1-800-DUM-BELL

They can't even spell their own phone number correctly. They don't know the difference between Sir and Madam. They are, after all, foreign customer support agents. Everyone's spoken to at least one such individual in their lifetime. Even more if you've owned a Dell computer or had a problem with an Amazon.com order. Everyone dreads a phone conversation with them, but every so often you have an emergency situation where they kind of help you. Or at least, attempt to.

Probably the biggest pain with these confusing exchanges is the language barrier. Since many agents are being outsourced from India and other exotic locations, it's really difficult to make out their garbled talk. I once had to deal with Cindy from China who knew a total of 163 English words (counting plurals). She asked me for my email address and I provided her with a letter-by-letter spelling. After I enunciated my email address as one would to a deaf-mute, she timidly asked, "G as in 'gooder'?" I wanted to mutter, "G as in 'good-ridancer'" but the joke would've been wasted. The grammar these phone reps use would put an English teacher into a coma. I mean, during one five-minute conversation with a computer specialist, I was addressed as a Sir and a Madam! I wonder if excess exposure to such incidents can cause an identity crisis.

Never mind the knowledge these tech experts have! They've got IQ levels of a baked potato! You ask them a question beginning with 'how' and they provide an answer starting with 'yes'. Like when I once asked, "How can I view my Amazon mp3 credit?" and the Indian says, "Yes you can view your balance." Like that helps. Or the time I called Dell with a computer error that showed on my screen and the guy wanted to know if my computer is plugged in. I don't know about you, but my computer doesn't display messages when turned off.

I always wanted to see a tech support warehouse and watch those a-rated idiots scratching their heads in confusion.

For some fun, give your friends this number (but of course you have to call it and see for yourself!): 413-497-0071

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