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Outsourcing Unit To Be Set Up In Indian Jail

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the you'll-love-the-benefits-package dept.

Businesses 249

littlekorea writes "Indian outsourcing firm Radiant Info Systems has found yet another way to lower wages — hiring data entry clerks from a local prison. Some 200 inmates will be paid $2.20 a day to handle manual data entry tasks for Radiant's BPO deals in a pilot for the scheme. Radiant execs told the BBC that the deal will provide skills to inmates when they are released from prison. No doubt they would also be due for a pay raise." They're going to need to cut wages if they want to be competitive with the 100,000 US prisoners who work for 25 cents an hour.

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249 comments

I AM THE WALRUS !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32192860)

KooKooKaCHOOO!!

Something like that.

eat my shorts!!

Competitive... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32192908)

$.25 an hour x 8 hours a day=$2 a day

Seems fairly competitive to me...

Re:Competitive... (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193146)

$.25 an hour x 8 hours a day=$2 a day ... Seems fairly competitive to me...

I wonder if they can get "fired" for screwing up their data entry, or if they just get moved from the "entering banking data" group to the "entering climate change data" group?

Re:Competitive... (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193414)

FTFA:

The outsourcing centre will handle banking information 24 hours a day

Poster asks:

I wonder if they can get "fired" for screwing up their data entry, or if they just get moved from the "entering banking data" group to the "entering climate change data" group?

If they do it right, they'll be able to BUY their way out of jail.

People will be breaking INTO jail to better do identity theft.

Skills... (1)

drc003 (738548) | more than 3 years ago | (#32192926)

"... Radiant execs told The BBC that the deal will provide skills to inmates when they are released from prison. No doubt they would also be due for a pay rise."

Yeah, the skills to improve Radiant's bottom line.

Re:Skills... (4, Insightful)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193128)

The feds have NO interest whatsoever in providing skill training, no matter what their propaganda tells you. At the FCI where I was, inmates typically slept till lunch, signed false pay sheets claiming 40 hours worked. They thought they were getting over, but it's actualy the feds, who can provide "proof" of "gainfully employed inmates."

But it's a scam. The BOP/DOJ has a vested interest in the 75% recidivism rate...it keeps the beds full and the $30,000 a year per inmate flowing nicely. Most inmates sleep till lunch, play basketball or softball in the afternoon, and watch TV and gamble all night.

Look, my unit had nine televisions (big flat screens, full cable, Netflix movies twice a week) and four toilets for 150 guys. Total in the facility? 1,800 inmates in regular population housed in 6 units, with a total of 48 toilets and 108 televisions. What's wrong with this picture?

Skills training my ass. Try getting a job with nothing on your resume but "data entry and basic Office." And that's for the tech/UNICOR jobs! It's like a health club..once they have you, they want you to keep coming back. Again and again. No skills? You're probably going to reoffend.

Step 3: Profit!

Re:Skills... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193208)

Look, my unit had nine televisions (big flat screens, full cable, Netflix movies twice a week) and four toilets for 150 guys. Total in the facility? 1,800 inmates in regular population housed in 6 units, with a total of 48 toilets and 108 televisions. What's wrong with this picture?

Sounds like they had more than 2 TV's displaying each toilet to me. That's not exactly HBO (well, it is if you count 'Oz').

Re:Skills... (1)

drc003 (738548) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193212)

The point of my sarcastic post exactly but with all of the insight it lacked as well. I would mod your post if I hadn't already posted myself. Great points.

Re:Skills...and a sat image of FCI Elkton! (2, Informative)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193244)

Oh, before anyone comments on the math:

Each unit (building) was made up of two sub-units. Four toilets per sub-unit, 8 per unit.

Wanna see the place? [bing.com]

Re:Skills...and a sat image of FCI Elkton! (3, Funny)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193368)

are you seriously pointing us to a site that requires Silverlight?

*Sigh*

Re:Skills...and a sat image of FCI Elkton! (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193934)

You can't really blame him; the recidivism rate is 67.5% after all.

Re:Skills... (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193448)

The feds have NO interest whatsoever in providing skill training, no matter what their propaganda tells you. At the FCI where I was, inmates typically slept till lunch, signed false pay sheets claiming 40 hours worked. They thought they were getting over, but it's actualy the feds, who can provide "proof" of "gainfully employed inmates."

