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Dell drops some tech calls to India

After customer complaints, the computer maker stops sending U.S. technical support calls for two of its corporate computer lines to a Bangalore, India, call center.

After receiving customer complaints, Dell has stopped sending U.S. technical support calls for two of its corporate computer lines to a Bangalore, India, call center.

Calls from U.S. purchasers of Dell's OptiPlex desktop and Latitude notebook personal computers will be handled from existing facilities in the United States, a Dell spokesman said Monday.

"Our customers weren't satisfied with the level of support they were getting" from the India operations, said Dell spokesman Jon Weisblatt. He declined to give details about the customer complaints.

The decision involves a shuffling of tech support tasks, Weisblatt said. He said it would not affect employment levels in either India or the United States.

The Austin American-Statesman reported on Dell's shift in tech support work from India to the United States on Saturday.

Brooks Gray, analyst with research firm Technology Business Research, said Dell customers complained of language difficulties and delays in reaching senior technicians when speaking to tech support personnel in India.

Gray said Dell not only has routed calls to U.S. facilities but launched new policies, such as limiting the amount of time a tech support agent can talk with a large corporate client before referring the client to a higher-level agent.

Dell is "being very proactive," Gray said.

Like other technology companies, Dell has established a presence in India, which offers highly educated, low-cost employees. Indian outsourcing has come under fire, though, as U.S. technology jobs have been cut.

Dell said its decision to reroute some technical support calls does not amount to abandoning its strategy to expand in India and elsewhere. "We're going to grow employment in the U.S. and India," Weisblatt said.

Technical support calls from European and Asian purchasers of OptiPlex and Latitude customers will continue to be handled in India, Weisblatt said. What's more, tech support calls from U.S. customers with other Dell products may be fielded in India, Weisblatt said.