I bought a new Actiontec GT784WN modem last November at Best Buy. It worked fine for about two months. Then it stated to act up and I started to have problem with Internet connection and phone function (my phone is connected to the modem).
Initially when I lost the Internet connection, I just turned off the modem and turned it back on. It would solve the problem. But soon it got worse, and I had to turn the modem on and off or unplug the power more frequently every day. So I called the CenturyLink (used to be Qwest) customer service to find out if there was anything wrong with the line and to get help. I called three times on three consecutive days. They checked on their end and found nothing wrong with the line. They asked me to perform certain tasks, in hope to solve the problem. It looked promising, but a day later, I still had the same problem, only worse. After the third call, I was told the problem was mostly likely caused by the defect modem. I needed to get a new one. The next day, the modem was totally kaput and I couldn’t resurrected it no matter how many times I unplug the power cord.
Every time I call customer services, I like to ask people where they are located, out of curiosity. So when I called the CenturyLink customer services, I asked the same question to all three reps I talked to. I got the same response: “Philippines.”
I was a little surprised as I was used to the idea of most offshore call centers being located in India. This was my first time talking to a customer service rep in Philippines. Now I can see why this is also a popular offshore destination.
English is an official language in the Philippines. Filipinos speak English with no accent. When I talked to the three reps, I couldn’t tell that they are not Americans. Had I not asked them, I could easily mistake them for Americans located not far from me, somewhere in the States.
The day my modem died, I took it back to Best Buy. I was able to exchange the old one for a new one. Now my Internet and phone are both working well. I am happy that the connection problem was finally fixed.
Our world is definitely getting flat and smaller. Nowadays, when I pick up the phone to call customer services, the person who answers the call is likely half the world away, yet it feels like home.
I was grateful that I received great customer services from both companies, near and far. For me, it doesn’t really matter where the reps and call centers are located, locally or globally. As long as I get good service and the help I need, I am happy.