Uncle's Rant

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Star Trek 2.0

I love Star Trek. I hate the fact that they went too far with all the spin-offs. The reason Star Trek: The Next Generation worked so well is from the 2nd hand popularity of the original series and the early movies. It turned up a good 20 years on which made it fresh.

Star Trek has now died off in terms of TV production which is a real shame, even though it had become a bit of a soap opera.

Star Trek 2.0 is a breath of fresh air.  I, like so many others discovered it on YouTube but it is actually a series of short promos designed to advertise US channel G4TVs 11pm weekly showing of Star Trek the original series.

It's hilarious.  Check it out here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Call Centre Spam! (pling)

"Oooooh look at us, we work in a call centre harassing helpless mobile phone owners and we're so happy!"

I got 8 missed calls last weekend from what appeared to be an American number (+1). Everytime the call came in I just seemed to be away from my phone and I'd miss it. I was starting to get worried that it must be somebody desperately trying to get hold of me for whatever reason.

Finally I picked up the call and a person with an Indian accent informed me in his potted English that I was elegable for a phone upgrade. I informed him back that this wasn't true as I'd just got a new contract on my phone. This threw him and he panicked and asked me another question, his exact words being "How much cash you pay each month?"

I refused to tell him this and instead suggested that he should already know that if he had my details and knew I was elegable for an upgrade. This just confused him more. "How much cash?" he repeated. "I'm not telling you that", I responded. "Please. How much cash?"

I could stand no more and told him to politely go away and hung up the phone.

The company I work for handles all kind of sales training, as well as the video stuff I do, so I understand the need for cold-calling better than most people. I also understand how it should be handled too. Our company has in fact supplied India-based call-centre training for a number of large financial institutions that have moved their operations over to India. The kind of training they demand is really pretty minimal and usually consists of 2 episodes of East Enders, an episode of Coronation Street and a description of a typical British Sunday lunch. This of course explains a lot, particularly to those of you suffering off-shore call-centres and wondering why they are so bad.

So, it's not the staff that's the problem it's the training.

Next time you get cold-called from somebody with a heavy, unintelligable accent spare a though for the person at the other end of the line and before you slam the phone down explain to them you're sorry that you can't be bothered to listen to them anymore, it's not their fault and they should get better training (SLAM).

Feel free to leave your own call-centre rant below.

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