I agree Irish or UK agents are easier to understand than Indian agents
OTOH, I have my doubts that it's that much cheaper to setup call
centers in Ireland.
If we're not successful with our efforts on the contract side perhaps
it's time for legislative efforts, as a Libertarian kind of guy, it's
the last thing I like to see - Governmental involvement, however the
phone companies have exceeded my pain threshold with this call center
John Levine wrote:
>> I get a written guarantee backed up by penalty fees and contract
>> termination rights. This guarantee will stipulate that if I ever get
>> transferred to an overseas call center or to a call-center not staffed
>> by native US staff, ...
> A company I'm associated with moved its tech support call center to
> Befast, Northern Ireland some years ago. We've been able to recruit
> very well qualified staff and callers have been happy with the
> service. It's not as cheap as India (although we did get some UK
> government money to set it up), but it's a lot easier to manage.
> I suppose it helps that for most Americans, an Irish accent is easier
> to understand than an Indian one.
What's the solution?
I don't shop at Sam's or Wal-mart unless I'm desperate for something I
know I can't find anywhere else, or I know there's a 50% price spread.
I am fully aware that my friendly Dierberg's, Walgreen's or Kmart is
20% more than Wal-Mart, I'm content with that and happy to pay the
money for mental peace of mind.
The problem is, when I need SBC DSL support, I have no choice. I can't
say "charge me $20 so I don't have to talk to an Indian"
Katy Computer Systems, Inc
20 Meramec Station Rd
Valley Park MO 63088
John R Levine <firstname.lastname@example.org> said:
>> I agree Irish or UK agents are easier to understand than Indian agents
>> OTOH, I have my doubts that it's that much cheaper to setup call centers
>> in Ireland.
> It's Northern Ireland, which makes a difference. Between the gov't
> subsidies and the very reasonable salaries that comp sci grads will
> accept, the cost difference is significant.
>> If we're not successful with our efforts on the contract side
>> perhaps it's time for legislative efforts, as a Libertarian kind of
> I dunno, I fear it's a cultural thing. The Wal-Mart phenomenon
> makes it clear that most Americans will pick lower price over better
> quality every time.
> I get a written guarantee backed up by penalty fees and contract
> termination rights. This guarantee will stipulate that if I ever get
> transferred to an overseas call center or to a call-center not staffed
> by native US staff, ...
A company I'm associated with moved its tech support call center to
Befast, Northern Ireland some years ago. We've been able to recruit
very well qualified staff and callers have been happy with the
service. It's not as cheap as India (although we did get some UK
government money to set it up), but it's a lot easier to manage.
I suppose it helps that for most Americans, an Irish accent is easier
to understand than an Indian one.
> What's the solution?
Good question. I don't shop at Wal-Mart at all, and my telco's
support staff are three blocks from here and know me personally.
> The problem is, when I need SBC DSL support, I have no choice. I can't say
> "charge me $20 so I don't have to talk to an Indian"
I suppose one small step would be to write to your congressbeings and
Mike "princeling" Powell to tell them how unhappy you are that they've
let the RBOCs monopolize DSL.
John Levine email@example.com Primary Perpetrator of The Internet for Dummies,
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://iecc.com/johnl, Mayor
"I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Do you remember how, many years ago at
least, or maybe still, telemarketers always wanted to locate their
offices in Omaha, Nebraska? Not only were the phone lines cheaper
there than anywhere else when WATS was prevalent (almost no calls had
to be made through the most expensive 'Band 6' lines; 'Band 5' went
almost everywhere except extremely distant areas) but more important
the telemarketers wanted that nice, bland, midwestern accent so the
called party knew a 'voice' was speaking to him, but it was impossible
to say immediatly *where* the voice was located, or the person's
racial makeup without an accent, which white people in the midwest
area usually do not have.
That's why the telemarketers did not want to locate in the east due to
prejudice against 'easterners' by people in the midwest, or against
jews or blacks (populous in the eastern states); telemarketers did not
want to locate in the south due to prejudice by midwesterners or
eastern people against 'southerners' (whose accent would always give
them away, etc). They would always say it was hard enough to make
sales pitches over the phone without having to overcome the called
party's prejudice against black people, Jews, southerners, whatever.
So don't even give the called party a chance to think about those
factors, just be a 'voice'. That's what made Nebraska in general, and
Omaha in particular such a nice place for them; plus which the
farmer's wives and daughters tended to work more cheaply and be more
honest in rural midwestern areas as Amoco Credit Card found out when
they moved their operation from Chicago to a rural area outside of
Des Moines, Iowa. I guess the opposite is true where customer service
is concerned, however. Now that you have been sold and they have your
money, they can quit worrying about what you think either way; go
ahead and let customer service be outsourced to India or Japan or
Korea. If the housewives and daughters over there cannot understand
your problem or you cannot understand their language, then so what;
let the customer live with the problem; we already got his money. PAT]