Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One of those calls

I had a great phone call in the office the other afternoon. Ostensibly it was "large format inkjet printer market research". Not a problem. Except for the lady on the other end of the line, who obviously wasnt in Australia.

Indian accent. Delays on each sentence. Difficulty grasping some Australian english terms. Asking whether I was on Melbourne time.

One of my favourite parts was the confusion created by the fact that our large format printer is (what I believed) neither inkjet or laserjet based technology.

"Is it inkjet, sir?"

"No...its a large format photocopier technology that also prints..."

"So its inkjet, sir?"

"I dont believe so, no 'ink' is involved, it uses toner."

"So its inkjet, sir?"

" It doesnt use ink."

"What model is it?"

"Ricoh..." yada, yada, yada.

"Give me a moment sir. I cannot find that model on Google. Are you sure?"


"Give me a moment sir. I cannot find that model on Google. Are you sure?"


"Is it a ..." at which point our Indian struggler rattles off twenty options on machine models, none of which are ours.

"Give me a moment sir. I cannot find that model on Google. Are you sure?"

"Try putting WP at the end of it."

"Give me a moment sir. Ricoh 3***WP?"


"OK. It says that it is inkjet technology."

"Well, it doesnt use ink, so if you reckon thats it, go for it."

"I dont understand sir?"

"Of course not...go ahead."

From there we rattled off two minutes of questions about importance of features, brand recognition, etc, etc. You know the type of thing.

What would've been four minutes worth of call ended up at ten minutes plus. All due to struggling with the model number that was of no importance at all. The obligitory questions came at the end:

"May we have your email address sir?"


Stunned silence.

"OK. Your number is 2, 94..." etc.

"Yes. They didnt teach you very well. You dont know our phone numbering system very well do you?"

"Pardon sir?"

"Never mind. Next question?"

"That completes the survey. Is there anything you'd like to ask me?"

How is Bangalore today? Can you make a butter chicken? Do you prefer garlic naan or plain naan? Will Tendulkar last much longer? What are you going to do with this call you've recorded for 'quality purposes'? Why were you rude to our secretary when I wasnt in last week? Can you juggle? Why have you made me late for dinner?

"No, goodbye."

I hung up before the reply.

Insert tagline here...

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