During a live chat session with a customer service agent, I tried to cancel my ancient EarthLink e-mail account. (I know – having ever had an EarthLink e-mail account makes me about as cool as orthodontic headgear, but in the early part of the 21st century, I had my reasons …)
The customer service agent, “Jane D,” did a good job. She let me know that I could not cancel my account during the chat session. When I explained that I wanted to cancel in writing, she provided EarthLink’s fax number and told me what to include in my fax. I got one-and-done, actionable service.
But Jane D’s diction was odd! Her unusual phrasings include:
- please may I know the reason as to why you are looking to cancel
- at chat we are limited to give the information
- one of the associates will put in the best effort to help you do the needful today
I suspect English is not Jane D’s first language, and I have to admire her for writing so smoothly in a second language. But I think that her less-than-complete grasp on American English phrasing erodes the overall quality of the chat. Read on…
Transcript of EarthLink Live Chat
Welcome to EarthLink LiveChat. Your chat session will begin in approximately 0 minutes. Feel free to begin typing your question.
- “Jane D” says: Thank you for contacting EarthLink LiveChat, how may I help you today?
- LMO@earthlink.net: I want to cancel my earthlink account
- Jane D: I am sorry to know that you wish to cancel the account.
- Jane D: Please may I know the reason as to why you are looking to cancel the account with EarthLink?
- LMO@earthlink.net: I don’t need the account any more
- LMO@earthlink.net: Please confirm that you will close out the account and that I will not be billed for service after today, October 27
- Jane D: That is Okay, I understood.
- Jane D: I will certainly help you in this regard.
- Jane D: Here I would like to inform you that, At chat we are limited to give the information but the cancellation involves your verbal agreement so please contact us on the voice number 888 327 8454 (working hours 7am – midnight EST M-F or 8am – 10pm EST Sat/Sun) and one of the associates will put in the best effort to help you do the needful today.
- LMO@earthlink.net: I don’t want to call in. I want to cancel my account in writing.
- Jane D: As per our cancellation policy, I cannot cancel your account through Live Chat. If you wish to cancel your account, please send a request by Fax to 404-795-1034, including your account number,email address, your contact information and the reason of the cancellation.
- LMO@earthlink.net: OK, I will do that
- Jane D: Thank you.
- Jane D: Is there anything else I can assist you with?
- LMO@earthlink.net: No, thank you
- Jane D: Thank you for using EarthLink Live Chat. Should you need further assistance, please contact us again.
- Jane D: You have a wonderful day ahead!
What’s your opinion? Did Jane D’s chat “do the needful” or should EarthLink staff chat with customer service agents whose writing is clear, correct, concise, and in touch with American English? I’m eager to hear your thoughts, so post a comment here.