What to do when your ISP off-shores tech support
jay at west.net
Thu Dec 25 16:37:48 CST 2008
Martin Hannigan wrote:
> Hi Jay:
> Is there really anything wrong with sending first-level technical
> support offshore?
> Macs are macs, Windows is windows and mail is mail whether you're in
> Mumbai or Memphis. As long as the language skills are good and the
> people are well trained, it should be mostly irrelevant, IMHO.
In and of itself and setting aside patriotic/nationalistic issues,
probably not, assuming adequate technical and product knowledge and
language skills. I suppose that it would be possible that if it were
done well enough one wouldn't be able to tell.
However, there is something about dealing with a local company that adds
value. People seem to care more about their community and neighbors
than a random, barely understandable voice on a G.729 8k codec at the
other end of a satellite link.
I have generally found dealing with most offshore tech support to be
very frustrating. The language issues are burdensome, some accents so
thick as to be barely understandable, and the lack of clue and scripted
menu-driven responses are obvious and usually of no value. I wouldn't
be calling if the problem could be solved by reading the documentation
and some judicious web searching. There are some exceptions, including
Cisco TAC which is very good. I've talked to Cisco engineers in
Australia and Europe on occasion. I've had mixed results with Linksys
support, which I believe is in the Philippines.
Dealing with one offshore AT&T billing representative who was clearly a
non-English speaker was extremely painful. The latency and nonsense of
the person's responses suggested either some type of auto-translator or
satellite link, or both. The person wasn't capable of getting the hint
when I asked after several minutes of frustration what the "A" in "AT&T"
stood for, and in fact claimed to have no idea. I suspect that this
level of disservice may be deliberate so that people will pay bogus
charges on bills because the frustration level of disputing them is
Jay Hennigan - CCIE #7880 - Network Engineering - jay at impulse.net
Impulse Internet Service - http://www.impulse.net/
Your local telephone and internet company - 805 884-6323 - WB6RDV
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