How I realised the call centre is taking over the world


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Wow. My last post getting freshly pressed came as a really nice surprise, but it’s left me with one problem….. How to follow it up. It’s been bothering me so much that I’ve actually been moved to silence for the best part of two months. Just what would I post about? What did I have to say? Then it hit me. CRASH. Literally. I was driving in my car, just minding my own business, and then all of a sudden another car shoots across a junction taking the front end of my poor old VW Golf with it. The first thing I knew about it all was the airbag in my face. I was lucky to come out unscathed – Lucky too that in over a decade of driving that this is the first time I’ve ever been involved in a serious accident. But, where does the call centre come into all this? Well, ever since the incident I’ve found myself  in a tangle of call-centres….

The first call centre I connected  to was the out-of-hours call centre for my insurer. The person I spoke to was nice, courteous and professional, but despite this I always have a thing where whenever I call a call centre I always worry what the person on the other end is thinking of me. It’s a hang-over from my years being on the other end of the receiver. At one point during the call I was not sure of the exact junction where the accident occurred  so I  had a brain-wave and logged onto Google street-view, but straight away began thinking that the operator would be quietly cursing me for messing-up  her average call-time as I virtually re-traced my steps.

The next morning was another call to my insurer, this time to their main call-centre. I needed to find out what my options were about a about a replacement vehicle so they passed me over to another call centre where this was arranged. As part of this I then had to have a three way conversation with someone at a DVLA call centre before being passed on to the call-centre where the final details of the car hire were arranged.

Then I started getting calls from the ‘solicitors’. After an initial conversation in which I said I hadn’t really had any injuries, or suffered any loss of earnings I was ‘reminded’ that whiplash claims could ‘attract thousands in compensation’ before being asked if I’d be happy with a call back in a few days.  The call-back, when it came, was an exact re-run of the first conversation and ended with them again suggesting they called back in a few days. My voicemail then began filling up with the same message delivered by a new voice over and over. While this was going on I happened to spot a story about how MPs are looking into the rise of whiplash claims as the UK has apparently become the “whiplash capital of the world.” They need look no further than an air-hanger style building on an outskirts of an industrial estate somewhere in the Cheshire area.

Finally, I received a letter asking me to contact the other persons insurance company so I have now called their call centre too – making at least seven separate call-centres.

A  while back I was one of those convinced the call centre had had it’s day. Not now. Now I’ve realised the call centre is actually taking over the world.

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8 thoughts on “How I realised the call centre is taking over the world

  1. I so get your blog. I have worked in 2 different call centres over the last 8 years or so. For the last 2 years I have been on constant development plans for my call stats. Its hard for people who have not experienced this type of work to imagine the feeling of utter hopelessness you can descend into while chained to your desk (with your headset, not literally chains, although I am sure if some of our team leaders thought the could get away with it…..).

    It is soul destroying as an agent to be one of those who spends their day at work wishing that the people who call me would hurry up and get off the phone.I am on a development plan you know! Especially, when I started this type of work to engage with people.

    One of the things we are judged on in our quality assessments is building report, yet we are to have an average talk time of less than 3 minutes 30 per call. I am planning my escape.

    Well, time to go back to my escape plan, learning SEO, article writing and my own blog

  2. Sorry to hear about your accident, wonderful that you came out OK. Sounds like you had a call centre overload the last few weeks, but it seems your experience with them wasn’t all that negative.

    Nice to read your blog again!

  3. Pingback: Work – AKA Call Centre Hell | iccleblog

  4. @ Kodiak My Little Grizzly – I know the feeling

    @ Iccle2013 – I heartily recommend blogging about your call centre experiences. For me it helped to maintain my sanity in some very difficult times and I think that it’s also important to let people know what goes on inside call centres so hopefully things will change.

    @ Leeswammes – Thank you. I hope writing the book is going well 😮

    @ T E Stazyk -Thank you. Should hopefully have some more new posts soon.

  5. Very interesting post and blog! Interesting to hear from someone that works at a call center. I do agree that call centers are very prevalent in today’s world – seems like any time I make a phone call I end up at a call center. Sorry about your accident.

  6. Some call centres I have worked at in the past have been horrific but luckily where I’m at now is totally different. WE operate as an outsourced call centre and while it can be pretty demanding its also quite diverse and eveyone feels better for it.

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