Another Indian call centre saga. After the usual five-minute wait while being told that my call mattered to them, I today encountered Barclays’ technical call centre in Bangalore. A gentleman with a false Anglicised name asked me a set of security questions … twice. He then told me that either I didn’t know my mother’s maiden name or my date of birth. I assured him I did. He was adamant I didn’t. He then told me then only way I could sort this was to drive some 40 miles to my branch and speak to someone in person. He helpfully said that he could tell me where that branch was if I wasn’t sure, but given he was in southern India and I was in southern England the likelihood was that I was in a slightly better position to know. Oh, he had no supervisor to refer this to and was “sorry” many times over that I gave him incorrect information. But he could do no more than that as he clearly had no more answers left on his crib sheet.
After much research I found a UK office who checked the information. It seems that my mother’s maiden name was the problem. It begins with a “W”. He insisted on inputting with a “V”. But given he refused to elaborate on the issue even though he was given the information several times, stalemate.
It’s not his fault Barclays have looked to cut costs by outsourcing, nor that there are basic language difficulties. It is, however, another example of the problems facing customers of these large companies. The solution is easy. Move the account to someone that at least pretends to value service over cost.
What was also interesting was that several of the UK-based staff admitted that they too struggled which dealing with the outsourced IT department. But I guess Barclays is too busy writing off over one billion dollars caused by their own lousy lending to worry about customer service.