Tim, I agree with you (I won't even give out personal information over a cell phone). Unfortunately, most people aren't that thoughful.
On-line lender E-Loan Inc., gives its customers a choice: Press 1 for an outsourcing centre in India or 2 for centre in the US. It warns the customer that if he presses the button for India, they can have their loan request processed the same day. If they want the application processed in the US, they may have to wait, maybe, two days longer. ... Since the company started offering the option four weeks ago, said Chris Larsen, E-Loan's chairman and chief executive, 86 per cent of its customers for home equity loans have chosen the India route.
And that's why we can't stop outsourcing. When the benefits are real, people want them, and corporations will find the loopholes to make them happen. --Mark
Periodically I get really depressed about what people will put up with in terms of the abuse they'll endure (please stay on the line. Your call is very important to us! Press 7-6-4-9-3 for unintelligible service. Or stay on the line and we'll hang up on you. The armed guards who will strip-search you as you leave the store are merely there to ensure that we can deliver Lower Prices To You Everyday). All to save a little money. And sometimes it really is little. Then I reflect on when Lenin was reported to have said: "You can always depend on a Capitalist to sell you the rope you're going to hang him with." He was probably right, but Lenin's own business (Communism) is pretty well defunct, rope sales or not. And you can still buy rope from Capitalists. All of which which may be as meaningless as it sounds. Or maybe not. After all, after all the railing I've done about economists looking only down their telescopes at the short-term benefits of offshoring while discounting its effects on the world outside that little circle of vision, it's probably not a good idea for me to discount what I myself can't express or understand. I just appreciate that it works that way. On a less mystical note, I haven't yet taken my little tax windfall and put it to use. The generally-accepted best thing to do is pay down the mortgage, considering that at the moment there's few investment opportunities that pay a high-enough return that they'd make up for interest paid on the house, even after tax deductions. One of the better-sounding opportunities was a certain large and well-known financial institution. I was given an 800 number, so I called it, expecting to talk to a local office. What I got was an automated menu system. Hey, folks, we're talking dropping about a hundred grand here! For that, you can bloody well pay someone to answer the phone! It's bad enough to have these things inflicted on you after they've got you hooked, but this is NO SALE. No matter how good a deal they could give me, it wouldn't make a measurable difference in the quality of my life. On the other hand, I can forsee that this is a package that can have no good impact on the enjoyability of my life if this is the best treatment I can expect whenever I need to contact someone about my mortgage. Quite simply, this means that yes, my time and convenience and comfort do have monetary value. And, that - so far - I have enough money to spend that I'm not going to spend it on any company that doesn't value that money enough to do what it takes to earn it. Even if it means spending a little of their own money on that rarest of all commodities: decent service. Money exists to buy goods and services. That's one of the axioms of economics. These days, goods are cheap, but service is another matter entirely. Speaking of buying a load of goods. I'll wait a while and see how the long term fallout of the scheme that prompted this thread comes out. I've also been assured that OS/2 had a bright future and that SCO owns Unix, Linux, and everything ever written in C, C++ or Java. Even assuming no corporate mendacity, often the way things start isn't how they end. Besides, wouldn't the next logical tack be to give people a choice between a 20-minute wait for an thickly-accented foreign rep or "instant" access to a completely inhuman automated voice-response system? [ March 09, 2004: Message edited by: Tim Holloway ]
An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.
Besides, wouldn't the next logical tack be to give people a choice between a 20-minute wait for an thickly-accented foreign rep or "instant" access to a completely inhuman automated voice-response system? Isn't that already the case? That is, after the 15 minute wait for the voice response system which processes the incoming calls and routes them to the proper channels... All that at �0.70 a minute of course (for the cheaper ones). Your experience isn't unique. It's getting ever more common to have expensive 0900 numbers (costing sometimes several Euro per minute to call) installed to take orders from customers and/or to give presales information. For me, companies that do that are an instant no-sale. If I have to pay you for the luxury of getting to listen to your sales-blurb and the privilege of being allowed to place an order with you, I take my business elsewhere...