call center worker speaking with caption 'When a customer wants you to prove to them that you're in the U.S thank you for calling customer service where are you located' (l) U.S map with American slag pin (c) call center worker speaking with caption 'When a customer wants you to prove to them that you're in the U.S what's the capital of Florida um' (r)

hyotographics/Shutterstock @soneighwonder/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘I greeted them in English and she asked me 3x if I spoke English’: Call center worker shares strange tests customers perform to check whether he’s in the U.S.

‘I need to start pretending I’m from overseas so they ask for the next representative.’

 

Parks Kugle

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Have you ever lost your temper when calling a customer service line and demanded to speak with an American? Well, a call center worker recently made a short skit, reenacting what it sounds like when customers demand someone to speak to someone in the U.S., and it shines a light on how some people treat foreign workers.

TikToker Soneigh Wonder (@soneighwonder), a content creator based in South Florida, posted the video to poke fun at annoying customers who refuse to believe that he’s working stateside. The video was viewed over 212,000 times as of publication.

Soneigh plays himself going through a normal call that quickly escalates.

“Thank you for calling customer service,” he begins before being cut off.

“Where are you located?” the caller demands.

“I’m sorry?” he responds.

“I need to speak to someone in the US. Where are you located?” the caller demands again.

“Umm, the U.S.,” Soneigh replies.

“You’re not in India?” the caller asks.

“The U.S.,” he replies again.

“So I’m not calling Mumbai right now?” the caller asks.

After replying that he’s from the U.S. three times and that he’s in Florida, the caller then demands he prove it, with bizarre questions like, “What’s the capital of Florida?” and “What’s the current population of Florida right now?” Unfortunately, Soneigh doesn’t prove that he’s American to the caller’s satisfaction, and they demand to be transferred.

@soneighwonder Who can relate?! #annoyingcustomers #callcentercomedy #callcenterjobsbelike #comedy ♬ I Got 5 On It – Tethered Mix from US – Michael Abels & Luniz

Viewers loved the skit, with some defending customers wanting to speak to Americans.

“It’s very frustrating as a customer to have constant language barriers prolong what should be a very quick phone call,” a viewer wrote.

“I called Verizon and got ‘MIKE’ I couldn’t understand 1 word,” a second shared.

A third added: “I want someone in the US too, a lot of times they don’t resolve my issue or fully understand it, they put me on hold forever and just hang up on me.”

Some call center workers shared their own experiences.

“I always feel bad when the reps that aren’t in the US xfr calls to me saying ‘they want to speak to someone in the us’ they always sound so sad,” a worker shared.

“This legit happened to me, the guy asked what country I was from, im like ‘sir I’m whiter than sour cream’ lmao I’m from merica,” another replied.

Since the 1990s and early 2000s, call center jobs were outsourced in mass. For example, between 2000 and 2003, over 250,000 of these positions were shipped overseas.

However, this trend has been reversing since the 2010s. Many companies realized that operating costs in the U.S. were cheaper than previously realized. They also learned that keeping their call centers in the U.S. improved their customer service.

Though the Philippines and India are still in the top two slots for most call centers, American call centers have grown by leaps and bounds. Now, approximately 3 million Americans work for call centers across the U.S., with most based in Texas and Florida.

The Daily Dot reached out to Soneigh via TikTok comments for further comment.

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