They Swear By That Interpretation

, , , , | Right | August 26, 2020

We sometimes get calls from people who don’t speak English so we use a third-party interpreter to translate for us. During this entire call, the customer is screaming down the phone in angry tones to us but the interpreter is always polite and happy sounding.

Interpreter: “I would like to know why it is that my payments need to increase; I would really appreciate it if you could help me understand.”

Me: “Well, it seems you’re using more of [product] than we originally estimated you would so we just want to make sure the outstanding balance starts getting paid off.”

There’s a roar of rage from the customer at this followed by rapid-fire language.

Interpreter: “I see. Well, I’ll be honest; I’m not pleased about this. Is there any way we can lower the payment? I’m just not sure I’ll be able to afford such a surprise increase.”

Me: “Of course. I just need to extend the period of time that you’ll pay off the balance. How about [amount] spread over eight months?”

The customer screams two syllables at ear-piercing volume.

Interpreter: “Could we extend that further? It’s still too much.”

Me: “All right, how about [lower amount] spread over twelve months?”

Another scream and rapid-fire speech.

Interpreter: “That should be fine. I hope you have a wonderful day!”

Me: “You too, [Customer], goodbye.”

The customer says the last words himself in a cheery tone this time:

Customer: “Bye-bye!”

We all hung up after that, and to this day I’m still not sure we were all having the same conversation or if the interpreter was just cleaning up the language for me.

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