Apple Outsourcing Tech Support

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacProFCP, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. MacProFCP macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    I recently had the opportunity to call Apple Tech Support. I only needed basic information such as the date my APP expires. I was forwarded to a call center in India where the idiot could not understand anything I said. The issue was mutual. After 20 minutes of wasted time I called again and got someone in the Philippines.

    I wrote a letter to Steve Jobs that basically said that Apple's big thing was customer support. Apple is the highest rated computer company in customer support at 81% satisfaction (the next is Dell with only 56%). If Apple is going to have foriegn dumbos answer the call, satisfaction with plummet as will sales.

    Got a call from "Dena - Executive Support Agent" who basically gave me a load of bull saying that Apple is a global company and we have call centers all over the world...

    Sure honey, tell yourself that...:mad:
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    Perhaps your English needs improvement? phone calls I made to Apple were NEVER answered by anyone with remotely poor English.

    How did you know where they are located? If Apple did have call centers outside of US, the people answering the phone would not pickup and say, yellow, somoene in Philippine speaking.

    Guess what? There are NO such title as "Executive Support Agent" at Apple. Perhaps you called Dell by mistake?
     
  3. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000

    AliensAreFuzzy

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #3
    If you call during the work day in the US, you'll get a call center in the US. Also, you can check your APP expiration date on Apple's Support website.
     
  4. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    I've called Apple dozens of times, and not once had someone from another country answer. Listen, maybe you need to be nicer and not call people idiots..being polite will get your issues solved quicker, and more pleasantly. For all we know, the Apple support guy probably faked he couldn't speak english to avoid talking to you.
     
  5. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    Also, just because someone has an accent, doesn't make them an "idiot." Unless I missed the memo that anyone not from the US was somehow less intelligent. And you wonder why the stereotypes of Americans exist overseas.

    I've called apple support, and gotten people who may not have spoken english as a first language, but they were just as helpful (if not more so, in some cases) as others.
     
  6. MacProFCP thread starter macrumors member

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    Michigan
    #6
    I have called Apple many times with regard to the different computers I had and have. I am a very knowledgeable Mac user with over 10 years mac experience and always had wonderful help until this occasion. After spending an exhausting 20 minutes on the phone, I asked the man who obviously has a heavy accent, where his call center was based out of. He told me it was in New Deli, India. When I called the second time, I asked right away and was told she was based in the Philippines.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Macs and until this point had great help from the all American (USA and Canada) Tech Help, but if Apple thinks they can get away with going the cheap route, they will lose consumers over it.

    With regard to the support agent who called me back, that is what she claimed her job was. I just called her number and her voicemail is "Hi you've reached Dena at Apple Executive Relations..."

    You are misunderstanding me. I am not one to call and "start up" with the agent. I was VERY VERY nice over the phone, and extremely patient. It was only after my patience wore off that I hung up out of frustration.

    And again, this is the first time a non-american was answering the call. It seems that Apple has recently made a switch to at least part of their tech. Maybe when I call up and say I have a Mac Pro they route it differently then for an iMac. Who knows?
     
  7. 9mmCensor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #7
    When I did tech support work for apple, I received numerous compliments that were undue, due to American's bigoted and isolationist viewpoint. People would say it was so great to speak to an American as companies like Dell were pretty much just tech support based in India. So I would of course let them know that I was Canadian.

    However it is not where, someone doing tech support work, is from, but rather how they train and how much effort put forth, as I have seen huge messes come from US agents and great work by "outsourced" technicians and vise versa.

    But to think that because your talking to a western agent your getting better or even good service is a joke, retards exist everywhere.
     
  8. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #8
    That's weird. AFAIK, Mac support has always been North-American based (Texas, California or Canada), whereas iPod support has been international-based.

    I've only called for Mac support about 10 times over the last 3 years or so and each time it was definitely North American, including dealing with a MBP battery issue a month or two ago that involved several phone transfers.
     
