Picking Up on Frustration, Call Centers Move Back Home

Dell support defeats language barrier
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Dec 11, 2008 12:28 PM CST
Raul Counreu translates an international telephone conversation at the Language Line call center in Heredia, Costa Rica.   (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)
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(Newser) – A new service from computer-maker Dell spotlights a customer-service trend: US-based call centers catering to American consumers. Dell users frustrated by language-barrier-induced difficulties they’ve encountered while on the line to India or the Philippines can pay $12.95 per month, the Washington Post reports, for access to a domestic agent and reduced wait times—services many say should be free.

More than a third of PC makers have shipped customer support overseas to cut costs, but satisfaction with foreign service is 23% lower than with domestic help. “When things go haywire, you want assurance, you want familiarity,” a sociologist said, refuting the notion that the complainers are racist. “What you don’t want is to have to work at understanding the person on the other end of the line.”