Ps76
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Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:14 pm

Hi!

I just got a call from an Indian guy in a call centre trying to sell me something. He had a thick Indian accent but insisted on calling himself Brad! Whenever I talk to these guys on Aol or something they give me a ridiculous name. Is there any reason why they do this? I have many Indian friends here and will not have a heart attack if they tell me their name is Rajesh! Do they really think we're that ignorant that we can't handle an Indian name! I actually don't mind Indian call centres and think their tech support for Aol which I use sometimes is just fine but this calling ourselves fake names is just weird. Maybe I should tell them next time my name is Lucy!

Any thoughts welcome.

Many thanks.

Pierre
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:17 pm

Yes common procedure.

What would you like them to do, use a local name which you will have a hard time pronouncing or remembering?

Its the same with many staff members for companies I know in the Far East (Hog Kong, China, Taiwan). Lot's of Steven, James, Jason etc..

Works well imo...
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Kiwirob
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:23 pm

It's really funny in our Chinese sales office all the locals have given themselves English names stating with j, so we have James, Jenny, Jason, Jerry, Jackson, Jennifer, Justine and a Jens, he named himself after our boss.
 
Ps76
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:24 pm

Hi!

Most Indian names are not hard to pronounce at all. It is nice to know who I am speaking to. They should be proud of who they are too. Not to mention beginning a conversation with a lie!

Like I said I think it is just weird.

Pierre
 
comorin
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:30 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
ts the same with many staff members for companies I know in the Far East (Hog Kong, China, Taiwan). Lot's of Steven, James, Jason etc..

Chinese have an official Western synonym for their Chinese first names, unlike in India.

I do think however 'Brad' is pushing the envelope; do let us know if and when someone introduces himself as 'Thurston'...

Anyway, no worries; at the rate we're going, US call centers may start using Indian or Chinese names soon   
 
BarfBag
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:05 pm

It doesn't really make a difference; we don't often pronounce western names right anyway. As Comorin might know, one of the most famous Bollywood movie villains (Ajit) called his henchman 'Raabert'.
 
lewis
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:07 pm

Quoting Ps76 (Thread starter):
Is there any reason why they do this?

Same thing from all Asian colleagues/friends I have in the US. Most - even the ones that have recently arrived to the country - have adopted a 'western' first name. Easier to pronounce, easier to spell/write and easier to remember.

Quoting Ps76 (Thread starter):
Do they really think we're that ignorant that we can't handle an Indian name!

You and many others who interact with people from different ethnic backgrounds may be used to foreign names but most people are not. It is not about ignorance per se, it is just making it easier for the majority of the people that will have a hard time getting the name.

You would be surprised how many times my 5-letter name has been misspelled in the US. It usually happens when I order food or coffee so lately I have been saying 'John' whenever I order, better to dumb it down for them and ensure that I receive my order eventually!
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:32 pm

The BD call centre is based in Pune. I guess they have been instructed to use their real names. I always need them to spell out their name as I'm not familiar with many Indian names.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:25 pm

Probably to get the person on the line familiar with the Name which they are used to hearing often.
Although I personally believe,let the staff use their real name......& state their real address/location.....
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:50 pm

Because they're there to solve a problem, not spend time trying to teach the caller their names. I personally don't care but I see why it's done
 
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GrahamHill
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:57 pm

They do the same in France. Your call will go to a call center located in Morocco. You will have a "Jocelyne" or a "Jean-Marie" answering, but they're all locals and they're real names are Youssef or Fatima or Mohamed.
"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
 
AR385
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:48 pm

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 3):
Most Indian names are not hard to pronounce at all. It is nice to know who I am speaking to.

You obviously have no idea about Indian names and languages. A former Indian boss of mine called himself Malik, and when I asked him to tell me his real name it was like hearing something akin to Klingon. I would have never have remembered it, let alone spell it if I was on the phone doing a customer service call.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 9):
Because they're there to solve a problem, not spend time trying to teach the caller their names. I personally don't care but I see why it's done

Well said.
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:52 pm

This is something going on for years - I get the stereotyped Indian accent (you know like Apu from Simpsons and the one that people think that all Indians sound like even though their accents greatly vary) with a guy saying My name is John Smith.

Its always common practice in a lot of call centers to give easy names for the people you are calling. I used to work collections and called other places in the U.S. but they advised us to you a simple name like Mr. Smith, Mr. Johnson etc mainly for or protection.
 
BlueElephant
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:15 pm

To answer this question with some British humour...

It is essentially the exact opposite of this video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAVi_FITACk

(I can't get the video to be a URL --sorry!)

You may remember this show if you live in the UK.

