Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Actual Conversation # 51 - where international dialing is discussed.

Caller: "Hello, I'm X calling from Some Company, trying to get in touch with Y."
Me: "I'm sorry, there's no Y at this location."
Caller: "Oh, I know that, I'm simply trying to confirm the phone number. It seems to be incomplete."
Me: "What is the number?"
Caller: "Well, it starts with 44+, and then 0 in parenthesis. Then after that it's xxxx-xxxxxx."
Me: "Well, I can see if we have a different phone number for Y in our directory, one minute."
*sound of me tapping on keys and clicking with mouse.*
Me: "Okay, what I have is 44-xxxxx-xxxxxx.:
*caller pauses*
Caller: "That's what I have written down here and... one... two...three-four..." *counts the number of digits*
Me: "Occasionally if you try dialing a 1 instead of a 0 it has gone through. You might give that a shot."
Caller: "Well, it's not that. It's that there should be 7 numbers here and there's...not... there's..." *more counting* "Well, I don't know now but there's more than 7 and I don't think the area code is right."
Me: "Well, I'm not sure how they do the area code there, I'm assuming that's the XXXXX at the beginning. But if you dial the country code, the 44, then follow it with a 1.."
Caller: "44 is a country code?"
Me: "Yes. That's the country code for dialing the UK, where Y is located."
*silence on the phone.*
Caller: "He's in the UK?"
Me: "Yes, in our (name) office. I may not have pronounced that right, though, if you need me to spell it..."
Caller: "Well, no, that's fine. I've been trying to dial Canada this whole time. I thought he was in Canada."
Me: "Oh." *large pause, silence in between* "Yes, 44 is the country code for Great Britain, the 1 or 0 is for the long distance, and I believe the rest of is should get you right to the gentleman's office. You just have to make sure you're on an outside line when you call first..."
Caller: "I had no idea he was in the UK."
Me: "Unless you've talked to them in person and heard the accent, it's sometimes hard to tell."
Caller: "I've talked to him on speaker phone. I didn't realize that was a British accent."
Me: "Oh."
Me:"Well, did that help you out? Anything else I can look up for you."
Caller: *sounding very meek* "No. I think that's fine. I didn't know I was dialing internationally. Have a good day."

Based on this I can only assume she thought it was a regular 10-digit long distance number that was transposed, didn't bother to google it, had never heard of a country code, and somehow didn't register that he would be in Britain when he had a British accent.
This is going up on my wall of international FAIL along with the conversation between my coworkers about the email with "weird Spanish" that was actually Portuguese.

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