Have you had difficulty understanding offshored Vonage support reps?

Have you had difficulty understanding offshored Vonage support reps?

Summary: Before I present the issue,  I feel compelled to state a hard and fast ground rule.I do not want to see any bigoted comments.



Before I present the issue,  I feel compelled to state a hard and fast ground rule.

I do not want to see any bigoted comments.

OK, now to my point.

For years now, I have read numerous comments on the Vonage Forum from some Vonage users frustrated by the fact they have had trouble understanding Vonage's Tier One customer support reps.

Most of these reps are in the Philippines.  Give that is a nation with a substantial percentage of English speakers, I still read reports indicating frustration along the lines of "I couldn't understand what he/she was saying."

Of course, the reason Vonage offshores its Tier One tech support is to save on payroll. And a point could be made that without those savings, Vonage would have to charge more per month than they currently do for phone service. That would be especially true if Tier One tech support was based in the U.S.- with our pricey health care system and related, employee-provided benefits.

Vonage-using (or ex-Vonage using) readers, would you like to see Vonage bring back their Tier One tech support back to the U.S.?  Would you pay $5 more a month if they did so?

Topics: Health, CXO, Enterprise Software, Software, IT Employment

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  • To answer your questions - Yes, Yes, Maybe.

    1. Yes, I've had difficulty understanding some of Vonage's tier 1 support personnel.

    2. Yes, I'd like to see tier 1 support brought back to the US.

    3. Maybe I'd pay $5 more per month for Vonage service.
  • Not valid

    Many Indian companies have gotten the message that phone reps need to have an accent understandable to most of their U.S. customers. They now hold classes to help develop an accent without the retroflex "r" and other non-U.S. characteristics.

    Suppose an American with a heavy regional or ethnic accent (lots of slurring, for example) applied for a job as a phone rep. They would be rejected as not reasonably understandable. The same for a heavy Scottish accent, which is generally incomprehensible to Americans, Australians and most other English speakers.

    There is no good reason why these companies can't train their employees to have a more "standard" accent--after all, training costs are cheaper too!
  • No

    Don't bring it to the US... it's too expensive. I've been able to understand well enough. Instead, spend the money on training them about the PRODUCT THEY ARE SUPPORTING.
  • Stop worrying about offending people

    Maybe people like you should stop worrying about offending people.

    I'm sure the overseas workers come to work with pride and try to do the job as best they can.

    That being said, it isn't unreasonable for a citizen of a country to expect to get service from someone in their own country who can communicate clearly in the primary language being used.

    The real problem isn't the workers overseas, it's that we don't have suitable tax penalties to punish companies that do business here but don't actually employ people here to do the work.

    While it sounds crude, it borders on economic rape of the american people.
  • Missing the point

    I'd rather the service worked right and people didn't NEED so many calls to customer service.

    Frankly the support person isn't going to come over to your house, so I don't care where they are when they answer the phone so long as they can speak clearly enough to be understood. I've had a fair share of domestic mumblers answer the phones at other companies, so it's not just an ESL issue.