Friday, March 11, 2005

Outsourcing Found Wanting

I recently had to call Netgear for support in getting their router to work with a new modem. I did eventually get to talk to a real person, a real Indian person. His accent was very thick and somewhat difficult to understand, and his social skills were nil. He was not reacting to a human on the other end of the line. I could hear him turning the pages of a manual and following a script.

“How many lights are on the front panel?”
“How many lights are on the front panel?”
“There are three lights on, on the front panel.”
“How many lights are on the front panel?”
“One, two, THREE lights!”

After about a half-hour of this he gave up, gave me a case number, and said someone would call me within an hour. Four hours later, as I was dozing off, the call came. I had an even greater difficulty in understanding this guy, and he ran me thru an amazingly arduous series of plugging this into that, and me with my back killing me.

“Have you done that yet?”
“No, I’m doing it now?”
“Have you done that yet?
“NO, I will tell you when it is done….Okay, its done.
“Have you done that yet?”
“Yes, its done.”
Sound of page turning….

After 45 minutes he gave up and said someone would call me in a half-hour. That call never came.

I solved the problem myself the next day, after undoing all of the parameter changes that I had been instructed to make.

Conclusion: Outsourcing isn’t working.

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