Dealing with an overseas call centre was a struggle

New commercial life is sprouting in Copnor Road

VERITY LUSH: Green shoots of recovery sprouting in northern Portsmouth

Have your say

How many of us sit at our PCs and click the ‘remind me later’ button when we’re told that our security system is out of date? A couple of years ago I invested in a well-known security package and watched my PC crumble to run at about my speed – that’s very slow and stopping every 20 seconds for a quick breather.

So when the licence expired and I was back at normal speed, I discovered I’m definitely a do-it-later kind of girl.

My husband is cut from similar cloth. He once informed me that the vacuum cleaner needed a rest now and then. Bless him, actually the fan belt needed replacing, but we muddled through for months.

He’ll probably be quite cross that I’ve brought that up after 18 years, but that’s about the length of time I needed to cut through all the faffing with getting my security software updated.

I finally bought a new version after I realised the price I had to pay for a virus-free PC was snail-speed computing.

I tried to install it on top of the older version. That didn’t work, so I called the company in question and spent more time trying to spell out my e-mail address than explaining my problem.

It’s interesting that many companies are now advertising that their call centres are UK-based. This one wasn’t.

Between us, we tried to get to the bottom of my e-mail address by using the phonetic alphabet. Not for the faint-hearted that one, especially when I couldn’t remember all the A for Alphas and the woman at the other end wasn’t familiar with my suggestions for alternatives.

Overseas call centres don’t normally bother me, but when the e-mail with the instructions failed to appear within the promised 20 minutes, I was convinced I’d have to move on to option two – the live chat.

I was number 17 in the queue and spent my time addressing the auto-response in a variety of languages to see what it would respond with.

I was so enamoured of the auto-response that I ended up telling it what I was having for dinner and asking for movie recommendations. Finally I did get to ‘chat’ with a human and got my e-mail – but only after I’d apologised for wasting the auto-response’s time.