The CWA has released an updated report that describes the negative impacts of call center off-shoring, the scams around this corporate practice, and the price communities pay when call centers are off-shored.
Below is a quote from the introduction section in the report. The full report can be viewed by clicking here.
U.S. companies have been exporting call center jobs by the thousands in a global race to the bottom. Call center jobs have been moved to the Philippines, India, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Honduras and other developing nations. Call centers in the U.S. and abroad are a part of the enormous business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in which companies hive off their internal customer support and “back office” functions and subcontract the work to a third party which is located either domestically or abroad.
U.S. companies transfer business functions to developing countries because they can take advantage of well-educated and skilled foreign workers, while paying them a fraction of U.S. worker wages. They also can take advantage of weak labor laws which put the safety, health, and living standards of workers in those developing countries at risk. The low wages, precarious job security, and sub-standard working conditions create perverse incentives to a worker’s ability to provide good customer service. Meanwhile, lax regulatory oversight in developing countries is a draw for companies seeking more flexibility in providing their services, but also means that consumer privacy and data security is put at increased risk.
As U.S. companies off-shore and outsource call center jobs, communities lose. In many communities, the loss of a call center means the loss of a pillar of the local economy. In many cases, because of the intense pressure from cheaper, less regulated foreign operators, when companies export U.S. jobs, they also exert downward pressure on wages and working conditions at home.
An updated version of this Communications Workers of America (CWA) report adds recent developments to the existing body of information making the linkage between the off-shoring of U.S. call center jobs and a range of negative impacts. The off-shoring of call center jobs is a trend that is bad for American workers and communities and harmful to the security of U.S. consumers’ sensitive information. Additionally, in many cases, overseas call center workers work for low pay, long hours, and in sub-standard conditions. This off-shoring trend only seems to benefit companies, who can slash costs and benefits by moving operations off-shore.
Since CWA first issued this report several years ago, numerous major investigations have unearthed a range of fraudulent and criminal activity emanating from overseas call centers, including multiple scams operating out of Indian call centers and targeting U.S. households. Most notably, in October 2016, details emerged of a massive fraud scheme targeting Americans and operating out of Indian call centers that has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in victim losses from more than 15,000 victims in the United States.