Outsourcing – cutting costs and brainpower at the same time

Outsourcing is the process where a company takes jobs from locals and gives them to the citizens of an impoverished nation who know nothing about how or where you live in an effort to decrease costs. When dealing with one of these people you frequently get the telephonic equivalent of the blank stare after you try and explain something and they have not the faintest glimmer of a clue what you are talking about. Most of the time this is aggravating but occasionally can actually be funny.

A case in point is this latest episode with BT. BT is British Telecom, the UK equivalent of Ma Bell. BT have outsourced their call centers to India, and since nobody there has any idea how Britain works they have an extensive system to lead them through whatever comes up. When what you want isn’t on this system the results can be….. interesting.

A couple of years ago I changed my last name from Pendergrass to Dolph (to make a long story short I was born Greg Dolph and I wanted to stay that way). The legal mechanism for doing this is by Deed Poll, which is the same thing as a statutory declaration in the States. When I sent in a name change request and a copy of my deed poll I thought there we go, job done. Today I got my first BT bill since the change and it was sent to a Mr. D Poll. My wife, who has been wonderful in helping me get all these details changed, called them to explain that my new name was not Deed Poll, that was simply the legal document sent as proof of my name change. The guy on the phone looked at the letter, looked at the deed poll, and simply didn’t get it. After numerous more attempts to bring the ray of knowledge to this understanding-impoverished man she eventually gave up and just told him what to type in.

It just goes to show that you can cut costs but you end up spending more than you think simply to make up for these knowledge gaps.

I have no doubt that the next bill will have something equally bizzarre on it.

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