“Houston, we’ve got a problem!” The astronaut’s voice sounded hysterical.
Call center agent: “Uh, ahem! This is not Houston. Thank you for calling NASA, where we take you farther in space than anyone else. My name is Ngxtwp, your friendly agent at the Lunar Call Center on the Moon. How can I assist you today?”
Astronaut: “What? What happened to Houston!?
Ngxtwp: “Oh, they are there, but they transferred all their call center duties to us. We are cheaper than those prima donnas in Houston. I’ll be glad to help you if you just tell me what the problem is.”
Astronaut: “We have lost our navigation system. This thing doesn’t work. It’s a piece of crap!”
Ngxtwp: “May I have your mission number, NASA’s account number and the serial number on your navigation equipment, please?
Astronaut: “Are you a Lunatic? You are supposed to have all that information!”
Ngxtwp: “Please sir, don’t call us Lunatics. We resent being called that or Mooners. We are Selenes!”
Astronaut: “Sorry, I didn’t know.”
Ngxtwp: “That’s OK sir. Please the numbers?”
The astronaut dictates all the requested information.
Ngxtwp: “Thanks. I will put you on hold for a few minutes while I research your equipment. In the meantime you can listen to the recording we have created with you in mind.”
Recording with a pleasant female voice: “We would like to remind you that for the month of January we have a special promotional offer on our atomic-powered-intergalactic-cell-phone. With 10G coverage anywhere in our galaxy, except for areas near or inside a black hole, you will have unlimited speed and data usage for a little as $23999.00 a month, including shipping at warp speeds. Ask your friendly agent for details.”
Ngxtwp: “Sir? I just re provisioned your navigation equipment and it shows here that everything is OK. You must be doing something wrong!”
Astronaut: “I have done everything that the manual calls for, it is still down. We are on a mission to Mars and if we don’t get this fixed, we may end up crashing into Jupiter!”
Ngxtwp: “Just to remind you; if you crash into Jupiter, you will lose the equipment’s warranty. Let’s try something else. I need you to turn off all of your systems including engine power. That’s called power cycling and usually does the trick.”
Astronaut: “Trick? If I turn everything off, we’d die! I want to talk to a supervisor now!”
Ngxtwp: “Sorry sir, all of our supervisors are in Houston getting training on troubleshooting defective navigation systems. However, so as to minimize your inconvenience, I am empowered to give you a month of credit. Would that make you happier?”
Co-pilot to astronaut whispering: “Hang up and call again. Hopefully, you will get a more knowledgeable agent.”
The above may or may not sound familiar to some of you now. But it will.
More than ever before, U.S. corporations are outsourcing their call centers to foreign lands due to lower costs. Chances are that soon, your calls will be answered in the Philippines, India, El Salvador and in other countries you may have never heard of. Get used to it. Maybe in your lifetime Ngxtwp will be offering you a credit for the crappy equipment or service you just bought. Just remember, do not call him a Lunatic!