22.8.06

"Yes we have UK call centres"

The TV has recently been showing me a lot of insurance ads for companies such as Churchill that
 come with the assurance that their call centres are UK-based. They've been running for a few weeks now, and finally I need to express that this kind of bothers me. Why on earth does it matter where a call centre is located? Let's sound this one out.

People don't like dialling a number only to end up talking to a machine (this I can understand - touchtone menus are often really poorly catagorised), and then someone 
with a foreign accent, regardless of where the person is actually answering the phone. There is an
assumption that because someone has an accent, they are inept. How could someone in India, with a (presumably) fake English name, crammed into a tiny call centre with three people to a desk, be able to deal with your insurance claim/holiday booking/mobile phone explosion? Because the complaints don't stem from a desire to support the British economy - not when the majority of consumption in this country is of imported goods. So is it just about basic xenophobia? That as a nation, British people just don't like "foreigners"?

If Churchill or any of the other companies running adverts that proudly proclaim their "UK only call centres" could give me a good reason why they are making this an issue, it would be good. Because I know damn well that my job (and others of a similar level) can be done by almost anyone, at any age or intellect, and that it really doesn't matter where the office/computers/phones are located. Perhaps they have some insight into the complexities of pressing buttons 
and speaking to English people that I have yet to experience.