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OT - A company giving up on India outsourcing

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  • OT - A company giving up on India outsourcing

    From today's Portland, Maine, paper:

    Boston-based Carbonite Inc., which sells online computer and file backup systems to consumers and businesses, will open a customer service center in Lewiston this summer. The opening will mark the company's entry into Maine.

    ...

    He said the new jobs in Maine will replace jobs at Carbonite's customer service center in India, which opened in 2006. Carbonite decided to bring those jobs stateside because the center in India never matched the service levels at Carbonite's smaller call center in Boston.

    "We worked for four years to get that same level of customer satisfaction in India, and we have never been able to do it," said Friend.

    ...

    The jobs will pay three times as much as those in India. Friend called that investment an opportunity for the company's customer service division to shine. "While this is more expensive, I think it is good business for Carbonite," he said.
    ----------
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

  • #2
    Quite understandable. I worked for AOL for long years and they outsourced a lot to India and it was an incredible PITA to work with them. Language level was just the start, technical ability, dedication and turnover was the real problem.

    And we had indians on site who themselves had absolutely no illusions about the quality of work of the Bangalore center.

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    • #3
      My recent experience with Cisco technical assistance was certainly no recommendation for the India call center...... I solved my problem "in spite of" their "help".
      1601

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

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      • #4
        Worst is the accent and the fact they don't even try to make themselfs understandable!

        And the thing is.. I once had a phone call with someone with the WORST indian accent.. Yet I could understand EVERY single word they said! because they tryed thier very hardest to pronounce everything properly, at at a reasonable pace! So many people seem to just try and rush through english and hope that real english speakers don't notice they are not actualy speaking english -_-;
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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        • #5
          I don't wish to appear racist but we have many companies converting to India .When you telephone aol. for example they put you straight onto an Indian person.I cannot understand half of the words they say and it takes ages I find they become quite irritated with you when you ask the constantly to repeat themselves and it makes me feel bad whan my computer gives me problems and I need to phone them.I sometimes have to close down the conversation as politely as possible and wait till eventually at certain times we get someone from Ireland to talk to . Alistair
          Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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          • #6
            Alistair. My job has me travel 100%..We use a world travel to handle after hours travel needs. I cant use them because of my hearing lose and their high tone voices.I asked for a different person and they all sound the same to me..I gave up using them..Everytime I would hang up and try again I would be charged 15 dollars.After 45 dollars one nite I said thats it! I now use the computer ans muddle my way thru it.

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            • #7
              its not culture, language, race , just distance... its just so hard to transport knowledge in bulk and detail.
              When you have a hard support problem to solve, it pays to be able to go round to the desk of the guy who designed/built/documented it and ask why, where, what and how.

              Stick 12,000 miles in between an it becomes very slow and difficult to achieve the same.

              Differences in culture and interpretation and use of language just make it even worse.

              e.g. Randy is not a boys name but an emotional state
              a Butt is something to shoot arrows at

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              • #8
                It is all about communication skills in the english language. Many of the Indian call centres do not have high enough standards for the ability of thier employees to converse in english. A further problem that is biting companies on the ass is that there are many telemarketing scammers operating that have strong accents that either are or sound like a Hindi accent. This is compounded by the fact that the employees of the Indian call centres are instructed to lie about their location.
                Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                • #9
                  The Indian call center folks I struggle with speak perfect, lightly British accented English. And they have hilarious pseudonyms like "Brian", "Eric" and "Sandy".

                  But they have no training about the product or service they're supposed to be supporting -- you can hear them flipping pages in a book. The Western companies are simply paying bottom dollar for tech support. They use the Bangalore call centers as a filter for a much smaller, highly overworked technical support staff in their home country.

                  I don't know why the Western companies don't simply train them adequately -- there's an endless supply of young, highly educated Indians. But I guess that kills the profit motive...

                  Turnover is another huge problem -- in the Bangalore technology park, the Intel, Apple, IBM, AMD, HP, Motorola buildings are all on a circle, and the employees jump ship for the smallest pay increment.
                  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lazlo
                    The Indian call center folks I struggle with speak perfect, lightly British accented English. And they have hilarious pseudonyms like "Brian", "Eric" and "Sandy".

                    I don't know why the Western companies don't simply train them adequately --
                    you are assuming that the information has been written down and then converted into a training course...

                    I was involved in the outesourcing of S/W development to Bangalore in 2002.

                    It always takes more time to train someone remotely than one assumes and it always takes more management time , and its always done less perfectly than one assumes.

                    and then you find the "rest of of the iceberg" you are trying to move 1000's of miles away...

                    To succeeed never outsource unless you have everything really, really, really, really nailed down. But if you have done that why are you outsourcing?

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                    • #11
                      Had a problem with good ole Sir Richards coms company this morning. Both TV and Broadband down, strangely, telephone still working. By pressing the buttons asked for in sequence, eventually got through to a "Live" person in the sub continent.

                      Gave her the options, It's either a numpty who's gone through the cable with a digger, or one at their end having yanked a plug out. How long before I'm reconnected? No, according to the error code displayed on the box, it needed a technician to come and sort it out. While we were talking, Broadband came back on line, seconds later, the telephone link failed and an auto message told me to try later.

                      Within twenty seconds, she rang me back and arranged a "Techy" visit, end of call. Bout five minutes later, the restart sequence was operating on the cable box and TV pictures resurfaced, two minutes later still, I get an automated call telling me the Tech. visit has been cancelled as a fault is being corrected but they will call back to make sure.

                      At no point in the above sequence was I asked for either a customer I/D number OR telephone number and yes, I know that there is call screening which ID's the caller, BUT, if the techkowledgy exists for someone thousands of miles away to call me back, why doesn't the same exist to inform them that some pillock in Virgin or wherever has knackered the system?

                      The annoying part is trying to communicate with someone who probably has three or four university degrees but none in the correct pronunciation or inteligibility of English. This is not restricted to India as a couple of years ago I had to call one of our national bodies to try to sort a problem. To say the young lady at the other end had an "Accent" is some what of an understatement. After various repeats, I eventually apologised and asked if somone could contact me, as I couldn't understand. Must be a keyword to racism, as the woman that rang back was Glaswegian with the heavyest Scottish accent imaginable.

                      As stated, it was a national body and Government departments are noted for being as bloody unhelpful as possible.

                      Regards Ian.
                      Last edited by Circlip; 05-25-2011, 11:59 AM.
                      You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by derekm
                        you are assuming that the information has been written down and then converted into a training course...

                        It always takes more time to train someone remotely
                        Ugh! Surely they can afford to fly you out to Bangalore for a week?!

                        Whenever we set up outsourced projects with my previous employer, we would fly out there as a team for a week and give them a brain-dump on what's going on, who owns what (project responsibilities), tools used, schedules, deadlines, what's expected, ...

                        I don't see how you could do that remotely.
                        Last edited by lazlo; 05-25-2011, 01:07 PM.
                        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                        • #13
                          I too have had my share of woe with Indian tech support. However a recent difficulty with my email had me talking to a young fellow at ATT tech support in the Phillipines. He was able to talk me through a very difficult sequence of keystrokes wich resolved my problem.

                          A most professional and enjoyable experience.

                          Errol Groff
                          Errol Groff

                          New England Model Engineering Society
                          http://neme-s.org/

                          YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/GroffErrol?feature=mhee

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                          • #14
                            Try teaching an Indian kid to fly an airplane who is only doing it for a piece of paper.

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                            • #15
                              oh lord, I've been in the pattern with some of those indian flight training students, sharing airspace with them is truly terrifying
                              Ian

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