Call Centres and the law in Canada

By Connie Price

December 12th, 2021



Have you found yourself calling an organization to resolve a problem and finding that the person you are speaking has a poor command of the English language and you have difficulty understanding what they are saying, The problem is often exacerbated by a poor connection.

Turns out there is an option available that will get you someone who you can understand.

Connie Price, active in a number of community initiatives came across a solution.

Any time you call an 800 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 (with an accent, difficult to understand perhaps in India, Philippines, you can do the following.

Offshore Call Centre

After you connect and you realize that the Customer Service Representative is not working in Canada (you can always ask where they’re located) if you are not sure about the accent).

Say, “I’d like to speak to a Customer Service Representative in Canada.”

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 Canada ..”

You will be connected to a representative in Canada – That’s the rule and the LAW.

It takes less than a minute to have your call re-directed to Canada .

Tonight when I got redirected to a Canadian Rep, I asked again to make sure – and yes, she was from Calgary.

Imagine what would happen if every Canadian Citizen insisted on talking to only Canadian phone reps, from this day on.

Imagine how that would ultimately impact the number of Canadian 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 rude to a foreign phone representative. You will 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.

Price adds that she had also learned that Canada Post Customer service is headed to India before the New Year.

This can get a little sticky – people who don’t have a command of the English language will never improve if they are not given an opportunity to use the language.

Racist attitudes slide in here and the complaint is frequently based on race and not the quality of the service.

Some people are hard to understand.  Many can be understood – a little patience might be needed.

The issue could be resolved if those Canadian companies who use offshore Call Centres were required to provide a minimum number of hours training people who don’t handle English all that well.

Let’s not let those racist inclinations to come to the surface.

Connie Price

Connie Price is active with the Burlington Senior Community and her local church.

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3 comments to Call Centres and the law in Canada

  • Hilary Durrant

    Connie Price I certainly don’t like your tone “Let’s not let those racist inclinations to come to the surface”.

    Please don’t tar everyone with the same brush as you hold. You are implying that we all have deep down racist feelings. I have mixed heritage in my family, I have an accent, does that mean that I cannot work for a call centre?

    I have an Apple Mac computer and I have had problems with it, all down to me not knowing enough about the machine. But when I have called their help line the person assisting me has never been in Canada they have been Thailand, Italy or Sweden. They have all spoken English and have been very helpful even though they are foreign.

    Businesses will often use other countries to handle their calls, make their products (clothes, electrical goods, parts for the car etc), ship the products, repair products.

    Other countries need us and we need them.

    Editor’s note:
    Ms Price did not say: “Let’s not let those racist inclinations to come to the surface”.

    That was a note I added to the information she sent us

  • Dave Turner

    Not all foreign based call centre workers are difficult to understand. Let’s not paint them with that broad brush.

    A while ago this past year I was having an internet connection issue with my Bell service. It went unresolved for a few weeks not withstanding the intervention of a number of technicians both in person and remotely. Some of the remote technicians were Canadian based and some foreign. The technician that finally sorted the problem spoke perfect English but with an accent. During our call I would from time to time hear a rooster crowing. So I asked where he was located. He answered, the Philippines. His location was and is irrelevant. Many a time I have had difficulty understanding a fellow Canadian with a strong Francaphone accent. What is Connie Price’s solution for that.

    Connie Price is aptly named. Whilst repatriating call cenres to Canada may help with the accent thing, and would create some jobs, there would be a price to pay (pun intended) because those higher wages will be passed on to the consumer.

  • Hans Jacobs

    Thank you for that informative article.
    Restoring jobs back here at home is an excellent objective. It’s the reason I won’t use “self checkouts”.