In the past few days I had to call into the Cisco Small Business support line (1 866 606 1866). Each time I reached someone with very heavy foreign (non-US) accents with various levels of technical ability. On top of this the phone connections were not great. It did not matter what time of day I called. This is a major frustration as these are time critical issues and I cannot be spending half my time, at customer sites during outages, repeating myself and trying to get an answer. While I respect that these folks are trying to be helpful (and are very polite) it is a huge step backwards then my previous calls that reached US based support engineers who were 90% of the time top notch. What gives?
Weird, every time I've spoken to small business support they have been in the US. Only once did I get what I thought to be a non-US engineer on small business support chat.
When dealing with TAC on the other hand, I've gotten engineers from all over the world and never from the US. The langauge barrier has been unbearable at times.
edited to add: I noticed this was in the UC500 forum - doesn't TAC support the UC520 as opposed to small biz support center?
I've noticed this over the last week as well.
Although I have gotten americans a few times, I've gotten what seems to be an indian call center most of the time.
I get the impression, and maybe I am wrong, that this is an "overflow" call center.
I've also noticed that their phone system is buggy (lol) -- I have been transferred to a busy signal and hung up on repeatedly by their menu system -- it didn't use to do this. (and I choose the same options every time...)
I think you will find that it isn't outsourced but goes to a a large Cisco call center in the USA somewhere, and you will also find that they will have a wide variety of people that work in these calls centers, of whom will be Cisco certified engineers and not just a typical support monkey (Without being offensive to support people )
I am fairly certain that if they did outsource it you would land in either a Indian or Philippines call center, and you would be a gazillion times more frustrated as it would be script based, even though the current SBSC is also partly script based it has to be I guess to keep everything consistent.
If you are having difficulties understanding them, which I have on occasions, just be nice to them and let them know that you are having difficulties in understanding them and if they wouldn't mind finding a fluent English speaking support rep, if you do it politely they will help you out quickly in most cases as I have had to do this myself on more than one occasion when I got a heavy Cuban accent gentleman.
Just my thoughts
Hello Tim et al,
Just to add a little insight, the Cisco Small Business Support Center team is unique within Cisco in that the support team covers twelve (12) languages. As a result, getting help from a non-native English speaking engineer clearly happens at times. While the language skills and fluency vary from engineer to engineer, they all share a common passion for helping customers. The team is comprised of Cisco certified support engineers who work to help customers world-wide. They are anxious to deliver the best resolution to each and every issue.
Like me, I'm pretty sure they also stress and struggle when communications, technical and cultural, add to the challenge.