Thursday, 10 January 2008

Its not just the customer

Dr. Dawg illustrates the frustration many of us go through with out-sourced technical support. The out-sourcing to India rage has caused me to not renew service agreements. Its not only that the people in India do not speak clear English, they don't know or understand the systems they are supporting!

Its not that Indians are stupid, inferior and naturally incompetent. Its the whole model itself. A company in India hires barely trained people, and then sell their services to tech companies in North America. These tech companies don't even review the competency of the outsourcing firm and cheerfully sign on the dotted line (Microsoft I'm looking at you).

Until Microsoft outsourced their tech support, when I called with a second or third level technical problem, I would get in contact with an experienced engineer, either in Dallas or Halifax. The engineer that was supporting me had experience installing and supporting the very systems I was having issues with. Within 5 minutes we were past the "check to make sure power is properly plugged in, the network cable is properly seated bullshit" and onto the meat of the problem. I actually enjoyed these calls. I was talking professionally with a peer, exchanging information, ideas, gripes and working as a team to resolve my issue. There were a few times that not only did I learn something, the support engineer learned something from me as well.

When you call India, the whole thing is scripted. And they won't deviate from the script. You can't even try to give additional information to help them help you with the problem. You just have to sit there and go through several hundred steps, many of which are not even relevant, or the answers distract from the real problem you're dealing with. The hours I've wasted, which were excruciatingly painful and stressful, I will never get back.

So to Dr. Dawg's point. I don't treat India based support people rudely, I just refuse to deal with them at all.

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