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Issue 119 - October 2011 - Page 5

Are UK Companies Required by Law To Transfer 0800 Callers to UK Based Reps If Requested?

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Outline
Circulating message claims that UK residents who contact a company via a 0800 phone number and find that they are talking to an overseas customer service representative can ask to be transferred to a UK based representative, thereby helping to create more UK jobs. According to the message, there is a law requiring companies to make such a call transfer if requested by a customer.



Brief Analysis
There is no law in the UK like the one described in the message. The message is a UK variant of previous false and misleading messages that have circulated in the United States and Canada. While some companies may choose to offer such a service to customers, they are not legally required to do so.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 14th September 2011
First published: 14th September 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: 0800 numbers

0800 numbers

Any time you call an 0800 number (for a credit card, banking, charter communications, health and other insurance, computer help desk, etc) and you find that you're talking to a foreign customer service representative (perhaps in India, Pakistan, Ireland, etc), please consider doing the following:

After you connect and you realise that the customer service representative is not from the United Kingdom you can always ask if you are not sure about the accent), please, very politely (this is not about trashing other cultures) say, "I'd like to speak to a customer service representative in the United Kingdom. "

The rep might suggest talking to his/her manager, but, again, politely say, "Thank you, but I'd like to speak to a customer service representative in the United Kingdom . "

YOU WILL BE IMMEDIATELY CONNECTED TO A REP IN THE UK . That's the rule and the LAW.

It takes less than one minute to have your call re-directed to the United Kingdom . Tonight when I got redirected to a UK rep, I asked again to make sure - and yes, she was from NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE .

Imagine what would happen if every United Kingdom citizen insisted on talking to only UK phone reps from this day on.

Imagine how that would ultimately impact the number of UK jobs that would need to be created ASAP...

If I tell 10 people to consider this and you tell 10 people to consider doing this - see what I mean....it becomes an exercise in viral marketing 101.

Remember - the goal here is to restore jobs back here at home - not to be abrupt or be rude to a foreign phone rep. You may even get correct answers, good advice, and solutions to your problem - in real English.

If you agree, please tell 10 people you know, and ask them to tell 10 people they know.....etc...Etc




Detailed Analysis
This message, which circulates via email and social media, outlines a strategy by which UK residents can help protect and restore UK jobs. According to the message, if you are calling a company via their 0800 number and find that you are talking to an overseas customer service representative, you can ask to be transferred to a representative in the United Kingdom. The message claims that the company is required by law to immediately implement such a transfer if the customer requests it. The message suggests that, if large numbers of people exercise this supposed right to be transferred to UK operators, more jobs in the UK will result thereby helping to alleviate unemployment. It asks recipients to pass on the information in the hope that the message will become an "exercise in viral marketing" an ultimately have a real impact on UK job numbers.

In theory, the information sounds plausible. However, there is a fatal flaw in the strategy outlined in the message. There is no law in the UK like the one described. Companies are under no legal obligation to transfer 0800 callers to a UK based representative. Thus, the core claim in the message is untrue. UK companies who use overseas customer service representatives are not legally required to immediately transfer customers back to the UK on request.

In fact, the message is nothing more than a UK based variant of another message that has circulated in the United States since at least 2009. As the following US example reveals, the two versions are virtually identical except for localizations such as country and city names and phone numbers:
Any time you call an 800 number (for a credit card, banking, charter communications, health insurance, insurance, you name it) and you are transferred to a representative (like in India), please consider doing the following:

After you connect and you realize that the customer service representative is not from the USA (you can always ask if you are not sure about the accent), please very politely (very politely - this is not about trashing other cultures) say, "I'd like to speak to a customer service representative in the United States of America ." The rep might suggest talking to his/her manager, but, again, politely say, "Thank you, but I'd like to speak to a customer service representative in the USA ." YOU WILL BE IMMEDIATELY CONNECTED to a rep in the USA . It only takes less than one minute to have your call re- directed to the USA . Tonight when I got redirected to a USA rep, I asked again to make sure - and yes, she was from Fort Lauderdale .

Imagine if tomorrow, every US citizen who has to make such a call and then requests a US rep, imagine how that would ultimately impact the number of US jobs that would need to be created ASAP. Imagine what would happen if every US citizen insisted on talking to only US phone reps from this day on. If I tell 10 people to consider this and you tell 10 people to consider doing this - see what I mean...it becomes an exercise in viral marketing 101.

Remember - the goal here is to restore jobs back here at home - not to be abrupt or rude to a foreign phone rep. If you agree, please tell 10 people you know and tell them to tell 10 people they know.....etc...etc...
The claims in the US version are also untrue. In the US, legislation intended to control or modify the use of overseas call centres has been occasionally discussed, but never implemented. As in the UK, there is as yet no law governing the transfer of call from overseas call centres. Yet another - equally untrue - variant of the message is set in Canada.

Moreover, given the multicultural makeup of modern nations like the UK and the US, encountering a service representative who speaks English with an accent is not necessarily an indication that the call has reached an overseas call centre.

Those who feel strongly about the issue would be better off registering their discontent about the use of overseas call centres directly to the companies involved. They could also discuss the issue with their political leaders. In fact, consumer opposition to the tactic in the UK over recent years has already seen many companies switch back to UK based calls centres.

Of course, consumers are certainly free to ask to be transferred to a call centre in their own country. And, if such a facility exists and if the company is willing to comply with such requests, the caller may indeed be transferred. However, as it stands, this would-be call to action is pretty much a toothless tiger and sending it on is pointless.



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Foreign Exchange
Keep some jobs at home - redirect phone support to Canada??
0800 numbers - can we improve UK employment prospects?



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Issue 119 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Jordon Mills Prayer Request
  2. Amy Bruce Charity Hoax Revisited
  3. 'Australian Taxation Office 'New Rules' Malware Emails
  4. Bogus Facebook Virus Warning - 'Pornographic Movies Posted On Our Behalf'
  5. Are UK Companies Required by Law To Transfer 0800 Callers to UK Based Reps If Requested?
  6. Australia Post Undelivered Package Malware Emails
  7. Hoax: Picture of Shark Swimming in Flooded Street After Hurricane Irene
  8. Circulating Health Warning: Beware of Little White and Black Caterpillars
  9. Harly A. Andrews Prayer Request
  10. UEFA EURO 2012 Email Draw Advance Fee Scam
  11. Farmville White Gift Box Virus Warning Hoax
  12. Sleazy Online Dating Emails Carry Malware
  13. 'New Antivirus Update for Windows' Scam Email
  14. Western Union 'Money Transfer' Trojan Email
  15. Bob Katter and the 'Labor Party's Worst Nightmare' Polemic
  16. Hoax - Collect Bottle Caps For Free Cancer Chemotherapy Treatment
  17. 'Your Credit Card is Blocked' Malware Emails