  9. orbital~debris macrumors 6502a

    orbital~debris

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    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    England, UK, Europe
    #9
    I have called Apple a number of times over the last 4 years or so, and I've often spoken to agents in India, particularly when calling AppleCare. I've also spoken with agents based in North America and this has mostly been for Apple Store enquiries during busy occasions such as new product launch aftermaths.

    Phoning from England also seems to affect where my call is routed, depending on the time of day here in relation to which call centres are on line.

    Nearly every Apple employee I've spoken to has been helpful. Yes, sometimes it does take a few moments to get used to accents, but that can be said for American as well as Indian!

    Also, to complain about speaking with people from another country - I'm sure their English is a lot better than most of our additional languages...
     
  10. portent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    #10
    No matter how intelligent, dedicated, or well-trained the reps are, if the callers cannot understand their accents, it will lead to nothing but frustration.

    Obviously, this doesn't apply to Canadians and Americans...the accents are too close.

    Many US residents just can't understand Indian accents, especially over a telephone. Nothing bigoted about it. They might as well be speaking Swahili, regardless of how capable they are.

    How is this relevant? My Arabic is pretty lousy, I admit, but I don't expect anyone to pay me to support them in Arabic. On the other hand, if I'm paying a US firm to support me in English, I expect them to be able to do it in a way I can understand.
     
  11. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #11
    This is very true, and what a lot of people here seem to be missing, and it works both ways. The tech agent may be the most intelligent person around and know his/her stuff very well, but if he/she can't understand the caller and/or the caller can't understand the tech agent it can be very frustrating on both sides. This is why I think it is crucial to have tech support in the country it is serving or, if that is not possible, at least make sure that the language and accents are comparable; however, this is not the desired result. For example, when I worked for Siemens I met some Germans that spoke probably better English than I did, but the cultural differences in our upbringings still made understanding what each other meant frustrating; we might be saying the exact same words but understanding something very different.
     
  12. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #12
    This is interesting.

    Whenever I called from the USA I either got Texas or Canada (New Foundland?)....
     
  13. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    Jul 5, 2008
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    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #13
    ...I've been stationed in Japan for many years and deal with just about every nationality in the world on and off the base I'm attached to...we just spent 3 weeks on vacation in the USA and the customer service was deplorable to say the least from the majority of the businesses we frequented while in MD and TX during the trip...

    A couple of bright spots were one hotel in TX, one store in MD, a restaurant in MD and the TX DPS/DMV (after we'd told them our time in TX was generally a royal PITA)...

    We've been spoiled by the Japanese style...every employee that sees/hears you come into a store will welcome you into their business and it keeps going after that even with the obvious language barriers they still try 300% more than I just experienced in the USA so please don't bash other "countries" just because of a difference in your accent...
     
  14. maanick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    #14
    Re:

    New Delhi is the capital of India, one of the most expensive cities in the country. Its very rare that you find call centers here. Most of them are in Gurgaon/NOIDA/Bangalore.Apple had a support center in Bangalore for less than 2 months and they suddenly packed up and left without citing any reason. There is no Apple call centre in India.
     
  15. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #15
    You said it yourself - it's cultural. India doesn't give a rat's *** about Americans...
     
  16. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #16
    I can sympathize with the OP. I too have spoken with poor AppleCare Reps. that sounded as if English was not their first (or second or third) language. Generally, this was after regular business hours. However, I wouldn't refer to such individuals as idiots.

    One such Rep insisted that I drive three hours away to an Apple Store to have my mouse "serviced" instead of just sending me a replacement. I must admit that was a very frustrating experience after spending 45+ minutes on hold for iMac support (2005 era).

    There are already enough barriers to speaking to someone on the telephone (static, poor connection, echo, waiting on hold, etc). Introducing a language barrier is just the final straw.

    Additionally, when you pay a premium for Apple products (including AppleCare) you tend to expect better service and support.

