Now, I have no trouble speaking to foreigners, IF THEY CAN DO THEIR JOB.
Just called a call centre, having found a 30 year old passbook for a well known Building Society. "I can't find anything on our system, so I can't help you". No dear, the book is over 30 years old (and hand written), so the account number won't be on your new fangled computer system. Which part of old/lost accounts didn't you understand?
Don't think I can be arsed digging out a string of marriage/divorce papers and carting them back to Blighty just for £18!