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No Indian Support?

© April 2009 Anthony Lawrence

One of my neighbors signed up for Dell extended warranty/support. He did it because his laptop screen dies intermittently. He asked me if I felt it was dishonest to sign up when you already know you have an out of warranty problem.. well, if Dell lets you do that, they must be making more money overall, because they sure as heck KNOW that people will do exactly what he did. Apple doesn't let you do that, most other appliances won't let you.. Dell is either very stupid (I doubt it) or the lenient policy ends up making them more money at the end of the day. I guess "more money".

Of course the Dell person tried to up-sell my neighbor every step of the way. He resisted firmly, but somehow the question of over-seas support came up. He told me that the rep offered a "No India" option..

I'm not sure if he or the rep was joking (it is April Fools day!) - I thought Dell had given up on Indian support anyway because of customer complaints. If this really is an option, I wonder how many people would pay extra money to avoid someone with an accent and odd phrasing? I suppose some died in the wool "Buy America" types might, and maybe a few who lack patience or who had a particularly bad experience with a particularly bad accent, but I can't imagine most people hate over-seas support enough to actually pay a premium.

I was thinking that there must be so many unemployed people in native English speaking countries right now who would love to do a little Level 1 or Level 2 computer support while they are scanning the Internet looking for more places to send their resumes. Heck, five or ten years down the road I might even be willing to do that..

Well, if it weren't Windows. But I bet most of the newly unemployed have no such scruples.

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Wed Apr 1 21:33:25 2009: 5956   GMartins

I think, in this case, is not about April Fools day... check the story bellow


Wed Apr 1 22:05:48 2009: 5958   BrettLegree

My ISP uses a support contractor in Mumbai. It seems about once a year something happens to the service, and I know it isn't my equipment.

I'll do the standard set of diagnostics I know they'll ask me to do (unplug my router, make a direct connection to the modem etc.) so I'm ready to go when I am chatting with the technician.

I had an amazing chat with a fellow last year, and there was no language barrier - the accent is fine to me, and they speak just as well as I do, I think. I bet I couldn't speak their language though!

Anyway, I asked the fellow how the weather was, and he said, "oh sir, it is 4 am where I am", so I asked him where he was (I knew, but it was conversational), and he told me. I didn't think they'd do that. I asked him what the weather forecast was supposed to be, and he told me it was going to be 39 Centigrade that day!


Then one of my 4 year old triplets came down to see what I was doing, and the tech heard him, and asked about my kids. I told him I had a 7 year old and 4 year old triplets, and he thought that was the best thing, to have a big family. He said I was blessed to have a big family.

Well, I am.

I asked him if he had any children, and he said, "oh no sir, I am the youngest child and my older brother is still unmarried, so he will be married first as is our custom - I must wait".

It was a really enlightening experience, I thought.

Sometimes I'm kind of happy that things are the way they are, because if the tech service had been out of the call center in the large town near me (there is one), the tech might have been impolite, using the local slang variant of the English language we call "Valley Speak".

Thu Apr 2 11:42:39 2009: 5960   TonyLawrence

I can understand that tech support can be very frustrating if you can't understand what the other person is saying - a bad accent or poor language skills can make it very unpleasant.

However, the "Buy American" folks are sometimes short sighted - we're all in this together. We all have families, needs, wants, hopes. Yes, you take care of your own first. But you can't entirely shut out the rest of the world.

It's a complex subject that can raise up a lot of emotion. If your job was outsourced to India or wherever, bitterness is understandable. Someday we really do need to be one world where it won't matter because there will be one economy, but we are far, far from that.

Tue Apr 7 09:00:48 2009: 6028   Patric

Often this off-shore suppor has had to do a number of things to meet a "low enough" price, and that means skimping on training and equipment, I've spoken to support reps whom had no PC on their desk whatsover, just cue cards, and no ability to answer anything outside of their script. I've spent my share of time in the support trenches, and I've seen excellent tech support, sometimes even amazing tech support, but cheap tech-support, outsourced or otherwise tends to be terrible, driven by the axiom: "The sooner the customer figures out that it would be easier to work through it on their own, the more money we can save." Ultimately, the question here is about good or bad support, unfortuneately, bad support is rampant.

Tue Apr 7 11:32:07 2009: 6029   TonyLawrence

Good points, Patric.


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