But it's a scam. The BOP/DOJ has a vested interest in the 75% recidivism rate...it keeps the beds full and the $30,000 a year per inmate flowing nicely. Most inmates sleep till lunch, play basketball or softball in the afternoon, and watch TV and gamble all night.

Look, my unit had nine televisions (big flat screens, full cable, Netflix movies twice a week) and four toilets for 150 guys. Total in the facility? 1,800 inmates in regular population housed in 6 units, with a total of 48 toilets and 108 televisions. What's wrong with this picture?

Skills training my ass. Try getting a job with nothing on your resume but "data entry and basic Office." And that's for the tech/UNICOR jobs! It's like a health club..once they have you, they want you to keep coming back. Again and again. No skills? You're probably going to reoffend.

Step 3: Profit!

That's what happens when state and federal governments contract out such a basic thing as their prison systems. To the government and government-run prisons, prisoners are nothing but an expense so the fewer, the better. To the private companies, each prisoner represents profit so the more the merrier.

Certainly I can understand the government buying items on the open market such as automobiles, ships, airplanes, office stationery, electricity, etc. I hardly expect them to mine their own ore, smelt it, forge it, and make their own products, to run their own paper mills, or maintain their own electrical grids. Yet a line does need to be drawn someplace because things like prisons are rightly an unwanted expense. I propose that the government can freely purchase any needed goods (including units of energy like kilowatt-hours) but must perform all services itself, carried out by individuals who are government employees.

No one should have a vested interest in a high recidivism rate, particularly not when large sums of money are involved. It does not serve society's interests. Further, I bet they're fine with high recidivism until a crime happens to them. Any such entity with vested interests like this is a parasite that feeds off the failing of others. These parasites are state-sponsored.

Re:Skills... (3, Insightful)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193738)

No one should have a vested interest in a high recidivism rate, particularly not when large sums of money are involved. It does not serve society's interests. Further, I bet they're fine with high recidivism until a crime happens to them. Any such entity with vested interests like this is a parasite that feeds off the failing of others. These parasites are state-sponsored.

If the government was interested in a low recidivism rate, they would reward facilities for it. Look at averages for rates of return, and reward facilities that turn out better than that. As an example, if the average for a certain type of criminal is to have a 50% recidivism rate within 5 years, track the ex-prisoners, and give an actual cash award to the prison if they average 40% over 6 years. This opens the whole system back up to the private sector to resolve.

There would also be room in this environment for penalties for significantly worse than average results, where "significantly worse" is something I'm not defining here. There would be other changes likely also required (such as the inability to turn down a prisoner for anything other than overcrowding issues, so they don't bias their population only with those they think won't reoffend in the first place). I'm sure that if lowering the recidivism rate was really on any elected official's radar, it could be solved without socialising the industry.

There are some commons that I do think the government should not privatise. I also think that conflicts of interest need to be resolved (and, in the public sphere, I would generally also like to see appearances of conflicts of interest to be eliminated as well). However, I prefer to go for solutions with the smallest amount of delta to the status quo. Some people call that "conservative" (with a small "c"). I prefer to call it "the scientific method" - by reducing the delta to as small as possible to effect the change, we can be sure as to what we can attribute the change to, so others can replicate that success, or not duplicate that failure. Grand social experiments, I'm not so fond of. And, yes, it can be argued that privatising the prison industry was a grand social experiment. I wouldn't disagree. However, that's where the Americans are at the moment, so that's where you have to work from.

Inmates watching TV all day is better then them pl (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32194098)

Inmates watching TV all day is better then them planing to brake out / making shanks.

and there was something about that in time magazine.

sensitive data? (3, Insightful)

wiplash (787883) | more than 3 years ago | (#32192948)

I would imagine a certain degree of integrity is required to handle third-party data. While it may not be a fair assumption, it is possible that some people involved with such a program may not be the most reliable of people...
Are they going to be careful about what kind of data they would be sharing with these inmates? Are there going to be restrictions in place to stop them from copying this data?
Will they be genuinely interested in what the weather is like where I am?

Re:sensitive data? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32192972)

You sound sexy, what are you wearing?

Re:sensitive data? (2, Insightful)

sohp (22984) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193068)

RTFA: banking information. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:sensitive data? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193172)

RTFA: banking information. What could possibly go wrong?

