Thursday, November 29, 2007

Outsource greed?

The directory assistance calls for New Zealand are to be outsourced to the Philippines, with a loss of about 100 New Zealand jobs. To me, this is just another corporate arrogance and greed.

Directory assistance is one aspect of the directories business that Telecom New Zealand sold last March for $2.24 billion to a private equity consortium. All entities that have “private equity” in their description seem to have greed as their mission, in my opinion. Generally speaking, private equity firms seem to be interested only in the maximum profit they can achieve, even if that means stripping all the assets out and destroying the company they bought.

I don't happen to believe the Yellow Pages Group's propaganda that New Zealand customers will have great service, and I definitely don't for one second believe that outsourcing to another country will provide service superior to what is available here in New Zealand. I don't think many New Zealanders do.

It's not just about language, though I think that will be a problem. It's also about culture, about understanding slang and idiom and all the other things you can't learn in a training course. A technical help desk is one thing, but telephone directory service is a different animal.

Maybe another company will enter the market, offering New Zealand-based directory service as their point of differentiation. Personally, I bet it'd be superior to any foreign service.

I just wish we could outsource corporate greed for a change.

1 comment:

lost in france said...

I just hope for your sake that the telephone operators are understandable. Here in France, I once activated my Microsoft software by telephone. Since I am in France, the service was naturally in French. I got a call center somewhere in Africa and the two of us on the ends of the line couldn't understand one another's accents!