Companies Punished for Contact Center Outsourcing
April 02, 2012
Legislation moving around on Capitol Hill that could change the contact center outsourcing environment in the future. Last year, a federal bill came through the House of Representatives that proposed measures for slowing the number of jobs being sent overseas to foreign call centers.
According to this Huffington Port report, India and the Philippines have two of the largest call center industries in the world and make up a majority of those shifted jobs. The bill outlines a clear call for American companies to stop this business practice. If the bill passes, those companies with offshore contact center outsourcing would then be ineligible for any government contracts and loans.
This ineligibility status would be in place for five years. In addition, call center agents in the foreign contact centers would be required to disclose their location and transfer the customer to a United States call center agent if asked to do so. Once in effect, the U.S. Department of Labor would be required to maintain a complete list of American companies that intend to use offshore contact center outsourcing.
As the bill grows in popularity, several states have drawn up their own versions, many modeled after the federal paperwork. Florida, Arizona and New Jersey are just a few states that already have bills under way. According to the Communications Workers of America, offshore contact center outsourcing has stripped Americans of more than a million jobs over the years.
Call center jobs have significantly dropped from 5.2 million in 2006 to just 4.7 million in 2010. The CWA (News - Alert), which represents more than 150,000 call center workers, has been advocating for stipulations when companies choose to do business overseas.
Government officials in India and the Philippines have a different take on this proposed legislation and plan to fight to keep the offshore contact center outsourcing trade going. They have even threatened to send lobbyists to Washington to fight on the behalf of their country’s economies. So if these jobs mean so much to those countries, imagine what they could mean for America’s unemployment numbers.
Approximately 83 Democrats have shown favor for the contact center outsourcing bill with a mere six Republicans in support. Similar bills haven’t held much ground either. In past years, senators have tried to attach an excise tax on any businesses using offshore contact center outsourcing.
This time around, the CWA feels the offshore contact center outsourcing bill would have benefits for consumers, too. Foreign contact centers are notorious for security breaches where American call centers have much lower numbers of security problems. If companies must keep their call centers on U.S., bill proponents say the security of their information is heightened.
Will that be enough to garner support for the bill to ensure it passes?
3-Minute inContact Tour
Transform your customer care. Watch our product and company overview.
Every day contact centers handle millions of customer interactions via phone, web, email, SMS, web chat and social media.
Related content you may also be interested in…