[Edited 2012-07-19 15:15:56]

[Edited 2012-07-19 15:16:15]

[Edited 2012-07-19 15:16:50]

[Edited 2012-07-19 15:17:51]

[Edited 2012-07-19 15:18:02]
 
blrsea
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:47 pm

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 3):
Most Indian names are not hard to pronounce at all. It is nice to know who I am speaking to. They should be proud of who they are too. Not to mention beginning a conversation with a lie!

Lots of people in US/UK etc have problem pronouncing Indian names. I have been in US for a long time now, and when i speak to non-Indians, they have trouble pronouncing my full name. Same for many others here. There are some Indian names which are short, and some which are pretty long.

When someone calls into the call center, they probably don't want the caller to be intimidated by the long strange names which they cannot pronounce properly. maybe that's why they use short western names that people are familiar with.

Here in US, I see lots of people from China/Taiwan who change their first names here, probably due to same reason. Not many indians tend to change names. Some usually go by shortened first names which is related to their existing name
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:59 am

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 12):
This is something going on for years - I get the stereotyped Indian accent (you know like Apu from Simpsons and the one that people think that all Indians sound like even though their accents greatly vary) with a guy saying My name is John Smith.

Look at Louisiana Governor (and before that, U.S. Congressmen) Piyush (aka "Bobby") Jindal. His parents "Americanized" his name so that people could easily pronounce his name..... now if they could improve his extreme right-wing performance as Governor!   
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comorin
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:14 am

Quoting blrsea (Reply 14):
I have been in US for a long time now, and when i speak to non-Indians, they have trouble pronouncing my full name.

I know for a fact that your real name is Thrukzhikundrappaswami Nedunchazianiaooru Ootaswamy, and there is nothing wrong with that!

 
 
aerobalance
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:05 am

I know an Indian family that reside in Corona del Mar, father is a cardiologist. When the family settled in the US 20 years ago from India they decided to change their last name to 'fit in'. Their pick - Hernandez... WTF
"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
 
Cadet985
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:45 am

When my best friend moved to Israel, one of the first jobs he did was working in a call center for an international calling card company. His name is Dov, but on the phone when working, he was David.

My mother many years ago - we're talking the late 60s to 70s - worked for an employment agency. They thought her name sounded too Jewish, so she used the name Joyce Brown.

Marc
 
Stealthz
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:54 am

I work in a mid sized and quite specialised call centre here in Sydney.

We have several local employees from the "sub-continent" all very good at what they do. (no mean feat considering what we do involves an almost intimate knowledge of the geography and transport infrastructure of Australia)

This evening one of them, a very well spoken and easily understood guy although with a definite deep"educated" Indian accent, transferred a caller to me. He introduced Paddy O'Reilly(not his real name) to me and transferred the call.

What I found amusing was that my colleague with his deep Indian accent said the callers name with a very pronounced Irish accent... he had no idea he did this and found it amusing when I pointed it out.
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signol
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:36 pm

I saw the film Horrible Bosses last night, there's a whole scene based around this premise. Quite amusing.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 19):

Is that the 131500 infoline? One of my friends worked there a few years back!

signol
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Nimish
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:33 am

While this may well be a case of a "foster name", I'd like to point out that there are approximately 24 million Christians in India - a lot of whom have "Western" first and/or last names. Hence I have friends - both at work and otherwise - with names like John/ Peter/ Frank/ Tom etc. - who are Indians and Christian. It's possible it might be folks from this community at work at call centers, who are really just using their actual names.
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jcs17
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:32 am

My company moved our 24-hour customer service center to Manila from Bangalore a few years ago. Filipinos speak English with a very neutral, if not American, accent. The small increase in price per employee was made up by huge increases in customer satisfaction. Internally, if we have an IT issue we are directed to Bangalore. I can understand their instructions, but a lot of our office and warehouse workers cannot. The Indian IT guys/gals I talk to are like Indians in general, the most patient, caring people on earth.
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Type-Rated
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:01 am

I once had a customer service issue with a product and the company had their call center in India. A rather friendly agent picked up the call and called himself "Nick". He had a thick Indian accent and I asked him if his real name was Nick. He then asked me if I have ever heard of Americans with that name before. He acted kind of surprised when I told him I have heard of that name before, but not in many years.
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Aeri28
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:46 am

there are some passive answers to this topic, but doens't anybody else realize it more than likely is to give the illusion you are not talking to a foreign call center representative, but maybe someone in your own country?