I dunno ... maybe they enter a "." instead of a "," (or visa versa depending on whether they're entering US or European numeric data).

Waaaaaaait a minute ... what if it was one of them who screwed up the data that caused the dip in the US stock market last week?

25 cents? Not in the feds... (5, Informative)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32192952)

I just came home from a lovely four year stay at a fed prison. Yes, you can eventually make $.25 an hour, but you have to work up to that.

See federal (BOP) pay scales [justice.gov] here.

FPI (UNICOR [unicor.gov] ) is the prison industries. Read: slave labor for government profit. At the facility I was at there was a data processing factory, fixing bad OCR scans by entering Postscript commands.

However, anyone with any computer skills was forbidden from working there, so my job was Captain's Crew...cleaning the sidealks for half hour every day. Nice use of my MCSE, no?

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193004)

I just came home from a lovely four year stay at a fed prison.

I gotta ask... Did they have conjugal visits there? I haven't had a conjugal visit in like six months.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193584)

If it did, /. would become the biggest den of thieves in history pretty much overnight.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (2, Funny)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193906)

The right to conjugal visits only guarantees you that your partner can visit for that purpose, it doesn't actually guarantee you a partner...

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193006)

Nice use of my MCSE, no?
You were in fucking prison. Don't expect any concessions though. If you felt that bad, you shouldn't have gone to prison in first place.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193056)

just as much use as my mcse, and no prison time, just the fact the op seems to think mcse means anything other than "your a dipshit that is now poorer" boggles me

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193252)

Maybe he was one of the x% wrongfully imprisoned.

(x goes from 0.01 to 0.6 depending on who you ask)

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (5, Informative)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193308)

Uh huh. And everyone that ends up in prison:

A) Deserves fully to be there, and

B) Was treated fairly and justly by the US Justice system.

No disrespect intended at all, but you have much to learn. I hope your lesson isn't as difficult as mine was. The justice system in this country is insane and grossly unfair.

The US has 3% of the world's population and 25% of it's prison population. Numerically and per capita, we have the highest prison population on the planet...and that includes China..a tougher regime that is three times our size.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193452)

Surely you're not interested in telling your entire story... but you did open the door, so I'll ask: was your conviction related to technology/IT?

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (1)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193712)

No, it wasn't. Nor was it drug dealing, terrorism, sedition, rape, murder, bank robbery, kidnapping, pedophilia, or anything that might be considered a crime against the united states.

Mail me at my nym at gmail and I'll discuss. B)

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193898)

The US has 3% of the world's population and 25% of it's prison population. Numerically and per capita, we have the highest prison population on the planet...and that includes China..a tougher regime that is three times our size.

Might have something to do with the Chinese policy of keeping the prison population low by the simple expedient of taking a fair number of their convicts outside and shooting them.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193016)

Prison. Where they teach you that honest hard labour gets you next to nothing.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193554)

So it is a good way to prepare for the outside world.

Here's the world's smallest violin... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193030)

If you wanted to make good use of your skills, how about getting a real job and working for a living like the rest of us instead of peddling pot or whatever got you busted?
You broke the law and suffered the consequences, you have no right to complain.

Re:Here's the world's smallest violin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193218)

How's peddling pot less "real" and less "work" than most other jobs in this country?

Re:Here's the world's smallest violin... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193310)

If you have to ask, then you're so fucking stupid, it's no wonder you're in jail.

Re:Here's the world's smallest violin... (1, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193412)

If he had an MCSE, then he didn't need to peddle pot, or whatever. Sure, if you are good at peddling pot and other drugs, you can make a LOT more money than the top MCSEs can ever dream of. But that's certainly not making use of an MCSE.

Once you are untrusted ... and being a felon makes one untrusted ... then you can't be trusted around anything you might know how to manipulate for your own benefit. And an MCSE just shouts "I know how to manipulate computers". IMHO, any felon should be stripped of their MCSE, or any other IT or engineering certification, and not allowed to get another for at least 10 years after release ... 10 years of scraping sidewalks on the outside!

Re:Here's the world's smallest violin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32194042)

I see the resident right-wing Tea Party faggots have some mod points to spend today.

Re:Here's the world's smallest violin... (3, Insightful)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193418)

LOL.."peddling pot" does not get you into the feds unless you have 50,000 pounds of it.

