Hate Outsourced Bankers? Just Ask For A US One

Loathe the outsourced customer service reps on the Washington Mutual phone lines? Just ask for a US-banker, says one WaMu insider:

Everyone here at customer service I know where I work HATES the outsourced bankers.. not only are they stealing our jobs, they cannot think outside the box, sometimes they cant even speak properly, and they CONSTANTLY fudge up peoples accounts, but management seems to keep hiring more! Cheap crap labor. We in the supervisor teams are always having to clean up after their mistakes, and sometimes there isn’t anything we can do, such as reopen a debit card they accidentally closed as being lost or stolen, and the customer gets the full force of their incompetence. The only time I see that coming from US bankers is when they are in training and that’s it. And of course the customers hate them too.

Always ask for a US banker if you get through to customer service. When a Philippines banker is asked to transfer to a US banker it goes to a supervisor and it costs more to hire more supervisors, so if more people do that… imagine the message management will get.

Cool. I didn’t even know you could ask for a US-banker. As a Washington Mutual customer, this is definitely a tip I will be using in the future. Probably works for other banks, too.

(Photo: Maulleigh)


Edit Your Comment

  1. petrarch1608 says:

    I hate it when my bank of america calls get transferred to india. Hello! this is bank of america!

  2. zentex says:

    oh man…this makes me happy!

  3. I’ve never spoken to a non-American when calling Commerce Bank service.

  4. plj says:

    I always ask to be sent back to the US. I don’t know how many times, I’ve been told that “SUZIE or JOHN” are located in the US. I always ask them what state they are in and they almost always say NY, so I then ask what is the capitol of NY, and they always answer NYC.
    At that point I correct them and ask to be sent back to the US, which happens quite quickly when you put your foot down.

  5. blong81 says:

    If I can’t understand the person who I am on the phone with, I always ask for someone else. If we are able to actually have conversation I have never had a problem with their service. Except with Dell, because you don’t get service when you call them. Their customer service number should just be called their customers call here to waste time number.

  6. Juggernaut says:

    Holy Shit! I thought it was just a coincidence that all guys named “Kevin” in customer service sounded like that.

  7. I actually know the faces of my credit union’s employees.

  8. Zephyr7 says:

    They’d probably transfer you to a “US Bank” rep :)

    Doesn’t matter… they’re all mutha uckas and they’re uckin’ with your shi!

  9. FLConsumer says:

    Banks outsource CSRs!?!? I’d *NEVER* do business with a bank that does this. Your financial & personal floating through the internet to a foreign country with different laws than here? I don’t think so.

  10. dragonfire81 says:

    This article may be a bit misleading. It states when you ask for a U.S. rep it goes to a supervisor. I think this means an outsourced supervisor at whatever foreign call center you ended up at.

    Some call centers may be able to, but where I worked, call queues were random. No matter how loudly you screamed at me, I was unable to transfer you to the U.S. I can transfer you, but I have no idea to which country your call will end up.

  11. Zephyr7 says:

    @FLConsumer: Many large companies have started doing this. And the call center reps in India or where-ever have to assume fake, American sounding names.

  12. Rippleeffect says:

    @Zephyr7: Seen an interview/article on that. They go through speech classes to learn to sounds like americans. Never fools me though.

  13. Faerie says:

    Wow. That’s great to know! I’ve had more than one conversation with a CSR I could barely understand. So frustrating.

  14. SacraBos says:

    @Zephyr7: Do they really think they are fooling anyone? It’s the accent, not the name that gives them away! Come on. If Hank Azaria can fake Apu’s accent for the Simpsons, then at least they can try to fake an American accent.

    Maybe they could sing! After all, how many Brit singers are unintelligible unless you’re trying to hear the lyrics of their songs? Ozzy doesn’t count.

  15. ColoradoShark says:

    @plj: I used to live in New York and a surprisingly large number of people don’t know the name of the capitol either.

