Anyone who has had to endure the displeasure of struggling through a customer support call with a completely unintelligible customer service representative in Bangalore should be watching this legislation with interest: A new bill before the House gives outsourcing American companies a hard time. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced a bill requiring that companies transferring calls to an overseas call center disclose that fact, and pay a tax of 25 cents per call transferred.
I for one would be delighted to get those calls back to being handled in the United States, by native English-speaking and Spanish-speaking reps. I don’t even call tech support anymore unless I need an RMA because I rarely can understand the person on the other end of the phone. Even calls to American Express and other companies with other large customer-service organizations are being handled overseas, and not just by India anymore: Romania is a top call-center magnet in, and Sirius/XM has their call center in balmy Jamaica (ask me how I know).
In a complete fit of incredulity, in this article, TollFreeForwarding.com states:
“It will cost jobs while aiding the continued destruction of American wealth and influence. As an employer, it is prohibitively expensive to do business in this country, primarily because the talent pool is tiny due to our poor educational system. Even in a down economy, American technology companies have difficulty finding well-trained individuals who are prepared to work at the pace of international business.”
File that one under Oh Puh-LEEAZE!
Are you kidding me!? It’s America’s shitty talent pool? Really? Bullshit. You left out an important bit from that statement: …because the talent pool [who is willing to work for minimum wage and no benefits] is tiny due to our poor educational system. Yeah. Our educational system teaches kids to demand a living wage and health insurance, I guess that’s what makes it so poor. As a product of the American educational system–and as one who started their career in a BlueBehemoth call center, supporting OS/2–I find that quote highly offensive, and completely unfounded.
I realize that over in India it takes a Master’s degree from Bangalore U. to ensure one is qualified enough to ask someone if they’ve rebooted their computer (because that’s the next step on the script), but why don’t we give our American men and women a crack at it, ‘kay? I’m pretty sure they can handle it…