You seem to be yet another person that assumes what you learn from your tv education is immutable truth. Once again...3% of the world's population, 25% of its prison inmates. Do you not understand this? Do you really think the US is a nation of felons?

I'm not looking for, or interested in your, or anyone else's fucking sympathy. I'm trying to tell you to wake up, and watch out for yourself.

Re:Here's the world's smallest violin... (4, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193858)

Intentionally taking out of context and twisting your words here:

Once again...3% of the world's population, 25% of its prison inmates. Do you not understand this? Do you really think the US is a nation of felons?

Well since the numbers seem to bear that out, yes. Obviously since you are one too I will believe what you say about that and take it as truth ;)

though I always thought Australia was the nation of felons...

Back in reality, yes our system is fscked up like no other. I really wish for three things:
1) put back the support structure (mental health, training, etc.) that we used to have in prisons before privatization.
2) put the prison system back under federal control (not outsourced to private companies)
3) a pony.

Re:Here's the world's smallest violin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193980)

I don't know what planet you are from, but yes, the US is a nation of felons, most of which is gun crime. We have the lowest school scores, the highest political corruption, and the highest drug addiction rate. This country is tearing itself apart. We had someone shot to death in our parking lot just a few days ago. I'm scared to go outside. I'm driving just a few miles to work each day but it feels like I'm driving a Humvee in Iraq or something. I can't bear to turn the news on anymore. I just want to work and make a decent living and not get shot in the face by some drug addict.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193032)

So how many times in that 4 years did you hear the "federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison" joke?

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (5, Informative)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193342)

Only from people who actually believe what they see on TV. Prison can be very violent, but that stupid "don't bend over for the soap" stuff doesn't happen. In fact, even suggesting it is a good way to get shanked.

CSI, Law and Order, Prison Break, etc are utter propaganda.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193034)

how long until our governments start imprisoning citizens for a source a cheap labour of big bussiness?

we must privatize everything, including freedom!

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (3, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193710)

You think this hasn't been done already? In the South, local sheriffs used to do this all the time (and still do in many places). Every year around harvest time for tobacco or cotton, they would go around and round up all the local drunkards/ne'r-do-wells/etc. and throw them in jail for whatever. Then they would hire them out as work gangs to local farmers, with the sheriff pocketing almost all of the money. The work gangs that a lot of Southern jails and prisons still use today are, in fact, just a historical extension of the old antebellum slave gangs. They even have the same structure (4-7 slaves and one overseer). They're great for shitty manual labor jobs (you can get them for about $1 an hour per prisoner/slave, even cheaper than hiring illegals).

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193110)

Just ignore these stupid replies.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193224)

I could not give a rat's ass as to whether you made nothing or 25 cents an hour...at least in consideration of your welfare. Slave? If you can't do the time and hard labor, don't do the crime. Cry me a river.

That said, private industry should not be running these operations.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (2, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193482)

So how many times in that 4 years did you have to pay for rent, food, clothes, medical care, dental care, etc.? I think if you take all that into account, it far exceeds minimum wage. A good friend of mine spent 10 years in prison and commented shortly after his release that his standard of living was higher while inside.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193650)

By some measures...

I get a lot of living out of going and doing stuff on a whim.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193778)

Only if you consider the lowest quality food (cold bologna + plain white bread=dinner), substandard medical care, etc to be a good quality of life. And I wouldn't call living with a bunch of criminals, constantly surrounded by noise, the untreated mentally ill, and the constant potential for violence to be "rent free living" either. I wouldn't exactly pay for that if I didn't have to.

Now that I think about it I can think of some parts of my city that qualify for that description though so maybe that is why some folks there aren't afraid to go to prison.

Re:25 cents? Not in the feds... (5, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193774)

Nice use of my MCSE, no?

Perhaps they had sufficient skill and experience on-staff to handle any Solitaire and Minesweeper issues that came up.

Slavery in America Today (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32192968)

And India, Too! We can't leave a slave-gap open, with the Reds in China!

My Dear God. The world is back into nightmares decried by Dickens and Sinclair Lewis. If you haven't read these, I would suggest doing so. In fact, if you have, a refresh is in order.

Re:Slavery in America Today (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193234)

And yet if prisoners were denied opportunities to work, you and your kind would be up front and center decrying the waste of manpower in prison, as well as the lack of job retraining skills for otherwise idle hands. Isn't this why we have call centers in prisons nowadays instead of chain gangs breaking rocks into gravel?

