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
Picking Up on Frustration, Call Centers Move Back Home
Raul Counreu translates an international telephone conversation at the Language Line call center in Heredia, Costa Rica.   (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

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.” (More call center stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.