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.” (Read more call center stories.)