While the outsourcing boom has created a technology renaissance in India, it's also subjecting call center workers to abuse from angry, even abusive Americans, according to a San Francisco Chronicle story that has been well-circulated throughout the blogosphere.
Many bloggers expressed disgust for the way in which callers depicted in the story validate the "ugly American" stereotype. Others, however, in response to the story, aired their own frustrations about language and cultural barriers that can make the outsourcing of call centers problematic.
Blog community response:
"As human beings no one should have to go through this daily abuse, and I think the U.S. corporations who have outsourced their company need to gain more control and enforce stronger policies to dissuade callers from this verbal abuse. This behavior would not be tolerated in the United States, so why should it be tolerated elsewhere?"
--Advanced Organizational Communication
"I have another issue with the way call centers (whether Indian or not) work. The person who takes the call has little authority (decision-making power as well as command over the topic)...When the person on phone repeats the same things that I already know (despite being told so), it is the most irritating part...I have rarely been able to get my problems solved through a call to a call-center (within India). I still believe in the old-fashioned across-the-counter/letter/email way of doing things!"
"USA culture has always had the image of being brassy and rude already and it certainly hasn't improved with the Bush cowboy method of politics. We have a lousy reputation overseas, and the people calling India for tech support, or help or ordering are not helping the situation."
--Ravings of a BiPolar Gothic Witch
"My problem is, that if the company sells to people in a country and portrays themselves as part of that country, then I think they should keep the support and call centers in the country they are making their money from. I worked a call center job at Vonage. They had support in the U.S. In New Jersey. Callers were very happy to hear that. Except those calls that came in from India :-)."
"...it's not the Indian call center workers--who make $200 to $400 a month for working long hours, on all shifts to deal with your calls--who created outsourcing. It's the corporations who are looking to save money that hired these people. Being rude to the call center people only show the world that Americans are rude, crude and not a little stupid about economy."
--I got a blog in my throat...eh hem