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IBM dogged with outsourcing rumours

More jobs to go abroad?

Computer giant IBM today found itself shrouded in rumours that it intends to dabble in a little outsourcing, following a leaked report seen by journalists at The Wall Street Journal.

The report, according to WSJ suggests that the move could see the firm's labour costs slashed by as much as a third, or $170m (about £90m).

Some firms have remained adamant that outsourcing customer service centres reduces, rather than increases, the standard of care customers receive. PC manufacturer Dell for example rerouted its US corporate customer call centres back to the States after a flood of complaints from dissatisfied customers.

PC Advisor reader Neville Jones called our consumerwatch help line today to complain about the standard of service he had received from BT's Indian call centre. "I am not a racist but it would help if the person at the other end of the phone could understand you and you could understand them," he said. This is just one of the many complaints we have received.

Worryingly, it is alleged that the report orders managers to be 'economical with the truth' when informing employees about the project, presumably for fear of causing a media backlash.

The DTI is currently investigating the outsourcing trend to determine what effect it has on customer services. However, the fact that it saves UK businesses millions of pounds per year — BT for instance has 2,000 call centre staff across India — will make this an extremely difficult decision to reach.


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