General discussion


Supporting our replacements?

By stress junkie ·
I've read through a lot of technical questions on TR recently. Many appear to be posed by home users. The remainder appear to be posed by our compadres, fellow tech support people. The thing that bothers me is that many of the questions posed by fellow professionals show many signs of being posted by someone in India. Often the user name is the person's real email address. Many are from Yahoo! email or Hotmail email services. Anyone can create such an account. VERY often these questions betray poor mastery of the English language. The very nature of these questons often appear to be tier 1 helpdesk or tier 2 questions. The posters usually appear to have little or no knowledge of basic troubleshooting or project implementation skills but are asking how to implement an enterprise project.

I have begun to suspect that we in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Britain, we who are most likely to post answers to these questions, may be helping someone that has taken our job. Having been unemployed for over a year now due to lack of demand for tier 3 tech support in my geography I am wondering if I am training the people who are working as my overseas outsourced replacements. I am not at all happy about this possiblilty and I am planning to be less active posting answers to what I consider to be suspicious questions. I don't like to think about taking this approach. My own career success has been greatly enhanced from other people helping me by sharing their technical skills. I have always done the same for others and I would like to continue to do so. But I resent the possibility of training people who have and will continue to take tech support jobs. If my theory is correct, and I'm not at all sure that it is, I would be supporting the outsourcing of techncal jobs to overseas, incompetent, replacements.

Has anyone else thought about this? What do you think?

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by dosmastr In reply to Supporting our replacemen ...

i know for a fact that i schooled the last tech support person from Dell that i called..... its got an DDR400 dual channel capable mobo, so why can't i get it to run DDR400 OR dual channel?

"Dual channel mode?" (thats how it is listed in the bios) "I am sorry i am not familiar with that term, can you explain it to me?", take your pick, how about you guys figure it out yourselves...

you may be correct, i may have been shooting myself in the foot as far as aquireing employment.... just by helping out other noobs who i had no idea were doing the job i want with less then half the skill that i have.

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It's all about the cost

by RicardoMenendez In reply to

You two have to take into account that offshoring is mainly a cost effective strategy. It's not focused at hiring less-prepared people. It's about hiring lower-paid people to do the same job. I don't know why everyone gets freaked out about it. It's been happening for centuries. Here in Spain we're starting to suffer the same offshoring effect because east Europe workers are cheaper than west Europe workers. Not only technology wise but industry wise as well.

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Cost and quality

by RLoski In reply to It's all about the cost

It is about cost and quality. You could hire my 14 year old daughter for minimum wage to do the programming I do. But you would get no where close to the quality. The per hour cost would be lower. The total cost would be more.

South Asian programmers/tech support is lower cost per hour. I am not sure of the quality differential. But I think that the original point is sound. By providing free help on news groups, you take the quality you provide (for four times the price normally) and give it to someone who may be paid less than you for free. This helps to reduce any difference in quality.


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Cost vs. Quality... Case Study

by jwschull In reply to Cost and quality

Here's an example of the low cost => low quality...

I recently purchased a HP computer. Loaded most of the Pre-SP2 drivers, but missed one. Had a restart problem. HP's offshore tech support wanted me to re-image the machine and start all over with the apps I had installed. I told him NO WAY. I uninstalled SP2, loaded the missed driver, reinstalled SP2 and all is well. This is a classic case of the most expediant "scripted" approach VS. what is right for the customer!


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Not limited to offshore

by NetworkPlanner In reply to Cost vs. Quality... Case ...

The kind of response you got isn't limited to offshore. Unfortunately most call centers are directed to resolve the call in the fastest manner and not always the best manner.

Unfortunate but true.

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And most companies go with the Cheapest Quote

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Not limited to offshore

Even though it isn't what they need and quite often works out far more expensive to get working in the way that they need it to go.

I've seen far too many cases where a company who doesn't really understand IT just gets a quote form someone who thinks they know what is required sells the hardware and maybe even organize a person to come in and setup the network and then they find that they need a whole bunch of new hardware & software to get the system working. Recently I saw one company who had fallen into this trap by buying cheap rubbish computers and set them up on a peer to peer network all 15 workstations and without any server and XP Home installed 5 of the computers where locked out of the system at a time.

But the so called profession who sold them the computers told them that it would work. I just love things like this as the sales person gets their commission and then walks away from the mess that they have created.


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Cheaper products?

by Griffida In reply to Cost vs. Quality... Case ...

About the only way to say NO to overseas outsourcing is to not buy products where that is their mode of operation.
If we continue to support the companys bottom line, whats the motivation for them stop.

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Buy American

by levitaj In reply to Cheaper products?

You are absolutely right. I've decided to buy American whenever I can. The problem is we may have waited too long. Even the US Army marches in Italian Boots. This when the New England shoe industry went out of business. We must keep jobs in the US. Free trade agreements make it easier to outsource jobs overseas. Buy American. New Banlance makes one line of shoes in the US. Mag Lite is made in the US. Any others?
Jeff Levitan

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A very good question

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Buy American

While it sounds like a good idea to buy your countries products it is not always easy. You have to find a product that your country still makes as apposed to just selling an overseas import.

I ran across a very good example of this last year when I bought a Bell Crash Helmet they are the only ones I ever wear as well as being considered as the INDUSTRY STANDARD and I was horrified when it arrived as I found a "Made in Italy" sticker on the inside. Now I've only been using Bel crash helmets for a little over 25 years now and that was the first one that I had ever seen that was not American Made.


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Buy Competitive

by Frank-MW In reply to Buy American

By buying American you will make American businesses less competitive because they do not have to compete with low cost countries.
Knowledge is power. US companies that use low cost countries to compete will survive and keep higher paying jobs in the US instead of going to Europe or Japan.
If you would just buy American, you are actually slowly killing US Businesses. You will be taking purchasing power out of your paycheck, prompting you to request a payraise, making US services and products more expensive=less competitive and your job will go overseas.
Outsourcing has existed for decades and we are only doing better. Don't worry and buy what you want to buy.

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