One of the most important business in Taiwan both internationally and domestically is the phone company. Not to long ago I was able to get decent English customer service with Hinet. Now in the last month or so, I can’t get anywhere. I wonder why they even have a press 3 for English.
Yes, I guess I can get a friend to help me but I don’t want to give in
Here is their very competant website blurb
HiNet Customer Support
HiNet 24-hour toll-free service number 0800-080412 open 7 days a week.
You can contact us by phone or leave your message to:firstname.lastname@example.org
We will answer your inquiry by email as soon as possible.
Well I called them several times. They said that someone would call me back. They never did. Today I insisted on talking to someone. I think they gave me an English speaking technician (phone not computer) who gave me an other number to call. It turns out to be the same office.
Finally they get me an international operator to translate for me. And I was just interested in buying a product.
Certain businesses like the phone company or even international computer companies should be better staffed with English speaking employees. Their websites and international adds always give their Taiwan phone numbers. The question is… where are all those people who are learning English. Do they leave the country? What would pay better than the Phone company.
There websties always say … If you have a question. Please call! They should say… Call only if you speak Chinese with a perfect accent, always have a chiinese speaking colleague ready. You may e-mail in English but don’t expect an answer…
I’ve called other countries and other international help centers. They can speak English. I even actually insulted a singapore help desk by asking the question “Do you speak English?” She said… This is Singagpore!
Calming down… The international operator for Taiwan that I used understood English very well. Her grammar and pronunciation was flawless… Someone better tell the bosses to save some money and cut her …
What no responses? No Amens! NO, your full of shit…
This is scary… either you all have become immune, let your friends do business for you or have become fluent in Chinese. The first two should be unacceptable.
I live in the country, too busy with family and can’t access any Chinese language school so my Chinese understandably sucks…
But I’ve done business here as a consumer for years… Hasn’t anyone else noticed the decline. Especially when they say there are certifying everyone in English. Everyone’s learning English?
How hard is it to say… … You want x product. Contract length 1 year. Get six month free. Monthly cost 80NT added to your bill.
When I get enough time, I will learn that basic pattern from one of my local friends. What are all these English learners in Taiwan doing? Who is hiring them? The movie subtitle business? Are they escaping Taiwan.
The English level in Chiayi has remained the same… pathetic to non-existent. So, no, I haven’t noticed the decline.
Kaohsiung is also just as bad. A lot of people will giggle and try to hide when a foreigner (read: me) comes in the store. I work in Tainan and I would say it is even worse.
I am taking Mandarin courses and will continue to do so over the next few years so that I don’t feel so out of place.
I also don’t know why they have a press 9 for English option when it only punts you to the same xiaojie that answers the Mandarin line and doesn’t speak English.
The English service level as dropped…that means you got service…in English…once?
When I was struggling to arrange my credit card and bank business before leaving, I often slammed the phone in frustration and asked out loud how the heck do people who do not speak Chinese manage to live here. man, every time you call any major bank, they have a For English dial 9 or whatever option. I have yet to experience -except Ameircan Express- anyone who would actually answer and deal with me in English.
So, I do not feel it has gone downhill as much as not improved.
[quote=“Taiwan_Student”]What no responses? No Amens! NO, your full of shit…
This is scary… either you all have become immune, let your friends do business for you or have become fluent in Chinese. The first two should be unacceptable. I live in the country, too busy with family and can’t access any Chinese language school so my Chinese understandably sucks…
But I’ve done business here as a consumer for years… .[/quote]
Well come on now your’ve been here for years and are too busy to learn the language. I could understand if you had been here several months but years?
Surely you dont need to go to a Chinese language school to learn Chinese. I think I am immune because I already learnt Chinese elsewhere
What do you expect? this is Taiwan.
If I went to the US and demanded that everyone, phone companies and stuff speak Chinese in order to be more international, how do you think they’ll respond?
There are many other country that have poor English service and the only thing one can do is learn their language. You are in their country after all.
You would be surprised. Ten years ago, you would be entirely correct. Things have changed. In Canada, at least, in my hometown, a small city of less than 500,000, several major banks offer Chinese material, a Chinese option on the ATMs, and employ a least one or two Chinese-speaking staff to deal with mainly mainland Chinese 富二代 (rich-2nd-generation) students. Same with the cell phone stores. Very smart business move; if I ran one of those bank branches, every school year would start with some sort of big banquet to attract business. One friend (in his early twenties), within a week of landing in Canada, had bought a house in the nice area of town and a brand new luxury SUV.
Some apartment buildings are run by large property management agencies that have employ 1 or 2 Chinese staff. One medium-sized building in a student area has a prominent Chinese-only advertisement outside. There is even a semi-secret “wild chicken bus” that will pick you up from the airport (I found out he was charging me $2 more than the Chinese students, ).
When I was in Canada, I helped my Chinese friends (and friends of friends) with moving, “cultural translation,” and getting health cards and drivers’ licenses. So there are at least a few locals willing to help.
But yes, if they enter a coffee shop and try to order in less than perfect English, they would have trouble and perhaps even be treated in an unfriendly way, which I find embarrassing. One of my friends, on looking for an apartment, was on two occasions received very well over the phone but cooly in person, which made me very disappointed.
Totally agree. With such linguistic and cultural differences though, having a local friend to help is important. It’s something I will need for a while.
the Roads and Traffic Authority in Sydney, as well as the courts, and the hospitals, offer pamphlets and brochures and even interpreting services in about 100-120 languages.
yes, taiwan is falling behind.
It’s a failing of the education system more than anything.
As Churchill would have said: “Never before, in the course of English language education, has so much been spent by so many for so little !”
Right on PG. But when you see the goal is often to pass exams and not to learn you can see why.
I think we will see a lot more Taiwanese with good English as they return from working holidays. That would be better than the netherworld we inhabit now where everybody wants to speak English but can’t! Meanwhile nobody wants to speak Chinese to me.
Yesterday a guy said to me outside his restaurant, ‘Eat?’
quote=“headhonchoII”]The English service level as dropped…that means you got service…in English…once? [/quote]
Yes, among other things I was able to be taught how to down load and install my virus protection package I get with my Hi-Net account. Even though we used a mix of Chinese and English, he still had to enough English to tell me which button or icon I should select. I had to describe what was on my screen and he had to tell me what to do. …
He offered to “take over” my computer but It was just easier for him to teach me so I could let him go… Good customer service. Lack of the English Speaking Computer tech, I feel started to happen with the localization of DOS then Windows…
I’m not asking the small town shop to do speak English you know. This is the phone company.
You would be surprised. Ten years ago, you would be entirely correct. Things have changed. .[/quote][
It was more than ten years ago for the USA. You could get customer service for the telephone companies and credit card services in many languages.
My wonder… There is a lot of competion for good jobs. If English Speaking is true asset, multi-nationals and national companies should have at least one or two English Speakers on staff. Where are all these people who study English.
Taiwan is dominated by local corporations and has few foreign customers here that would require a service in English, so they stick up a webpage and that’s about it for many of them.