    Besides, wasn’t NYC the correct answer to “What is the capitol of NY?” on SNL’s “Common Knowledge” skit? Maybe the CSR’s watch SNL to learn.

  16. mike says:

    @petrarch1608: What’s more ironic is the new BoA commercials. They are talking about how they are the offical bank of the Olympics.

    “Why not join the largest bank in America? That’s why we’re called Bank of America.”

    Irony. Your name is Bank of America.

  17. fluiddruid says:

    As a former call center employee…

    ALWAYS ask for a US person. Even if they say no, calls are monitored regularly. If enough people do this then companies will listen… the calls are being drawn out when people ask. Even a few seconds added to a call, multiply it by thousands and thousands of calls… it becomes a real cost. Believe me, there is a lot of time and effort spent in taking a call down from two minutes and thirty seconds to two minutes and twenty seconds consistently.

  18. ChuckECheese says:

    @plj: Because the capital of NY is Syracuse, right?

  19. ChuckECheese says:

    @Juggernaut: Kevin, why do you smell like asafoetida?

  20. Roycester says:

    Cool – wonder if this works for those debt collection call centers in India…

  21. ClankBoomSteam says:


    Um, I’d get used to the idea real quick, if I were you. International outsourcing is so common at this point that I’m surprised when I hear about a company (even a bank) that doesn’t outsource to other countries. Welcome to 21st Century Big Business.

  22. SadSam says:

    Oh my sad puppies, this totally happened to me today.

    I called CitiMortgage (my mortgage was sold to them and they have done nothing but screw it up in that time – 1 month) and I got Sean Peters (sigh, roll-eyes, groan) in India. I can’t blame all of our communication difficulties on Mr. Peters, the connection was akin to a tin can and string. I explained my problem, explained what I wanted and ask Mr. Peters if he could help me. He put me on hold, came back and said…. ‘papers’.

    Me – What about papers.
    Mr. “Peters” – Papers, something, papers.
    Me – I’m sorry, I’m not understanding you.

    This went on for some time.

    Mr. “Peters” – Send papers. Pen.
    Me – Do I need to send Citimortgage documentation or a written request?
    Mr. “Peters” – with much gratitute in his voice, YES!

    Later in the morning, I had to call Wachovia for a question related to a different mortgage (we’ve got more than one property) and was so pleased to be connected to somone sitting in North Carolina who I could understand and who could understand me.

  23. iheartconsumerist says:

    If you bank with washington mutual a real easy solution to any problem dealing with outsourced csr’s – Call your local branch! I ran into several problems with WAMU’s 800 number, having to deal with people overseas who were unable or unwilling to help me resolve my issues. Every time I’ve run into these problems i’ve called my local branch and they have quickly and competently been able to assist me. Even when the people on the 800 number have told me what I was asking for was impossible or against “policy.” The last lady I talked to at my branch said the 800 number is a joke and in the future to not waste my time and just call the local branch right off the bat.

  24. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    Ok it makes sense now. I had to call Wamu about 2 weeks ago when I went to a bar and the bartender, either drunk or just dumb, charged some guys tab to my debit card and gave him my card. She acted very casual about the whole thing even though my bank account was now in this persons hands.

    I called Wamu immediately and I could have sworn the person was in India. Fake sounding accent, lag in communication, and general stupidity. I told her the card was stolen. Technically it was. She said (in a heavy accent) “I will mark account with card as lost, you get new one in 5 to 7 days” . She answered my questions but always with a huge lag between requests, almost as if she was having to look in a translation dictionary.

    Hopefully everything was resolved, I never recieved any confirmation regarding the cards de-activation, but on a side note I did get the card back the next night. And a new one came by that friday.

  25. kspray--dad says:

    In Canada always select French as your language option then ask them to speak English when you get a human…you’ll now be served from NB or PQ.

    Does asking for Spanish on the US systems not accomplish the same thing?

