Overseas Customer Service Call Centers Under Fire (Survey)
Increased pressure is being put on major corporations to stop moving customer service call centers overseas-and now the Feds are weighing in.
Despite their boorish behavior related to the Verizon strike a few months ago, the Communication Workers Of America Union do make some very valid points in their argument. Wells Fargo and T-Mobile have announced they will be closing a number of US based call centers, and outsourcing them to India and the Phillipines. They are the latest in a large series of similar moves by US firms.
The reasons why these companies are outsourcing are usually economic--but the tax and labor issues are for another article (although the unions themselves, with their incessant pushing for higher and higher wages and benefits regardless of the financial ability of the company to pay are part of it-as well as higher and higher taxes placed upon such companies.)
The CMWA has release information that supports keeping such operations in the United States. Interestingly enough, foreign British and Australian newspapers have uncovered numerous instances where call centers in India have resulted in numerous Americans having their personal financial data compromised, one one of the incidents defrauding consumers out of 5 million dollars. India, says the report, downplays the security issues because the overseas call center business is worth (in British currency) over 3.7 billion pounds a year, or over six billion dollars US.
A New York Representative has sponsored legislation that would require such call centers to divulge to US callers whether they are an overseas based operation, and would require the center to transfer the customer to a US based center if so requested. The report also points out that T-Mobile received over 61 million dollars in local and regional subsidies to locate the centers in the US; yet they plan to shutter operations in the US resulting in the loss of nearly 2,000 jobs. Wells Fargo took millions in TARP subsidies, but they plan to take jobs from CA, FL, and PA and send them to the Phillipines.
Then, there is the sensitive issue of the language/cultural barrier. Many Americans complain that overseas call centers are less effective because customers have difficulty understanding the operators, and their sometimes limited command of American English creates issues in resolving problems.
What do YOU think? Should US companies stop sending call centers overseas? Take our survey.