I know for some of us more worldly folks we can tell that the person is not of our country and don't have an issue of dealing with said CS reps, but if the average Sally Pennypucker from the UK or Craig Bradshaw from the US calls for service and gets a "Rajeesh" or "Chang Yee" and an ensuing strong accent, he/she may not feel as comfortable in talking to said Call Center rep as opposed to talking to Jill or Adam. Yes, it's an illusion of sorts, but I don't think it's as simple as "its easier to pronounce". There is a definite business strategy in using a western name.

[Edited 2012-07-21 03:48:58]



(deleted word: Politicalk undertones as I could not explain well what I meant)


[Edited 2012-07-21 03:59:47]
 
Speedbirdie
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:22 pm

Quoting Nimish (Reply 21):

Thank you! I have a large extended family who were born in India but are raised as Catholics. English is their second language but as they are Christians, they all have western names. Not uncommon at all.
So may be that you were actually speaking to someone called Brad.
Never give up..
 
ronglimeng
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:30 am

There's another way of looking at this...

I have a Polish friend name Jerzy. He goes by "George" here in Canada.

Why: Because he can't stand listening to people mangle the pronunciation of his proper name.
 
YokoTsuno
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:27 am

Quoting jcs17 (Reply 22):
While this may well be a case of a "foster name", I'd like to point out that there are approximately 24 million Christians in India - a lot of whom have "Western" first and/or last names. Hence I have friends - both at work and otherwise - with names like John/ Peter/ Frank/ Tom etc. - who are Indians and Christian.
Quoting ronglimeng (Reply 26):
Thank you! I have a large extended family who were born in India but are raised as Catholics. English is their second language but as they are Christians, they all have western names. Not uncommon at all. So may be that you were actually speaking to someone called Brad.

That’s true. South and East-Asians of Western descend (Eurasians or Anglo-Indians as they are called in India) have genuine Western given and surnames usually of British, Portuguese or Dutch origin. Their names are virtually indistinguishable from Western names. The adopted (sur)names from Indian and Sri-Lankan Catholics tend to be the more “traditional” Western names with a religious origin like John, Jozef, or David.

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 12):
You obviously have no idea about Indian names and languages. A former Indian boss of mine called himself Malik, and when I asked him to tell me his real name it was like hearing something akin to Klingon

Indian names are indeed hard to pronounce, not only for Westerners but also for East-Asians. There are however alternatives to Western names since most Indian names can be shortened like Ravi, Venki, or Raja which are very easy to pronounce and remember.

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 18):
Hernandez... WTF

Common name among Eurasians and Catholic Indians.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 23):
Filipinos speak English with a very neutral, if not American,

Most Filipinos speak excellent English. There accent however is very distinct.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 15):
Here in US, I see lots of people from China/Taiwan who change their first names here, probably due to same reason.

The reason is a certain obsession with Western things. This practice btw often leads to confusion since email addresses often contain our Chinese names. I have encountered countless instances of Westerners who believed they were dealing with two different people while in reality were one and the same person. Many Chinese also use Western surnames as given names or names that sound weird or even absurd to Western ears and only realise this on overseas trips when they are poked fun at.
(Kinky Lee, Beckham Choo, Jet Lee, Coffee Tan, Michelangelo Chan).
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:44 am

My company owns a call center with about 200 desks, located outside of Atlanta. I was was in a meeting the other day thinking about this thread, and I suggested to the Call Center director that she should have all his employees adopt an Indian name for their calls. Just for the hell of it. Got quite a laugh, but we won't be doing it anytime soon.
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Superfly
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:07 am

There is an Indian with an American English name - Elizabeth Warren that is running for US Senate in Massachusetts.   
Bring back the Concorde
 
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sturmovik
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RE: Indians In Call Centres Giving Western Names.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:02 pm

Quoting YokoTsuno (Reply 27):
Many Chinese also use Western surnames as given names or names that sound weird or even absurd to Western ears and only realise this on overseas trips when they are poked fun at.
(Kinky Lee, Beckham Choo, Jet Lee, Coffee Tan, Michelangelo Chan)

This happens a lot in my corner of India as well. It is more pronounced amongst Christians from poorer backgrounds (though our state as a whole has a propensity for random/weird names), and I know two ladies named Titty, a guy named Tittu, and a girl athlete named Shitty even. There's no logic behind these, except for the parents' misguided preference for a western sounding name. Mind you, this is more the exception than the norm; for the most part they end up with perfectly acceptable names like Betty, but every once a while you hear one that prompts a double-take.

Quoting comorin (Reply 16):
Thrukzhikundrappaswami Nedunchazianiaooru Ootaswamy

Whenever I used to have IT issues at work, I used to be referred to one Thirusenthilathiban Kusalavaswamy. You, sir, are a level higher  
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