Re:Slavery in America Today (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193768)

No.

Then, I would be still be free to decry the creation of "laws" to criminalize a significant percentage of the population, while creating private profit incentives for incarceration - and the requisite prioritization of public monies for penitentiary over school house.

I have Dickens, you have Rand. You lose.

Hyperbole in America Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193288)

And India, Too! We can't leave a slave-gap open, with the Reds in China!

My Dear God. The world is back into nightmares decried by Dickens and Sinclair Lewis. If you haven't read these, I would suggest doing so. In fact, if you have, a refresh is in order.

You might want to read a little more history and a little less historical literature.

Actual slaves were forced to work. If they didn't, they were beaten. Actual slaves were enslaved despite having committed no crime. Actual slaves had no hope of eventual freedom.

I bet you're one of the people that calls overzealous rule enforcers "Nazis [wikipedia.org] ," too.

Re:Slavery in America Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193306)

This isn't insightful. This is yet another liberal twisting of logic.

Re:Slavery in America Today (3, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193330)

Raj: Hi, this is Raj. Thank you for calling Bank of Regret. How may I help you?
Customer: I see some irregular activity on my account and I'd like to talk to someone about it.
Raj: I apologize for the inconvenience. Am I correct to understand that you would like to talk to someone about the irregular activity on your account?
Customer: Um, yes. Yes I would. That's what I said.
Raj: Am I correct to understand that that is what you said?
Customer: Yes! Just get someone who can explain these large wire transfers!
Raj (hand over the receiver): Who handles large wire transfers?
Dani: I do!
Raj: One moment please. I'll transfer you to Dani. He handles large wire transfers ...

Identity theft (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 3 years ago | (#32192976)

Sure, let known criminals have access to customer data, once again Rocket Surgery
rears it's ugly head. Such a retarded idea. Jeeze.

This is a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32192978)

Who better to digitize our identity records and health care data than criminals?

scary thought (5, Insightful)

Paul Rose (771894) | more than 3 years ago | (#32192984)

Radiant: we're a little short on staff -- think you could raise the penalty for jaywalking?
Congressman: can do!

Re:scary thought (2, Interesting)

notommy (1793412) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193104)

In India what we would consider jaywalking is known as "crossing the street". So no, your nightmare scenario would never happen. Otherwise everyone would be in jail.

Re:scary thought (5, Informative)

TheRon6 (929989) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193178)

Radiant: we're a little short on staff -- think you could raise the penalty for jaywalking?

Congressman: can do!

This exact sort of thing is already happening in the U.S. except rather than keeping people in prison to make them work, the prison lobby wants to keep people in prison for the sake of needing to build more prisons. We've got both the prisons' investors and prison guard unions [talkleft.com] constantly lobbying for harsher punishments for lesser offenses. It's a scary to think that it's profitable for anyone to lock people up and throw away the key...

Re:scary thought (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193782)

It's a very profitable growth industry--right up until the point where everyone is either in prison or working at one (causing the government to go bankrupt and ending the gravy train).

Re:scary thought (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193192)

Not really a joke. Post civil war, that's basically what they did to get the newly emancipated back in their place, where possible. All sorts of crimes ("vagrancy") and the like, heavy enforcement against the undesirables, and then lease the resulting convicts out as cheap slave labor to various upstanding local businesses.

All perfectly legal and above board.

These days, of course, we have the private, for-profit prison, a truly brilliant institution. The outfits that run these are very reliable "law-and-order" lobbyists, and there was even a case a while back where they were paying a judge a per-inmate kickback for, shall we say, "referrals"...

Re:scary thought (2, Interesting)

E-Arkham (1634361) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193614)

We might already be doing that in the states.

I drove through South Carolina recently and noticed signs that stated the penalty for speeding in a work zone was $200 and 30 days [ghsa.org] . On the surface, you might think that's reasonable to keep road workers safe.

But there are long stretches of highway marked as work zones with NO sign of workers, equipment, or construction. Nothing. And state law says workers do not need to be present. These were for all intents and purposes speed zones where getting caught got you 30 days in jail, and judging by the cars left on the side of the road (I counted 6 on one highway) it looks like they're enforcing it regularly.