  26. midwestkel says:

    I noticed when I pushed the Onstar button it was outsourced and it took them a while to say my name. I was a little disapointed.

    My bank thank god hasnt been ousourced yet, US Bank.

  27. jadenansaloni says:

    Uh, the “WaMu Insider” really shouldn’t be criticizing how others speak when he can’t even string together a basic sentence. There are so many grammatical mistakes in his email. Oh, and “they” are not stealing our jobs (South Park, anyone?) – maybe you should focus your ire on the actual corporations who don’t give a shit about you and only focus on the bottom line? Welcome to capitalism, fool!

    By the way, I’d rather speak with a foreign agent than deal with some Mexican with 10 kids with an attitude problem.

  28. stevgex says:

    I work in IT and it’s a given that if I have to call support for anything, I get India. I have found that that with Microsoft, if you really insist, you can get a US engineer. With Dell, the hot tip is to choose the Spanish option. the call center is in Houston and they all speak English (shorter hold times too)

  29. halajenn says:


    At WaMu selecting the Spanish option will most likely get you sent to the Costa Rica call center. As far as I have figured out, no one at that site speaks English.

  30. tgpt says:

    Hmmm…this seems like a great business opportunity: cater to racists. “Switch to our bank, and we promise everyone who screws you over will be white, middle class, and making more than you are!”

  31. thinner77 says:

    the outsourced/overseas CSR’s–from the Phillipines, all sound exactly the same to me.
    Because there is this particular sound and vocal style…as though the voice is being transmitted through a machine that levels them to sameness. Tinny, electronic, phlegmmy, and robotic!

    With Wamu, I have often begun in this friendly, American manner:
    “Am i talking to the Phillipines?” yes. “Transfer me to the United States, NOW.”
    if i am given any crapola whatsoever…i cannot do that, i need to transfer you to a
    supervisor first, i need to fill out a report, i need all your information first, et alia–
    i just repeat my transfer request sentence in escalating, deeper voiced, anger-soaked
    octaves until they give in.

    My experiences at Wamu and other companies are the same:
    if i give in and let them try to help me, their inability to understand me, the situation and the necessary requirements to solve said situation fill me with rage, and i still have to call back!

    Expedia, Amazon.com, Circuit City–i have never spoken to any
    “on American soil” CSR’s.
    BTW, i would gladly talk to any Filipino CSR, if they were here in the US of A.

    Where the Capitol of NY is Albany.

  32. sventurata says:

    Newsflash: not everyone in the USA speaks your slangy, nasal American dialects.

    What a lot of racists you are.

    By the way, American companies that outsource are required to ensure that American law is upheld in whatever countries their information is transmitted to.

    @kspray–dad: No, actually: many of these are sent to Franco-Ontarians, or (my God!) recent Caribbean immigrants to Toronto who actually speak French as a mother tongue.

  33. richcreamerybutter says:

    @thinner77: @Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: Your “racism” claims are no good here. I’m sure “Kevin,” “Susie,” and “Frank” are nice folks, but 9 times out of 10 they lack enough familiarity with the vernacular to be the most effective customer service rep possible. It’s not their faults…this skill often takes 10-20 years of constant use and exposure to the language and culture in question.

    For instance, I consider myself fluent enough in French to read a call center script in response to questions, but I definitely lack enough exposure to get to the heart of a problem that can’t be remedied by matching script answers to keywords in the consumer’s questions, which is exactly what is happening whwn you speak to India.

  34. othium says:

    @richcreamerybutter: Yea. Why is it “racist” to request a representative that you can understand clearly? I don’t understand that one at all.

    “Newsflash: not everyone in the USA speaks your slangy, nasal American dialects.”

    If the company wants to keep earning money from me, they will have to hire a representative that can understand my “slangy, nasal American” voice.

  35. hardcle says:

    If you really hate outsourced bankers, bank locally! You’ll get better service and help a neighbor to stay employed.