Tired of outsourced customer service yet?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Tom Barrister, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Tom Barrister

    Tom Barrister New Member

    Nov 23, 2017


    "I can help you with that one." Wrong.

    I just spent 30 minutes on the phone with five different agents, none of whom I could understand very well, and none of whom could find the right script to address my problem.

    I get the idea: Tivo needs to keep costs down, so customer service, such as it is, gets outsourced to wherever is the cheapest. Whoever it's outsourced to has no clue how to train its representatives, nor how to hire those who can speak even reasonably fluent English. If they can't speak the language well, they can't understand the questions asked, and they can't find the appropriate response.

    Some companies have solved this by keeping at least one U.S. call center, so that people who absolutely want to talk to somebody from their home country can do so. Tivo apparently chose not to do this, as every agent told me that Tivo no longer has U.S. agents.
    philco782 and computersteve like this.
  2. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    I hate to break it to you, but no one corporately cares, customer support onshore or offshore makes a minimal difference in customer retention yet the cost differential is huge.
    You will not see US-based support or escalation come back, it's too costly.
  3. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    US support does exist, for some companies. In fact my son works in this field, and more than one company I have called uses an outsourced agency in Lewiston, Maine. But indeed many use non-US agents.
  4. jonw747

    jonw747 Active Member

    Aug 2, 2015
    It was inevitable. After they got done laying off reps who understood the gear and replaced them with a combination of voice mail hell and scripts to keep customers jumping through hoops, it was only a matter of time before they cut out the part where you eventually got an answer. That's the CE industry.
  5. johnner1999

    johnner1999 Guest

    Oct 26, 2002


    That's why I like Apple.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    PaulNEPats, Enrique and computersteve like this.
  6. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jul 3, 2004
    I think they're in the Philippines now, no? The thing is, lots of companies have their CSRs in the Philippines now and manage to train them properly. I've spoken to many nice, helpful, and knowledgeable people from there. But if the company doesn't bother to train them and all they have are scripts (I've seen it elsewhere, too, over the years), then the customer svc suffers.

    I will do anything I can to avoid calling Tivo for help anymore. They used to know what they were doing. Last time I had to call it was a nightmare and profoundly UNhelpful.
  7. MighTiVo

    MighTiVo TiVotarian

    Oct 26, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    For most of my experiences with multiple companies, I get outsourced for first contact then once I get through them and prove I have already done what they have in their help scripts I eventually end up with local support for the escalation.

    Comcast seems to have US for first contact but they are HORRIBLE and it seems like they could care less if I was a customer. I always use chat with them as it is much more pleasant and successful. Harder to tell with chat if it is outsourced unless they use their real names.
  8. Tom Barrister

    Tom Barrister New Member

    Nov 23, 2017
    Not everybody outsources offshore, and a lot of companies who did outsource stopped when they began to lose customers over it. Of course Tivo is in a unique position: they have a more captive user base than Verizon and Citibank have: if you own a Tivo box and want full functionality, you either go through Tivo or don't get all of the features. So they can do whatever they please. That's all well and good, but there are some people who refuse to deal with poorly trained customer service (U.S. or otherwise), and I'm one of them. Because of the outsourcing, I no longer use, among others, Capital One or anything associated with Synchrony, and I moved from Sprint to Verizon. It looks as though Tivo is going to be added to the list.

    In the long run it's about the money. If they don't lose as much from cancellations as it costs to keep U.S. customer service, which is likely, given their dedicated boxes, they'll lose the customers and save the money.
  9. skaggs

    skaggs AlbanyHDTV

    Feb 13, 2003
    Albany, NY
    Have you responded to the TiVo Customer Satisfaction Survey you received via email?

    I did, and explained my dissatisfaction with the outsourced Customer Service.

  10. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    Except in many cases, and I'm fairly sure this is the case for Tivo, they can lose every customer unhappy with offshore support and it doesn't affect the big picture since their market is so weak.
    I know this because I worked with a team that had to plan an outsourcing and we saw the numbers, even if we lost every customer that called the support center with an issue, it didn't even come close to how much money we saved by going offshore.
  11. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Aug 21, 2002
    New York...
    I called TiVo support two weeks ago (regarding my VOX remote) and spoke with a US-based support person.
  12. das335

    das335 Member

    Feb 8, 2006
    You were lucky. My last two (2) calls were definitely to an offshore agent.
  13. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Oct 26, 2017
    Elizabeth, CO
    I might just be lucky but my experiences with outsourced support has been rather good. I had an issue with Microsoft where I talked to India (What a surprise) and a case with Avaya where I talked with an agent in Kazakhstan. They knew their stuff, spoke good English and they used their real names. (the last is just a point with me, I hate talking to "Frank" in India) However calling DirecTV has always been an exercise in futility and their support was 98% US based at least until the AT&T buyout. I could certainly understand the person but they are just clueless script readers.
  14. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    Nov 25, 2003
    I wonder if VOX-related calls are being routed differently, at least this early post-launch.
  15. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2017
    Have not had the opportunity to call TiVo, but I had to deal with Hulu and Roku a few times, and both have good customer service via Chat (I prefer chat to voice).
  16. m.s

    m.s Active Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    Companies should hire CS agents in proportion to their national sales. A US customer shouldn't have to deal with "Bob" with a thick Indian accent.
  17. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Aug 21, 2002
    New York...
    No, you'd have a Chinese speaking CS rep instead. :)
  18. rdrrepair

    rdrrepair Bill Knapp

    Nov 24, 2006
    845 New York
    I thought this forum coupled with weaknees was the support. :D
  19. rjrsouthwest

    rjrsouthwest Active Member

    Feb 19, 2016
    I talked to a US agent back in June when my first year of included service on my Bolt was about to end. The fist time I called I called the sales number and ended up with a overseas agent who was hard to understand and couldn't offer anything but what was available on my account page without talking with a agent at all. I then called back on the customer service line and talked with a us based customer retention agent and they were easy to understand, knowledgeable and were able to offer me a deal that kept me active on the Tivo service. You have to be within 30 days of the service ending to get any special offers.
  20. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2006
    You are very fortunate!

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