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To want to be able to understand the person in the call centre?

(68 Posts)
Picante Fri 05-Jun-09 12:05:45

Is it too much to ask? And before you ask it wasn't even one directed through India, it was a strong Scottish accent and I had to ask her to repeat quite a few things.


SamVimesIsMyHero Fri 05-Jun-09 12:09:11

I know what you are saying but there's no way to say it without sounding very intolerant so I shall be taking the fence for this one <winces>

PuppyMonkey Fri 05-Jun-09 12:09:56

But maybe that's your problem, not hers!

sixlostmonkeys Fri 05-Jun-09 12:15:13

It's no ones problem Puppymonkey, there is no correct or incorrect accent. Trying to understand an accent is a problem though. It makes me cross when I have to struggle to understand an important conversation, especially (for eg) my bank is at the end of the street

Picante Fri 05-Jun-09 12:16:31

How am I intolerant if I cannot physically understand what she's saying? Should I take lessons in understanding strong accents?!

snigger Fri 05-Jun-09 12:18:11

Believe me, when you work in a call centre some of the incoming dialects and regional accents are no picnic.

YABU - otherwise we'd have call centres in every locality, and only 'local' people could work there - get ye to Royston Vasey grin

Claire2009 Fri 05-Jun-09 12:19:40


PuppyMonkey Fri 05-Jun-09 12:20:58

So we'll have to ban anyone with a Scottish accent working at a call centre then? Just in case you ring and can't understand them?

londonone Fri 05-Jun-09 12:22:29

YANBU - Television newsreaders don't have ridiculously strong accents etc and I think people working in call centres should be relatively easy for the majority of callers to understand.

mamadiva Fri 05-Jun-09 12:22:37

It is annoying when you can't understand them although I have to say it's even worse when they can't understand you.

I was on the phone to my bank one day and it was so bad I asked to speak to someone who knew English as neither if us were getting anywhere, the guys reply was 'no I am not from England mam' hmm

Does my head in regardless of accent or where you are from although being strongly worded Glasweigan I find I have to dull my accent for peope to understand it sometimes

YANBU very irratating and does'nt help anyone, if you do not know how to speak properly and clearly then you should not be talking for a living!

kittywise Fri 05-Jun-09 12:23:07

YANBU ,I agree, if you are in a job where you need to speak to lots of people your speaking voice needs to be clear and audible it's not bloody rocket sciencehmm

sixlostmonkeys Fri 05-Jun-09 12:23:32

don't have to ban anyone - but its not unreasonable to wish you could understand accents

triggerhappybaby Fri 05-Jun-09 12:24:11

I blush to remember now but I overheard my DP end a conversation with Barclays call centre (bombay branch) thus:

Call centre johnny: blah de blah blah
DP: This is the forth time I've phoned the forth time I haven't been able to understand anything you've said and I know for a fact your name is not Ronald. Good day to you <slam>

Well he didn't say the last bit cos that would have been polite. I think they caught him on a bad day, but I think if you asked him he would agree with OP - sometimes it makes a stressful situation even more stressful if you can neither get your point across nor understand the response!! Nobody's fault, just a fact of life.

kittywise Fri 05-Jun-09 12:26:16

My younger kids were watching cbeebies the other day, some very bizarre show with fluffy puppets in a rocket investigating things. The puppets had strong accents. The couldn't understand half of what was being said. What's the point of that? I'm all for exposing kids to lots of different accents but FGS make them comprehensibleangry

mamadiva Fri 05-Jun-09 12:29:19

I hate to sound sarcy but is there some reason English people cannot seem to understand a word Scottish people say?

The program you are on aout is Bits N Bobs and it is filmed in Glasgow actually very educational and accents seem fine to me but then I do sound the same.

snigger Fri 05-Jun-09 12:29:48

This thread has actually rather shocked me with its quiet intolerance.

Unless you speak in RP you are all, to someone, somewhere in the UK, quite probably incomprehensible.

Picante Fri 05-Jun-09 12:32:14

Of course I understand Scottish accents face-to-face. This was an incredibly strong one and over the phone. Completely different.

PuppyMonkey Fri 05-Jun-09 12:33:51

Yes, I think that's the point I was trying to make, snigger!

My other half is shockingly bad at understanding anyone who doesn't come from "round here" (Notts). Give him a Scottish or irish accent, he can't understand them at all. Can't even tell the difference between them. That's not anyone else's fault but HIS.

mamadiva Fri 05-Jun-09 12:35:28


Tell him one will be talking aboot a Heeland coo and the other will most likely be on about guiness

londonone Fri 05-Jun-09 12:39:23

snigger - I think most of the people who present the news are perfectly comprehensible to everyone or do you disagree.

oliverboliverbutt Fri 05-Jun-09 12:44:48

don't people who present news take dialogue classes?

FFS if you couldn't understand them, ask if you can speak to someone else!
Your problem, not theirs!

MuffinToptheMule Fri 05-Jun-09 12:45:12

Londonone - "Television newsreaders don't have ridiculously strong accents etc and I think people working in call centres should be relatively easy for the majority of callers to understand."

They do have ridiculously strong accents, ridiculously strong RP accents that is.

oliverboliverbutt Fri 05-Jun-09 12:45:50

or diction even!

londonone Fri 05-Jun-09 12:46:57

muffintop - No they don't I don't think there is anyone on TV who really has an RP accent anymore.

MuffinToptheMule Fri 05-Jun-09 12:49:59

Actually there is. RP has changed over time just like every other accent. There are different types of RP and it is most definitely still heard on TV.

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