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9.04.2004

Outsourcing Sucks


Bring Back the Geeks

I hate outsourcing! I have had to deal with three different outsourced jobs in the last two days. My first experience was last night when, while helping a friend recover his crashed computer, it became neccessary to call MSN support to answer a simple question. I had everything done, but I did not know MSN newsgroup server name. This should be a simple question the guy in the picture above could throw out before you finish asking your question and laugh at you for not knowing it.

I dialed the 800 number and was connected to a computer voice which guided me through the simple process of pushing 14 different numbers to get to a live person. I was finally connected to a lady who asked me in a heavy Middle Eastern accent and broken English, what she could help me with. I replied I needed the MSN newsgroup server name. After several seconds she asked again what I needed. I told her again. She put me on hold. She came back and gave me the website address to MSNBC. I told her that wouldn't help. I then tried to explain what a newsgroup was. She didn't get it. She put me on hold. She came back a few minutes later and gave me the MSNBC address again. I asked to speak to someone else. She put me on hold. She came back and asked what I wanted.

40 minutes of this and I was becoming an angry American. I finally hung up frustrated angry and leaning towards supporting Bush and his Middle East policy (not really, Bush is a douchebag).

I also bought a wireless router and a laptop yesterday. It was supposed to be plug and play, according to the helpful Best Buy kid. It wasn't. I called the tech support for Linksys and was immediately tranferred to somewhere in the Middle East (I swear I heard a few bombs go off). The person on the other end spoke in such a thick accent, I had to have him repeat nearly everything. After several minutes of not being understood, he gave me a website to go to. It fixed my problem.

I then had problems with the laptop connecting to the wireless router. Same scenario. Middle Eastern accent on the other end, very friendly but not so helpful. The end result, another web link which solved the problem.

American companies who send there customer service overseas, are, in my experience, doing a grave disservice to their customers. I had three bad experiences with three different companies in two days. I hated dealing with AOL customer service back in the stone age when I used AOL, but at least they understood me and I them.

US Companies, if you are listening, get rid of the outsourced customer service folks and put clearer instructions to the websites that will fix your customers problems or simply employ some good old smartass US computer geeks. I miss being talked down to by guys with bad acne and a pocket protector.

By the way, does anyone know what the MSN Newsroup server address is?

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