Cricket Wireless News – Proposed legislation tries to curb customer service outsourcing

Customer service, for many people, represents the lowlight of cellular service. I know plenty of people who are totally satisfied with their prepaid service, but can do nothing but curse and scream after calling customer service. The most common complaint relates to the location of the call centers. Most companies outsource their customer service, and some find it difficult to understand the heavily accented representatives. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has proposed legislation aimed at bringing these call centers back to U.S. soil.

The bill would levy a tax on companies that redirect calls that originate in America — that is, use American area codes — to foreign call centers. That might sound like a nice measure, and I’m sure many of you are applauding the effort. As with all legislation, however, this one comes with unintended consequences.

Whether a company chooses to pay the fee or it brings the jobs back to America, it will undoubtedly do one thing to offset the extra cost. Inevitably, it will raise prices. So, while employment might rise by some insignificant rate, or the government takes in a little more graft, the end result will be a higher price for all consumers. I fail to see the benefit in this.

Instead of thinking that legislation can solve everything, why not let this run its course? Companies have beaten the price wars to death, and it’s unlikely that they can go much lower than current levels. Customer service has always been devalued, and right now that could represent the single biggest inefficiency in the market. Why not let companies discover that on their own? If one company steps up with superb customer service, the others will almost certainly follow suit once they see the results. This seems like something that will work its own course, and will only hurt from government intervention.

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