What to do when your ISP off-shores tech support

Matthew Moyle-Croft mmc at internode.com.au
Fri Dec 26 22:42:41 UTC 2008

Martin Hannigan wrote:
> I'm not sure if I support off shoring or not as
> related to quality, but there is certainly a a business case to to be made
> supporting it as this thread ending up pointing out. There are trade offs
> which matter more to some than others.
I'm quite fascinated by some of the examples given of "offshoring".   
Cisco use Sydney as one of their locations for around the world 
coverage.   From our point of view (being Australians) this isn't 
offshore - we have a local TAC who are closer and we tend to be able to 
get the same group of SP TAC people everytime to deal with our issues.   
My experience is that, given global companies like Cisco rely on 
locations to provide wide language support to people everywhere that the 
language issue is a bit moot.   Some people in the Belgium TAC are 
easier to understand over the phone then people in the US TAC because 
the US TAC people have been employed for their Spanish skills or other 
language skills where as many Europeans have better English skills than, 
well, a lot of people.   Some of the people in the TAC in Australia 
don't have English as their first language and are tricky to explain why 
my GSR crashed with an IPv6 issue over the phone (but fine via 
email).     Some people on the other end of the phone just suck no 
matter which country or land of origin.

(I use Cisco's TAC as an example purely because I'm familar - but the 
example can be reused).

I think offshoring is more an issue because often it's built around a 
lie.  If I'm talking to someone in another country, then I'm okay with 
that but I hate it when they're forced to lie about who they are and 
where they are.  They're representing a company I deal with and as a 
customer I want it to be a good experience - if a company doesn't care 
about the overall customer experience and looks at it as a cost to be 
squashed and reduced then that (as someone else has said) is really the 
problem.   Give them the tools and desire to help me as a customer no 
matter where they are or which god they pray to.

The offshoring I think can be a problem isn't the customer facing part, 
but the anonymous part where backends of companies are taken offshore 
where data privacy laws etc aren't the same and suddenly my private data 
can be compromised in a way that is out of control of the laws of the 
country where I live.  (I'm thinking banks, health care etc).


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