Dell's U.S. support calls to go back to India

Differing reports are emerging about whether Dell will shift phone tech support operations from India back to the U.S..

Differing reports are emerging about whether Dell will shift phone tech support operations from India back to the U.S..

Dell Australia today said the U.S. support service would eventually be routed backed to the Indian call centre--but in bites that its Bangalore support staff can swallow.

Meanwhile, Indian press reports have quoted Dell representatives denying cutbacks in India tech support operations for U.S. customers.

It appears that Dell overestimated the capacity of its Indian call centre when it made the decision to divert US customers to the new support service. A spokeswoman for the system manufacturer's Australian operation today revealed that for Bangalore it was a case of too many calls, too soon.

"A lot of [the customers] were moved in one go and that was where some of the complaints had arisen so what they've looked at doing is moving some back and then moving them off in smaller increments," she said.

Dell has eased the burden on it Bangalore operation and appeased its business customers by diverting US-originating enquiries pertaining to its corporate OptiPlex desktop and Latitude laptop computers to a facility believed to be in Texas.

How the customers receive the return to an India-based service is yet to be known. While Dell maintains that the recent problems with its Indian support operation were isolated and uniquely related to the scale of the US operation, executives for the system manufacturer have been shy about revealing the nature of the complaints.

Also, US-based analyst with research firm Technology Business Research, Brooks Gray, said language problems and delays in escalating enquiries to senior technicians was the source of grief for many Dell customers.

For now, Dell's US corporate customers are the only group to receive local service.

Dell Australia said there were no plans to make similar arrangements for its Australian corporate customers. The company insists that current service levels were "satisfactory" and the problems experienced by US customers were isolated to the segment of the Bangalore operation covering that region.

"The US situation is purely based around scale and the quantity of customers being moved over in one go and that's not an issue that we've had in Australia," said the spokeswoman.

Dell's Asian and European support lines will remain routed to Bangalore.

Dell's decision comes amidst allegations and grumblings that support operations outsourced to India are not performing as hoped.

A Dell India spokesman on Tuesday denied reports that technical support service for business customers was shifting from Bangalore to the United States, reported the Hindustan Times, an India daily. Dell said it was committed to India and growing.

Dell has more than 2,000 employees at its customer support centers in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India.

"No, we are not shifting the work. Dell is committed to India and is growing," a spokesperson for the Bangalore-headquartered Dell India operations was quoted as saying in the report.