    It is my understanding that AppleCare's headquarters and largest North American call center is located at the Apple Campus in Austin, TX campus. Generally, Apple—Austin handles iPhone, escalated consumer cases and the majority of professional cases.

    From personal experience, Apple-Cupertino also handles escalated cases, in-warranty notebook replacements and professional desktop replacements. [I shipped both a MacBook and PowerMac G3 to Cupertino for testing]

    However, I've also spoken to AppleCare Reps. in both the Northeast (Maryland? Massachusetts?), Southwest (New Mexico?) and India (although not since 2005/2006) for various products. In my experience, it seems like iMac support is the most spread out, and MacBook support is the most centralized.

    If the AppleCare Rep. is "friendly," I generally ask where they are located. Most of the time, this leads to a polite conversation about the weather, Apple experience, etc and tends to break up the monotony of typical call center calls.
     
  17. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #17
    Of all the times I've called, I've gotten articulate and nice CSRs. They've been helpful. No complaints here!
     
  18. MacProFCP thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #18
    If they don't have a call center in New Delhi, then I guess the guy didn't know where he was working, or he lied.

    I just called today to see where I was routed to, and it was to a Toronto call center where I spoke to a nice guy who seemed very knowledgeable and willing to help. I think it's that when things get busy (I was originally calling during some of the Mobile Me crises) they start forwarding calls to non - NA locations.

    BTW - When I referred to the CSR as an idiot I meant the following: I don't care how smart you are, if I can't understand you, to me you sound like an idiot. I am not a tourist in some other country looking for a bite to eat, I am a paying customer of premier products and services from a company that prides itself on "it just works".
     
  19. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

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    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    #19
    American's bigoted and isolationist viewpoint? OK. That is ridiculous. How Canadian of you to say that.

    On the topic at hand. I have always had wonderful service, but I can see why it would be frustrating for both parties involved if they can't understand each other.
     
  20. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    Jul 5, 2008
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    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #20
    ...the Japanese style of business where every employee in the shop treats you with good customer service...

    If you're going to quote me, get it correctly (RIF)...
     
  21. 9mmCensor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #21
    They are speaking English, accent aside, I would say most of the outsourced tech support people I spoke to spoke better English than American's.

    Picking up accents is possible, its harder when you live in an isolationist state with less diversity to get used to it, but if you have a little patience it is a good skill to learn in an increasingly globalized world.

    I say that based on personal experience, knowing that it is not representative than all American's, but the sentiment I have found to occur more commonly than an outlier. Litterally some of the things people have said is downright racist, and I had to try not to laugh because their English, in the midst of critizing someone speaking english as a second language, was horrible "Dat der is da worse speakins ever, can;t understand nothin'."
     
  22. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #22
    Not that I don't agree with you about outsourced support. To call someone an idiot because you don't understand them is about the dumbest thing I've heard on this board. Because you aren't cultured and exposed to anything but American English that makes THEM an idiot?

    That's some logic buddy.
     
  23. hogfaninga macrumors 65816

    hogfaninga

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
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    Chestnut Tree Cafe
    #23
    You were wrong to single out one group and in this case the Americans. I have traveled and lived in many different countries. There are as many racists and negative people in those countries as America. I know it is a popular thing to bash America, but it is getting old and worn out.

    I can easily say many things about the Canadians I have encountered in my life. Many of who have been downright rude and have this superiority(I think it is a lack of self esteem mostly though) attitude about them. It just wouldn't be fair to lump them all in the same basket.

    Like I said, every nation has their idiots. I just don't think it is fair to single out a particular nation for something every nation has.
     
  24. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #24
    Or perhaps this person didn't exist and is the pigment of someone's imagination?
     
  25. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #25
    LOL speaking of bad English...
    I believe what you meant is "a figment of someone's imagination." :D

    Lighten up guys, "Can't we all just get along?"
     

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