[bct] Re: Dell Nightmares-- Larry's walk

  • From: "Frank Lizarde" <flizarde@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 08:52:31 -0800

But, as I said, What's the difference of hiring illegal aliens, from permitting companies to use tech support centers out side of the U S.
And I am only referring to the work environment here.
Isn't it taking job opportunities from us either way?
Except one is legal by the US government.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Don Barrett" <donter@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 5:40 PM
Subject: [bct] Re: Dell Nightmares-- Larry's walk

I am surprised you feel this way given your last name J <smile>.  My only
real problem with non-English speakers is when they screw up my food
carry-out orders, which happens most of the time.  I get crazy because I
can't see what they're doing so I can say, "NO, NO, I SAID NO CHEESE."
Sounds silly, but it matters especially when I get carry-out for my sweet
wife and it's wrong and she is disappointed.  Grrrrrrrrrrr!


-----Original Message----- From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of J Garcia Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 6:41 PM To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [bct] Re: Dell Nightmares-- Larry's walk

Regarding not being able to speak the necessary language, in our case
English, I just heard on the radio that our numskull president and the white
house have held another one of his secret sessions and are pushing what they
are calling a gold card for all current illegal aliens. This card will give
them just about all rights as citizens. There are upto about 20 million
Mexican illegal aliens in the US, which means they will be at some point
more competition for our jobs, Hope many of you have Spanish classes in your
future. I already can't get anywhere here in LA without having to repeat
myself repeatedly to people in just about all businesses that can't speak
English. This is very, very bad news for all Americans.


J Garcia
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kai" <kaixiong@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 3:01 PM
Subject: [bct] Re: Dell Nightmares-- Larry's walk

Greetings Neal et al.

I'm sorry, but I think that if you can't speak the necessary language,
you should not be performing the job. Just as no one would hire someone
who couldn't do math to be a secretary or clerk, so too should they stop
hiring people who speak English as a fish might speak avian.

I've nothing against people trying to get a job, but really. When it
comes to technical issues, where specifications and such are so English
dependant, you really need to either know English, or find some other

I understand that companies are trying to maximize revenues by
outsourcing, but you gotta wonder where the line should be drawn.


-----Original Message----- From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Neal Ewers Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 2:49 PM To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [bct] Re: Dell Nightmares-- Larry's walk

Debee, I can certainly speak about the outsourcing. I have nothing against people from other countries, but the last call I made to tech support was answered by a person in the Virgin Islands. The problem was, his English was so poor, that I really don't think he had a clue about what I was asking.


-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Debee Norling
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 4:43 PM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: Dell Nightmares-- Larry's walk

A couple of comments. I think Dell is getting too big because the products used to be higher quality. It seemed like this happened too with Gateway about ten years ago; they had great quality control, got really popular, and suddenly everyone was complaining about purchasing lemons from Gateway.

My guess is that if Dell screws up enough,  it could actually be to our
benefit, because they'll get bad press, spend more on quality control
and gradually move back up towards producing a better product. So I'd
maybe buy a Dell five years from now, but not today!

I worked in tech support for ten years, and I can tell you three dirty
secrets. First, as a product support rep, you aren't graded on the
quality of your technical help, but you are most often measured by the
number of calls per hour you can crank through. I remember at
Stenograph, when I was managing only thirty calls per hour and was told
that I need to notch up to forty to be like the "best" people in the
department. Later, when my productivity-happy boss got promoted, my new
boss promoted me to a tech support lead because of my technical
knowledge and  not, happily for me, the call volume.

The second dirty secret is that tech support is really being outsourced.
High-tech sweat shops employ workers barely over minimum wage with just
a week or two of training to provide cookbook answers to common problems
and to get the customer off the phone as quickly as possible. I know of
three big call centers in Sterling Colorado, Atlanta Georgia and Buffalo
New York that actually handle many large companies' tech support
contracts.  In this environment, it is better to hire people with less
tech skill, because the average workers will be able to demonstrate
higher productivity -- they will have fewer clever troubleshooting
suggestions to offer.

The third dirty secret is that if you, the customer,  threaten to
complain to an entity that matters, like the media, your problem will be
moved out of the sweat shop and if one is available, on to a tech who is
really savvy. The trick is to get the company to desire themselves to
solve your problem rather than them just wanting to get you out of the
over-long hold queue.

For example, at Caere, when they promoted me, I stopped talking to
ordinary customers. I was called the lead OmniPage technician but
ordinary people no longer had access to me.  Instead I talked
exclusively with the big accounts, like Kinkos, that had several
thousand licenses and who requested an experienced tech to work with
them. My call volume was no longer monitored and I was free to actually
solve their problems! This is because Caere had large clients, like
recruiters, who scanned thousands of resumes a day, and they wanted to
keep those clients happy. It mattered little if the average Best Buy
purchaser was satisfied.

So the ordinary customer had to either talk to a sweatshop worker or
plow through the limited knowledge base. I wrote many of the knowledge
base articles but then some idiot weedede them down  so that each
consumed only one screen, cutting out 75% of my troubleshooting

When ScanSoft bought Caere and moved aggressively towards promoting
their knowledge base, I was amused to find that they ressurected those
long first drafts of many of my articles in an attempt to -- guess what
-- reduce their call volume!


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