What phone # to get an American speaking rep?

 
Old Oct 8, 2006, 12:01 pm
  #1  
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What phone # to get an American speaking rep?

I have just spent a very frustrating 3 phone calls to USAir, each time speaking with an agent I couldn't understand well not were they very knowledgeable. Is there a # that will connect me to an American speaking representative? The number I called before is 1-800-428-4322. I'm really getting frustrated. Thank you.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by pjammin
Is there a # that will connect me to an American speaking representative?
What exactly is an "American speaking representative"? I wasn't aware "American" was a language...
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 5:43 pm
  #3  
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When I say American speaking English, I mean English without such a heavy foreign accent that I can't understand them. Many people around the world speak English, this doesn't mean they are easily understood....especially over the telephone.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 7:22 pm
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That was the old legacy East US. America West had no offshore CSRs and in fact is migrating jobs back to the USA.

So they're saying "stick it in your eye" to those in the east that call Tempe the "Sand Castle." ^
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 7:47 pm
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Originally Posted by pjammin
When I say American speaking English, I mean English without such a heavy foreign accent that I can't understand them. Many people around the world speak English, this doesn't mean they are easily understood....especially over the telephone.
I am English, and many American accents are deeply 'foreign' to me. However, whilst us English English speakers are prepared to allow for Americans speaking with an accent that is 'foreign' to us, why is the same courtesy not respected vice-versa!? In the US, we are expected to say 'sidewalk' instead of pavement, 'faucet' instead of tap, 'tub' instead of bath, ask for your 'last name' instead of your surname, be directed to the 'restrooms' instead of the toilet etc etc..., whilst Americans visiting Europe don't display, generally, any similar cultural awareness or politeness at all.

We have no problem when visiting the USA adapting our vocabulary into American English in order to be understood. It's what you do when visiting another country.

Why is it ,then, that the English have to be adaptable to Americanisms in their own language, and do so courteously, yet are not shown any similar respect in return when visiting/being visited by their alleged friends across the pond?

Just an interesting thought. Perhaps Europeans are more cosmopolitan, culturally aware and socially adaptable. Any comments?

Last edited by warbo; Oct 8, 2006 at 7:57 pm
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 7:52 pm
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Originally Posted by warbo
Just an interesting thought. Perhaps Europeans are more cosmopolitan and adaptable. No, hang on , they definitely ARE...! Any comments?
Uhh...we won the war And yes, that is our answer for everything

But back to the OP, I only have the gold number and they definitely speak English/American. They don't give me what I want, but I do understand them.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by warbo
I am English, and many American accents are deeply 'foreign' to me. However, whilst us English English speakers are prepared to allow for Americans speaking with an accent that is 'foreign' to us, why is the same courtesy not respected vice-versa!?
The complaints are about the under-trained folks in the Philippines/Central America, and not the UK call center. It's the difference between native speakers and those who speak english as a second language. It's well document here on FT that it's hard to do business with the outsourced call centers. And it's not because the offshore agents are using vocabulary like taps, pavements, and surnames.

Last edited by hoobly; Oct 8, 2006 at 9:26 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by pjammin
I have just spent a very frustrating 3 phone calls to USAir, each time speaking with an agent I couldn't understand well not were they very knowledgeable. Is there a # that will connect me to an American speaking representative? The number I called before is 1-800-428-4322. I'm really getting frustrated. Thank you.
You should have a better chance during normal US office hours. As with most call centers, if you establish you're better served by trying another agent, do so.
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Old Oct 8, 2006, 11:06 pm
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Originally Posted by warbo
I am English, and many American accents are deeply 'foreign' to me. However, whilst us English English speakers are prepared to allow for Americans speaking with an accent that is 'foreign' to us, why is the same courtesy not respected vice-versa!? In the US, we are expected to say 'sidewalk' instead of pavement, 'faucet' instead of tap, 'tub' instead of bath, ask for your 'last name' instead of your surname, be directed to the 'restrooms' instead of the toilet etc etc..., whilst Americans visiting Europe don't display, generally, any similar cultural awareness or politeness at all.

We have no problem when visiting the USA adapting our vocabulary into American English in order to be understood. It's what you do when visiting another country.

