and thats from a fellow scot !!

Last edited by argonath; Sep 15, 18 at 4:02 am Reason: editing
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Old Sep 15, 18, 4:31 am
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Good luck if you get the Newcastle call centre.

"Alreet marra?"
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Old Sep 15, 18, 4:52 am
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As someone who has a severe hearing impairment, I struggle with any telephone call and especially dread having to speak to someone in a call centre.
My last booking was via the BA website but on IB operated flights. I was, and still am, unable to reserve my CE seats online - the BA site redirects me to the IB site which then tells me that this booking does not allow seat reservations (Club Europe, Silver BAEC)?. I resorted to calling the IB helpline but the "gentleman" who answered understandably had a very strong Spanish accent and this, coupled with my hearing impairment, meant that I had to continually ask him to repeat everything. Eventually he heaved a huge sigh and hung up.
I wish that it was possible to get these issues sorted online - the Twitter team just referred me to the helpline number.
The whole process is not very sympathetic to hearing-disabled people!
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Old Sep 15, 18, 6:03 am
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BA claim to have about 45m passenger journeys per annum. Assuming returns, that would be about 22m slf, and c 22m interactions with slf. It will be less than this as many are repeat customers. (Many on here)

Amazon have over 350 million customers. 350m active Amazon acct holders.

As a very important and senior Blue member of the slf, if I ring BA I often have to HUACA as I cannot understand the person on the phone.

Whenever I call Amazon, whether I talk to Jamaica, the Philippines, or wherever, I understand every word.

Why does BA make it so difficult to be a customer??

In reply to the question, BA has a secret algorithm that allocates calls depending on which credit card you use, and how easy it would be for hackers to steal your data.
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Old Sep 15, 18, 6:24 am
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Originally Posted by Wifie View Post
As someone who has a severe hearing impairment, I struggle with any telephone call and especially dread having to speak to someone in a call centre.
My last booking was via the BA website but on IB operated flights. I was, and still am, unable to reserve my CE seats online - the BA site redirects me to the IB site which then tells me that this booking does not allow seat reservations (Club Europe, Silver BAEC)?. I resorted to calling the IB helpline but the "gentleman" who answered understandably had a very strong Spanish accent and this, coupled with my hearing impairment, meant that I had to continually ask him to repeat everything. Eventually he heaved a huge sigh and hung up.
I wish that it was possible to get these issues sorted online - the Twitter team just referred me to the helpline number.
The whole process is not very sympathetic to hearing-disabled people!
Try using rj.com
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Old Sep 15, 18, 6:24 am
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Originally Posted by argonath View Post
On a random side note re accents I remember being on a detached duty to the North East of Scotland for the first time and before commencing duty we had to book into the hotel to dump all our personal gear...I swear to god it took around half a minute for me to understand the young receptionists accent..and thats from a fellow scot !!
I am originally from Aberdeen and know that I can drive five minutes out into the countryside and would be pretty much lost during some conversations. "Yon kai is gae drookit" - That bovine is remarkably wet. In fact, the same can be said for some parts of Aberdeen city itself: "Yir fare muckit wi dubs" - One is amazingly soiled with mud-based contaminants.

But I guess many can say that about their countryside neighbours or other parts of their cities - that's linguistic diversity for you. Am I right or a meringue?!
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Old Sep 15, 18, 8:17 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Wifie View Post
I resorted to calling the IB helpline but the "gentleman" who answered understandably had a very strong Spanish accent and this, coupled with my hearing impairment, meant that I had to continually ask him to repeat everything. Eventually he heaved a huge sigh and hung up.
My wife called the IB line the other week to cancel tickets. Even with her being a Spanish speaker she couldn't understand what the chap at the other end was saying so hung up....she thinks the call centre was somewhere in Central America. She called again only this time she chose the English speaking option and got a lovely girl...they understood each other perfectly.
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Old Sep 15, 18, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by BA6501 View Post
Try using rj.com
^ Oh, that was too easy
After all that hassle and there is a solution after all.
Thank you!!
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Old Sep 15, 18, 8:43 am
  #15  
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I think if you go via the "change booking" option on the IVR then you are more likely to get a UK based representative, or at least a more experienced agent. Or of course you could ask your question on Flyertalk, there will probably be someone online who can give an accurate and informed answer if you can be specific as to the details. It's entirely possible, if unlikely, that a Contact Centre agent has never stepped on an aircraft.

There is no point fighting this global economy, we're all in it together. My own part of Northumberland has a dialect that still uses thee and thou, and a mix of Scottish, Cumberland, Norse, Dutch and Geordie words ("yous outwith thy fadda's huis") and growing up I had no idea that people spoke any differently. Some of the kids I went to school with now work for BA at the Newcastle Contact Centre, though I've no doubt they too have tempered their accents, just don't call it a Geordie accent!

With willingness, I don't think it takes too long to get used to the Delhite accent, but of course in a short telephone call time isn't really on your side. In which case there is no harm in saying "I am terribly sorry, but I am struggling to understand, would you mind transferring me to another agent please?". Some of the Delhi contact centre staff have studied in the USA and can probably manage American English better than other agents. Twitter DM is another route.
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