January 11, 2006

Bangalorian “Technical Support”

First, whether or not I believe in outsourcing is irrelevant, because it is the right of any private businessman or company to follow the marketplace in pursuit of cheaper labor, less expensive materials or products that can make him or them more competitive.

That said, one would think that these firms could be just a bit more discerning when it comes to outsourcing technical support.

Most tech support for computer users comes out of Bangalore, though some firms, such as Dell and DirecWay, offer U.S. based tech support for corporate or other business accounts. Of course, it’s more expensive — that is, you pay for the luxury of speaking to a fellow American, and recent experience has taught me that it’s worth the money.

I had DirecWay come out on Friday and install a satellite dish for broadband access, and set up the modem. Signal strength was good and things seemed to be working when the two installers left, but shortly thereafter problems began, worse than those I’ve blogged about at some hotels I’ve stayed at.

I dealt with at least five different Bangalorians in trying to solve my access problem, all in vain.

See, I knew exactly what the problem was, I just didn’t know how to fix it. I attempted to explain it to each of them, and there was always the same result: I got myself walked through menus from one end of the universe to the other and back, keyed in scores of numbers and each time, in the end, the person I was talking to assured me my problem was solved, thanked me for calling in a way that sounded like my call was the high point of his very existence, hung up and went back to his bowl of curry.

And my problem remained.

Calling for about the sixth time, I was told by a woman that since I have a business account, I have “special” U.S. based tech support.


I was connected with a fellow gringo in south Florida, where DirecWay keeps ‘em, had my problem solved and was off the phone in about ten minutes, as opposed to the fruitless half hour to an hour sessions with the Bangalorians.

What’s happening is plain to see: In order to maximize the savings they get from outsourcing, they go for the least qualified, “I need a job, any one will do” people they can find, the only prerequisite apparently being that they can speak somebody’s version of “passable English” — then they give them problem solving guides to a limited number of “most common problems”.

So you call up Tech Support and some guy with an Indian accent and an American nic greets you. The problem you need solved isn’t included among his computerized flash cards. Even if it was, it might not matter because he has no idea what you’re talking about, anyway.

He doesn’t tell you this, of course, instead he simply ignores what little he understands of what you’re telling him and steers you through a bunch of menus that are totally irrelevant to your problem, but fine for the problems of others that appear on one of the flash cards.

He wastes a whole bunch of your valuable time and solves nothing.

Inflicting such crappy customer service on consumers is not a marketing technique I’ve ever heard of, and is surely not any way to command a loyal customer base.

Maybe these companies need to try getting less Bangalore for the buck.

by @ 6:41 am. Filed under Just Editorializing
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4 Responses to “Bangalorian “Technical Support””

  1. Raven Says:

    I’ve had to deal with the BangaDore types too- they hang up on me countless times. I’ve been switched from one techy to another in another dept and it was mind boggling. FINALLY I called the office of the President of Dell, did some yelling and got real help. I threatened to blog my brains out about the bad experiences LOL.
    It is too bad this happens.

  2. Seth Says:

    The very fact that these companies subject their customers to these Bangalorian boneheads shows what little respect they have for said customers.

  3. Gordon Says:

    You know if Corporate America really wants to save money, then scrap the Customer Service lines altogether.

    Really, it’s just a joke. These companies know what they’re buying and it’s the low cost/low quality alternative.

    Why do I rant? Because most of the programmers I work with are in India. You’re post resonates with me.

    Good post, btw. ;-)

  4. Seth Says:

    Thanks, it was a heartfelt post, a result of much gnashing of teeth after my last dose of India’s “tech support” community.