Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Call center blues...

With reported unemployment levels well under 4%, is it possible that those boring, modestly paid, call center jobs are scratching the bottom of the barrel for workers.  India is no longer the call center location of choice as the pay was too low for their growing economy, and management there was difficult.  The Philippines brief run as a preferred location was brief for some reason. More and more companies seem to be locating call centers in Texas, Oklahoma, and southwestern states.  Competency does not seem to be a criteria for employment, wherever located.

Today, working with a call center in Oklahoma, to get my online subscription to GoDanRiver.com up and running, was a minor nightmare, and unsuccessful, a bad dream that ends badly.  The newspaper is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the venerable Buffett firm that owns local newspapers all over the U.S.  Having received a letter confirming my subscription and approving debiting my account, it still does not work.  There is still "your five free articles this month are complete. To subscribe...".  It is impossible to believe that this person who was trying to help was looking at the same screen that I was.  He argued with me, saying it works, don't you see it.  When I asked to speak to a supervisor he refused, saying "I am very competent", and when he talked fast his accent was difficult to understand.  I tried this over a year ago, did not work. Again, did not work after 18 minutes on the phone this morning.  Is it me?

Today as well, tried to finalize a master securities lending agreement with Fidelity.  There is one in place with Schwab and it has been useful.  Interest rates have at times been extremely high for less liquid securities. I know the risk, and understand financial analysis.  The Fidelity call center individual suggested that I fax back the agreement in its entirety in order to get the agreement in place, and gave me a little lecture on why Fidelity does not trust the U.S. mail.  Could he have been an off script overly friendly trainee.  I suggested that he send me a return UPS envelope as Schwab had done.  He wanted to talk more.  Maybe he will send what is needed, and here's hoping that the opportunities seen now are still viable.  No big deal.

My optimum remote broke a few days ago. It was old, and this has happened before.  A new one was picked up a the local Optimum store a few miles away. The directions for set-up were unclear, both in content and in text.  The print was so small on the instructions that they were almost impossible to read, and yes my eyeglasses prescription has recently been updated.  With this call, lo and behold, after 20 minutes on the phone there was success.  It was then that I decided to tell this fellow that recently I had been getting a pop-up from Optimum that was asking for information, and it seemed to be unusual, you know as in needing an immediate response or my service would be stopped.  He wanted to talk about it. Politely trying to tell him that this is something he should tell others, as it looked exactly like Optimum branding, he did not get it.  The pop-up showed up again a few hours ago.  You can lead a horse to water but...

An unknown company had a call center in Danville and that closed... what does that say?  Is it me?


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