posted on Feb, 5 2004 @ 07:40 PM
You call a toll-free number in America to ask a question or with a
problem regarding your credit card, computer, or online services. It's increasingly unlikely that the "Sally" or "James" who answers works for
the company you purchased your product from; in fact, it's likely they aren't even in the same country as the company you're trying to reach.
Forty percent - over 200 - of the Fortune 500 companies are currently sending their service and support centers overseas to India. From Dell to
American Express to General Electric, from Citigroup to AOL, companies are increasingly "outsourcing" their customer service to people who are paid
less than $5000US a year.
It's all happening in the name of the "bottom line," the company's desire to save money. The backlash, however, is starting to get severe.
Customer dissatisfaction with the communication barrier and the call centers' lack of authority has resulted in a vast increase in complaints and
brand-switching. Consumers are also wondering why the savings aren't being passed on to them.
In response to corporate client complaints, including the loss of some key accounts, Dell Inc announced last month it would bring its support for
corporate accounts back to the States. Once known for having the best customer service in the industry, Dell is now beginning to lag behind other big
computer manufacturers in customer satisfaction.