Wednesday, December 27, 2017

I'M PHONE HEARING CHALLENGED

    At the risk of being called a grumpy old man, I'm going to comment on phone issues again. 

     I'll start a bit back on my post. In my seniors pension and benefit magazine, there was an article informing us that we had to set up a Members Health Care Account. In the future no mailed statements would be sent out. Well, that does sound a bit Darconian as I'm sure many of the elderly are not on computers or the Internet. I did not have an Internet account with them but I did go immediately to set up and account. I did all the right things. In fact, I did all the right things a couple of times. I kept getting the same response that they were unable to recognize my info. 

     They very kindly gave a phone number if we needed help. So I phoned. I got someone who I could not hear very well and they had an accent that only complicated the situation. At times I didn't know if the person was speaking English. I asked the person if they were on a head set. I asked them to speak much louder, I asked them to speak slower. None of this made any difference. I could understand less than 50% of what was said.

    Finally , I got that she would email a password reset. 

     Fine . I can handle that.. 

    Now for most password resets, by the time you open your email, the message is there. So I did not find a message in my email. I waited. No message. I waited an hour and there was no email. So I looked around and found my email in the "other" section of my email account.

    So for something that should be simple task  I got into an unnecessary runaround. 

   Now I know that my hearing is not the best. When I speak directly to people I can easily get what they say. When I skate, we have music and I can still carry on a conversation. What's with the people on the phones?

   Sometimes I think that some of our phone people have no Idea how they project over the phone. I also think that some of them don't care if they accommodate phone callers.

23 comments:

  1. That sounds very familiar. Too many times our calls are answered at call centers in some other country by workers who speak English with a heavy accent. Since I do have a hearing issue, it is nearly impossible to understand them. I put them on speaker and have Tom help me out. When neither of us gets it, we are in trouble.

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    1. We do the same thing with the speaker phone and then look at each other and say,"what did they say?"

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  2. I find if I'm using a cordless the volume is atrocious even at the highest level especially if the battery is getting old. It was always a problem to get my late mom a phone she could use and with which she could actually hear someone. It was very hard for me to try and carry a conversation at the top of my lungs every time.

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    1. The sound level is okay. they just don't make an effort to speak clearly.

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  3. I agree with you there, Red. Most of those people aren't really very good at talking on the phone. You did make me smile when I imagined your conversation. You described it well. :-)

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    1. Sometime the call centers are going to have to do training with their employees to get them to a higher level of telephone competence.

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  4. I'm also at an age where hearing issues are developing. In restaurants I'm now having difficulty tuning out peripheral noise from other tables.

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    1. Somehow we;re not able to tune other sounds out like we used to.

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  5. Customer service: now that's an oxymoron in terms.

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  6. My husband is phone hearing challenged also...especially if it is a woman and if she is foreign:( You are not alone Red, next time ask for a supervisor or someone else that speaks clearly.

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    1. We have asked for other telephone callers. Sometimes it makes a huge difference.

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  7. I know my mother could not follow such a rule to set up an account because she doesn't have -- or want -- a computer. I would have to do it for her, on our computer. It's not reasonable to expect it from many seniors, who would make up the bulk of the pension plan. I have pretty good hearing and I still can't understand a phone conversation in English even when that is the speaker's first language! I think call centre employees are under time constraints as well -- at least when our son worked at one, they were timed and expected to take so many calls per shift -- so perhaps that makes them talk more quickly. I've asked them to speak up and slow down and they give me the exact same delivery all over again :)

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    1. I've had your exact experience. I think our pension/benefits plan may have to rethink their policy.

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  8. I've had days like that! Hearing well or not hearing well, it's difficult to get through these phone calls sometimes.

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    1. Too many are from foreign countries.

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  9. Calm down Red! It sounds as if you are in the mood to kill somebody. You should be in Manchester right now ready for The Laughing Horse Blogging Awards not grumping about low-paid call centre workers who can't speak properly.

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  10. I think a lot of them are in call centers with lousy headsets and background noise that makes it hard to hear and understand them. And yes, many of them are overseas, which doesn't help. If it's any consolation, I have trouble understanding people at many phone help centers as well -- even the ones here within the UK!

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  11. I hear you, Red! :-)

    Hubby has a 30% hearing loss. Accents are criminal.
    Plus, our phone lines are terrible!

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  12. We have all been there numerous times. I think we blame ourselves because we are elderly...but the young get into the same twists. They just rely on IT to bail them out. I hate not being able to understand someone on the phone!

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  13. Good to meet you Red, through Far Side of Fifty's blog. Added your blog to my reading list and am following too. Call Centres drive me crazy. It isn't being old or hard of hearing - it is the accents of those who do not have english as a first language.
    Joy

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  14. I get frustrated myself too when dealing with someone over the phone. Accents, speaking too low and a whole bunch of other aggravating issues. I usually hang up, take a break and try again because when you do that you get another person. At least for me, I do better with a new person on the line and some have an accent that you can actually understand.

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  15. Oh my don't get me started.. Actually you and my age already have. I've mentioned I'm gradually converting my nature blog of outdoors scenes and heroic adventure to memoirs. Which will focus on the trials and tribulations of the so called "Golden Years."...:)

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