Updated: 5/16/2006; 4:06:23 PM.

Digital Development
Communications and info tech in developing countries, especially wireless broadband and high-value applications

daily link  Monday, November 24, 2003

Dell Closes Overseas Call Centers: "After an onslaught of complaints, direct sales computer king Dell Inc. has stopped routing corporate customers to a technical support call center in Bangalore, India. ..

"Customers weren't satisfied with the level of support they were receiving, so we're moving some calls around to make sure they don't feel that way anymore," Weisblatt said.  He would not discuss the nature of the dissatisfaction, but some U.S. customers have complained that Indian support operators are difficult to communicate with because of thick accents and scripted responses. ..

Corporate customers account for about 85 percent of Dell's business, with only 15 percent coming from the consumer market. Consumer callers won't see a change in technical support, Weisblatt said, and Dell has no plans to scale back resources at the Bangalore call center.  Worldwide, Dell employs about 44,300 people. About 54 percent are located abroad. ..

Among Dell customers dissatisfied with the company's use of overseas labor is Ronald Kronk, a Presbyterian minister in Rochester, Pa., who has spent the last four months trying to resolve a miscommunication that has resulted in his being billed for two computers.  The problem, he says, is that the Dell call center is in India.  "They're extremely polite, but I call it sponge listening—they just soak it in and say 'I can understand why you're angry' but nothing happens," Kronk said."

  9:28:33 PM  permalink  

Developing Nations Begin to Embrace Internet Commerce: NYT has a few random notes on developing country developments.  Two interesting points:

  • Thailand has focussed policy and investments on increasing Internet penetration; it has now reached >50% outside of Bangkok.
  • "Everest S.A., a family-run business in San Salvador, sold a 69-kilogram lot (152 pounds) of coffee beans in an Internet auction from one of its five farms for a record price of $14.06 a pound. ..  [They] entered the Cup of Excellence competition, which included 335 of the country's roughly 23,000 farms, and in early May received first prize for beans from the family's Kilimanjaro farm.  Cup of Excellence then arranged an online auction featuring lots from the competition's finalists..  The auction put her company in direct contact with buyers. In the past, she said, local mills would buy the farms' beans and sell them to distributors. "We've now taken the middleman out, which is huge," she said. .. Ms. Batlle said she had maintained a relationship with the Norwegian coffee distributor that bought her beans as well as a Japanese distributor that bid $3.20 a pound for coffee from another of the family's farms in a July auction. That change, she said, will help the farm lift average prices above the 30 cents a pound it received last year."  They now pay their laborers 4 cents instead of 3 cents per picked pound.
  10:06:55 AM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 4:06:23 PM.