Why is it ,then, that the English have to be adaptable to Americanisms in their own language, and do so courteously, yet are not shown any similar respect in return when visiting/being visited by their alleged friends across the pond?

Just an interesting thought. Perhaps Europeans are more cosmopolitan, culturally aware and socially adaptable. Any comments?

I have a friend that works for a Turkish call center, and I had remarked to him how good his English was (he went to school in England, so his accent was English.) He worked the Great Britian/European desk, and he said that all of the people in his group were proficient in English. I asked why they weren't tasked to a desk that dealt with America and he informed me that the best English speakers were reserved for the European desk since Europeans tended to be pickier about the customer service they receive. Americans, while they complain, deal with it, so the none proficient speakers go to the American desk and work their way to European desks.
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Old Oct 9, 2006, 12:57 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by pjammin
I have just spent a very frustrating 3 phone calls to USAir, each time speaking with an agent I couldn't understand well not were they very knowledgeable. Is there a # that will connect me to an American speaking representative? The number I called before is 1-800-428-4322. I'm really getting frustrated. Thank you.
You should consider proof reading your message before posting it. I consider you to be the pot calling the kettle black.
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Old Oct 9, 2006, 7:05 am
  #11  
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Wow, this is a tough crowd here. I thought I was just nicely asking for advice as a newbie and not prepared nor expecting some of the responses I've received.

warbo, I am very sorry as I certainly didn't mean any offense to our friends across the pond. My spouse is English (we met in London) so trust me when I say I have no problem understanding the British. I was trying to be politically correct without singling out the ethnicity of the USAir reps that I couldn't understand but I feel as if the responses are making me feel as if I'm the one difficult to understand. The representatives I was connected to yesterday must have all been in a call center in India. Not only were they difficult to understand, they were not knowledgeable with regards to using Dividend Miles for a Biz Class ticket to Europe. I received answers that had nothing to do with my question.

chowder. thank you for your helpful and sincere answer.
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Old Oct 9, 2006, 8:21 am
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The World is Flat after all, and outsourcing is now the norm, rather than the exception. I am concerned about being understood myself when I get an overseas call center. Being a language teacher, this makes me more aware of what and how I teach my students. This is a good example of why knowing a second language in order to communicate effectively to people of other countries and cultures is important.

However, I am more concerned about an agent's knowledge of the business they are representing, and these agents do not seem to be well-trained.
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Old Oct 9, 2006, 8:34 am
  #13  
 
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Foreign call centers are definitely my #1 pet peeve with UA. There is a good thread over on the Newsstand forum that might be of interest: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=605254

Chris
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Old Oct 9, 2006, 9:24 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by pjammin
Wow, this is a tough crowd here... Not only were they difficult to understand, they were not knowledgeable with regards to using Dividend Miles for a Biz Class ticket to Europe...
I think you caught us on a bad day

The new US is bringing home those outsourced call-center jobs; it may just take a little more time for all US calls to be handled at home. Unless you're a US Preferred, the number you called is the only one for general reservations/ award availability.

If you're using DM Miles for Envoy tix to Europe, try checking online first for availability. A quick glance shows decent Mileage Saver awards CLT- FRA, CLT-FCO still available for summer 2007. If you're looking at an open jaw, then yes, you have to call, but try to have the Mileage Saver flights you want ready to "suggest" to the telephone agent. You also have to call regarding partner awards using DM Miles, but I have no recent experience in this area.

Perseverance should pay off. Good luck!
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Old Oct 9, 2006, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by bitburgr
Uhh...we won the war And yes, that is our answer for everything

But back to the OP, I only have the gold number and they definitely speak English/American. They don't give me what I want, but I do understand them.
That may be partially true, but if you want to bring history into this discussion - and I don't see how it's relevant - the US only began to give a **** about the war in Europe when Pearl Harbour happened. Britain had been bombed by the Nazis for two years, and my home city of Liverpool almost destroyed, among others, before there was any US support. Why on earth are you bringing WW2 into a discussion about airline outsourcing/language use? Seems more than a bit ridiculous to me. Your comment is so far off the discussion I think you should be banned for a bit to recollect your thoughts.

Your local library will have a lovely selection of history books to read in the meantime.
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