BT apology over Indian call center's failure to understand Brummie accent

Last Updated: Sun, Jan 23, 2011 06:40 hrs

UK phone giant BT has apologized to Viv Tomkins, a Birmingham customer, after she claimed that the Indian call centre staff could not understand her accent.

"I couldn't believe the cheek of it. I know I've got a Brummie twang but I speak the Queen's English," the Daily Mail quoted Tomkins as saying.

Viv, 59, who was trying a sort out a BT vision bill, was put through to India four times, only to hang up "in despair" everytime.

"I was on the phone each time for ten minutes minimum - I think to people in Mumbai - and got so frustrated because I couldn't understand what some of the people were saying," she said.

"I had to ask their staff to repeat themselves over and over."

"I got so frustrated. I felt like throwing the phone out of the window," Tomkins added.

The final blow came when Charlene Conway, from BT's correspondence centre in Durham, sent a letter blaming HER accent for the problem.

BT has aplogized, and said, "The letter was not intended to cause offence. We have contacted the customer to clarify." (ANI)