Re:scary thought (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193758)

We're already there. See War on Drug.

also, judge(s) too. [philly.com]

Looks like the resource budget... (1)

ezbo (1596471) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193014)

...is less than the wages. I didn't even think they made CRTs anymore.

Re:Looks like the resource budget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193274)

I use dual CRTs you insensitive clod!

Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (3, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193028)

I understand their desire to remain relevant and competitive in the out-sourcing marketplace, but dang man, enough is enough.

Seriously. This will probably sound racist as hell, but whatever, I don't care. I'm sick to death of calling into some company for support and struggling mightily to understand the person on the other end. Sick of it. It does not do these companies any good at all to have such unpleasant customer service experiences.

I realize that English is not these folks primary language, and for it being ESL for them, they do a good job. But when I call in for support to a company "based in the US", damnit, I expect to hear a US voice.

Again, call me racist, whatever you want. I really don't give a shit at this point, I'm frigging sick of it. For companies that outsource to these places to "lower costs", you're also lowering profit, due to craptastic customer service, lack of caring, and a strict adherence to "following the script".

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (4, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193176)

I'm sick to death of calling into some company for support and struggling mightily to understand the person on the other end.

I realize that English is not these folks primary language, and for it being ESL for them, they do a good job. But when I call in for support to a company "based in the US", damnit, I expect to hear a US voice.

Except that a "US voice" doesn't necessarily help.

I've called technical support lines and gotten someone with an impossibly thick southern drawl before. At least that's what I assume it was. Maybe they were drunk. Regardless, it was clear that they were from the southern US, but I couldn't understand half of what they were saying.

Why is a clear speaking voice not a requirement for these positions?

I don't care where you're located geographically, as long as you can speak clearly.

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193242)

I hear this statement a lot, that Southern US dialects are hard to understand. But, I've never had a "Joe-Bob" from LA (That's Lower Alabama, btw) answer my phone call into tech support. Mainly because Joe-Bob isn't working tech support.

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (1)

SandFrog (1238038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193416)

At one point I was driving a semi to make ends meet
while the IT scene was recovering (circa 2002/03 ish).
I stopped at some fast food joint in Minnesota. It took
me a while to realize that the lady behind the counter
actually was speaking English. She couldn't understand me
either.

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193594)

At one point I was driving a semi to make ends meet

while the IT scene was recovering (circa 2002/03 ish).

I stopped at some fast food joint in Minnesota. It took

me a while to realize that the lady behind the counter

actually was speaking English. She couldn't understand me

either.

Indeed.

I'm from Minnesota originally... We do speak a bit differently there, especially the older folks who still have a strong Scandinavian accent. And I've got family from various parts of Kentucky.

Family gatherings can be fun.

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193954)

I would not be surprised if that "impossibly thick southern drawl" was coming from a Bangalore-based operator poorly trained in mimicking American accents.

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (1)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193238)

Then next time buy the product from another company.

and be sure to write a letter to the offending company the reason that you will not do repeat business with them.

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193256)

Language doesn't matter. I understand your issues, but it's a lack of emotional investment in their job and a lack of knowledge that's worse than language barriers. English or not, someone who is being paid minimum wage to work the telephones won't want to do too much work to help you.

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193312)

For companies that outsource to these places to "lower costs", you're also lowering profit, due to craptastic customer service, lack of caring, and a strict adherence to "following the script".

Do you have the numbers to back that up?

I suspect that the truth is that it actually DOES increase profit, in most cases. So what if customers are pissed off? What are they going to do, switch over to another service provider that also sends customer support offshore? The truth, I believe, is that lots of people moan and complain about "Janet" from Bangalore reading from a script, but few people actually put their money where their mouth is.

If you buy a laptop, are you checking to see where the manufacturer hosts their customer service before you buy? How about when you set up internet service? Do you find out if Verizon, your cable company, or other ISP offshores their customer support?

You may feel that companies are doing wrong because you're not happy with the customer support they provide. But really, how much are you worth to them? Are you, and others like you, worth enough to justify tripling their support costs? And if all their competitors are doing the same thing, is off-shored support really going to drive that many customers away?

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193504)

I don't know if you'd call them "numbers" or what, but I do know several large companies (Dell, for instance) have shipped call center jobs back to the US due to the public outcry.

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193356)

So, your point is these maxims: Customer service over profit; Customer happiness over profit.

