Ask SAM

Q: I recently had a problem with a customer service representative for Crocs who was from a call center overseas in Bangladesh. When I called with a question, they told me “I haven’t got all day.” I have at least a dozen pair of Crocs but will never buy any more. I have been told there is a law in the United States that if a consumer calls customer service and gets a foreign person they can request to speak with an English-speaking U.S.-based person instead. Is that true?

S.P.

Answer: No, there is no such law. There has been some discussion of that, including the introduction of the 2013 “United States Call Center and Consumer Protection Act” (H.R. 2909) which was referred to the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, but it never became law.

As Snopes.com points out, “although the practice is not yet legislatively mandated, some U.S. companies have established policies and procedures of their own that instruct foreign call center operators to transfer calls back to U.S.-based reps upon customer request.”

In your case, SAM got in touch with a spokesperson for Crocs and shared your complaint about how your call was handled. “We have passed this along to the appropriate person internally here at Crocs and this will be addressed,” she said.

Q: I recently have been having trouble with a neighbor who lets their dog out at 6 a.m., and the animal barks non-stop for an hour or so until they bring it back in. I don’t appreciate being woke up at 6 a.m. on my day off. What’s the best way to get this to stop?

S.F.

Answer: “This would be a considered a noise violation, and we instruct people to contact their local law enforcement agency when it is occurring,” said Capt. Van Loveland with the Forsyth County Animal Services Division. “They can talk with your neighbor about the noise violation and possibly get this to stop.”

You did not give us an address, but if it is in the city limits, you should contact the Winston-Salem Police Department’s non-emergency communications number at 336-733-7700 and ask for an officer to come talk with your neighbor about the noise violation. The city of Winston-Salem has an ordinance that prohibits residents from having “one or more dogs which habitually bark, howl or whine for at least 15 minutes so as to result in serious annoyance to neighboring residents.”

Once police have spoken to the neighbor, if the noise continues, the person disturbed by barking can charge the owner with violating the ordinance by taking out a criminal summons at the magistrate’s office at the county jail.

Another option is to get in touch with Mediation Services of Forsyth County at 336-724-2870. They have a long history of helping people settle disputes involving dogs, including barking, roaming and other problems.

Thanks

“I would like to thank the people at Andrew Apothecary for the beautiful card and kind words they sent me when my cat, Pretty, died.” — K.B.

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Email: AskSAM@wsjournal.com

Online: journalnow.com/asksam

Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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