Outsourced Call Centers

So it seems most large states-side businesses have offloaded their customer support to India. I know several that do this. What happens when you call Staples or Citibank customer support? The call gets routed to some call center in India, and you get to talk to “Mike,” an Indian who has practiced his American accent very diligently (some even try on regional accents to pretend to be from the “south”!). But invariably within not more than ten seconds, the Indian accent leaks through, or maybe the odd diction or idiom usage does, could be any number of small things, really.

And then the trouble starts. Evidently these Indians get a lot of four-lettered racial abuse from callers who don’t like Indians taking their phone calls. So some Indian call centers try really really hard to pretend not to be Indian beyond the usual steps. They would have real time feeds of US weather, sports scores, news to allow the call-handlers to pretend they are Indians living in the US…

Now, personally, I think it’s stupid the call centers even pretend their call handlers are locals. I mean wtf, it’s obvious you aren’t talking to an American on the other end. It just doesn’t work; so really, why try at all…

Personally I am glad to talk to whomever, as long as they get my shit done. Who cares if he is Pradeep or “Paul” from “Tennessee”? I don’t.

Besides, what’s the alternative? Some trailer trash village idiot from the real Tennessee, who isn’t able to add 1 and 1, but nevertheless still had a bad attitude? Since the Indian payscale is inexpensive compared to the US one, you can actually hire slightly more competent people willing to do such work, so I think it’s better that way. My experience at least has been that the Indians have got my shit done well. When they can’t do something, it’s probably not because of they live in India, have language problems, or are far from the actual business, but because lowly customer service reps can’t do much anyway by design.

I’ve been transferred to call centers in China when calling consumer service lines here in Taiwan. Only problem I noticed was that they can’t give you directions to place in Taipei although one young lady gamely tried.