And you're expecting that from greedy corporate America? Haha. You're not racist, you're just stupid.

Re:Trying to remain "competitive" I guess... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193546)

No, AC, my point is that if you have a better customer service experience, and happy customers, they'll be loyal customers who enjoy pimping your products for you.

So I may not be racist, but I think keeping your customers happy is a good thing, call that stupid if you want.

Pay-scales, cost-scales (1)

John Guilt (464909) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193050)

It's even worse: I'll wager (a pack of cigarettes, presumably, in the old days) that about $2.50 will buy more in an Indian prison commissary than in an American---although it _is_ a captive (ahem) audience, and the staff know how much the inmates generally earn, so I can see prices rising to meet that. But: are Indian prisons such that you have to pay extra to get anything close to decent to eat? I'm afraid of base-levels of food that might make Nutriloaf look good.

Re:Pay-scales, cost-scales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32194092)

You assume of course that they have things like commissaries in Indian jails. Judging from the conditions of their poor I'd say you'd be lucky not to be sleeping crammed together on the floor with a bucket for a toilet there.

Still No Debtor's Prison (3, Insightful)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193092)

Seems to paint the picture of a very Dickensian universe, the one exception of debtor's prison. Step 1: Inmates work for free/cheap Step 2: People with regular jobs lose those jobs Step 3: People go to debtor's prison, have to work for free/cheap Step 4: Permanent lower-class The only exception is that, now, there's even more of a stigma towards people who have spent time in jail, and it's easier for employers to find out.

US Prisons (3, Informative)

FozE_Bear (1093167) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193100)

I thought that some American Catalog companies were running call-centers with inmates as well in the mid '90's. Is this really new?

Better than getting nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193108)

There are many people (include me too) here without jobs. Better get into Indian Prison and get paid $2.20. That is what these assholes wanted anyway.

Let's see how they rank (2, Funny)

Quato (132194) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193156)

Let's see $2.20 a day * 260 days a year (although I doubt they give them too many days off)
= $572 bucks a year

Let's plug it in The Global Rich list....
http://www.globalrichlist.com/ [globalrichlist.com]

= 4,429,714,286
You are the 4,429,714,286 richest person in the world!
You're in the TOP 73.82% richest people in the world!

Re:Let's see how they rank (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193394)

Okay, in Somalia that would be great. Try scraping by in the US with $572 a year. Though in India I see that that is close to half the national average, so perhaps acceptable. Here in the states though, the GDP per capita is close to $48,000. Our prisoners are getting peanuts compared to India. Not that its too important since they're all in prison anyhow, but...ummm....I seem to have forgotten where I was going with this.

Oh great... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193320)

Now the outsourcers will be giving our confidential banking account data to people in prison who have access to computers. Am I the only person who sees something wrong here?

Re:Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193784)

Did you just call Indians "people"? Hahahaha.

They are the obedient, irrational, puppy-dog robots suited to one or two tasks that Asimov always wrote about.

Two countries, *united* by a common language (1)

JohnQPublic (158027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193462)

It isn't often that you see an article where the British and US usages of "scheme" are BOTH correct.

mod PUp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32193690)

though I have never declined in market ye5, I work for

IT + Prison? (5, Funny)

Ubiquitous Bubba (691161) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193794)

Wait a minute. My cubicle feels like a cell. My wardrobe is defined by Corporate Goons. At the whim of a bureaucrat, I can be sent, against my will, anywhere in the country. Many time's, I've been awakened in the middle of the night by alarms and screaming. (Usually, the voices are saying things like, "The servers are down!" or "My Email is gone!") Have I been in prison all along? That would explain some of the meetings... Well, no more! There's no cage that can hold me! I'm bustin' outta here. Here's the plan. Just after the morning scrum meeting, you throw a paper airplane to distract the guard. I'll slip under the raised floor. I've got a plastic spoon from the break room, so I'll dig a tunnel. If we do this every day for the next 40 - 50 years, we'll make it out!

Great Potential (1)

sparrowhead (1795632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32193878)

Given the recent events on the financial markets there's great potential to expand that model to the stock and finances trading sectors. At 25c an hour even Bernie Madoff might repay his debts on day

Prison planet (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 3 years ago | (#32194096)

more than just a website... People will find security there... They won't mind at all... In fact you will find them trying to break in.. Hey free cable!

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