Is Apple starting to use call centers in India?

59031

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 29, 2005
113
0
I think they are. I think the iMac G5 online chat support is in India and I think when you call AppleCare, and it takes too long for you to get a tech support representative in the U.S. or Canada, they are transferring calls to a center in India. If so, I'm very disappointed in Apple for taking that step. Does anyone else think they are using call centers in India?
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,038
30
Salt Lake City, UT
Although I've never gotten a call center in India when calling Apple, I think it's well known that they do have outsourced support staff there. I'm likely to just (politely) hang up and call back until I get someone here in the US (or Canada).
 

StarbucksSam

macrumors 65816
Nov 21, 2004
1,414
0
Washington, D.C.
I've had a person with an accent once, but in general, I get people that I am pretty sure are Americans. You know what, as long as someone as competent and I can understand what ehy are saying, I don't care.
 

Peter Griffin

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2005
219
0
Doesn't really surprise me. Apple has been on a decline (customer satisfaction wise) ever since the iPod. Not that outsourcing calls to India would be bad though if the guy on the oither line was equally competent. I just think it's one of the signs of Apple changing. For better or worse only time can tell.
 

caveman_uk

Guest
Feb 17, 2003
2,391
1
Hitchin, Herts, UK
They do use Indian call centers. They've had them for a while, it's just us poor sods over here that have had to deal with them up 'til now. They are utterly useless and know less about Macs than I do about how to be a ballet dancer.

It is a happy day when you get through to the Irish tech support people.
 

ipacmm

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2003
1,304
0
Cincinnati, OH
Peter Griffin said:
Doesn't really surprise me. Apple has been on a decline (customer satisfaction wise) ever since the iPod. Not that outsourcing calls to India would be bad though if the guy on the oither line was equally competent. I just think it's one of the signs of Apple changing. For better or worse only time can tell.
I agree with you. I really do see Apple support going down hill and more and more people that don't know anything about Mac's are now working for them.
 

rockthecasbah

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
2,395
2
Moorestown, NJ
caveman_uk said:
They do use Indian call centers. They've had them for a while, it's just us poor sods over here that have had to deal with them up 'til now. They are utterly useless and know less about Macs than I do about how to be a ballet dancer.

It is a happy day when you get through to the Irish tech support people.
'tis true, i have spoken to Indian people on multiple occasions, but they are the well trained ones at least :)
 

rosalindavenue

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
837
213
Virginia, USA
I've never had to call Apple (knock wood) but I had a DVD drive blow up in a Toshiba laptop once; I made 2 calls; the first guy was in India (but was fine; he spoke excellent English and he was running down the same checklist the guy in Austin would have been using); the second one was in Russia. Outsourcing is the way of the world; those guys in India and Russia were making great money for where they live and they were (apparently) high quality employees. If Apple is doing it, they are doing what they need to do to stay competitive.
 

asif786

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2004
1,027
0
London, UK.
caveman_uk said:
They do use Indian call centers. They've had them for a while, it's just us poor sods over here that have had to deal with them up 'til now. They are utterly useless and know less about Macs than I do about how to be a ballet dancer.

It is a happy day when you get through to the Irish tech support people.
Indeed..it seems us non-Americans get put through to them more.

I think the actual problem (aside from some of them being incompetent) is the fact that they have absolutely no authority. They aren't really allowed to do much except run through the checklists..

Personally I get very frustrated when I get asked the same question over and over. Even talking about it is getting me frustrated :rolleyes:
 

minimax

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2005
351
0
japasneezemonk said:
I don't mind who i talk to, as long as they can help me.

I have to agree with this. When I had problems with my iPod earphones I got transferred from the dutch center to the irish one (to my surprise, I had to switch to english quite unprepared). And there I was transferred again to someone with an indian accent. Could have been ireland again, but India seems more likely. I got proper assistence though. Although ending the conversation was a bit awkward.
 

Lertie32

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2005
47
0
CA
Cross culture issues

japasneezemonk said:
I don't mind who i talk to, as long as they can help me.
I agree... BUT the biggest problems is they can't speak English well. I've gotten Apple reps in Australia and India. When I get the India reps I can't understand what the hell they're saying because of very heavy accents (plus semi-broken grammar).

Tech support in the U.S. has been circling the drain more and more, so I guess the problems with finding skilled reps are universal. People HAVE to speak in English well before anything else.
 

florencevassy

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2004
204
0
Princeton, NJ
mduser63 said:
Although I've never gotten a call center in India when calling Apple, I think it's well known that they do have outsourced support staff there. I'm likely to just (politely) hang up and call back until I get someone here in the US (or Canada).

I like your idea of politely hanging up until I get someone in the US, I think that they might be more flexible about things.

I called Apple last week and I am pretty sure that I was speaking to someone in India. I wanted to see if they would waive the signature requirement for my UPS delivery of a $29 iPod Shuffle case since no one would be home for a few days. The answer was a resounding No.

Her English was pretty good, she just seemed to be speaking in a mechanical / formal kind of way.
 

revisionA

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2005
283
0
If jobs move overseas blame yourself first...

I was in IT support for a long time, and well, if the people in another country can be nice and follow procedure, thats all it takes.

Its a shame that the tech field is among the first to feel globalization (industry using cheap labor), but manufacturing is feeling it worse. Its affected the US so much already, less and less people are going into Computer Science, so it will spiral faster each year.

I am still IT centered, but I do design too.

$
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
485
A geographical oddity
I'm wondering how people are so sure that they are getting 'overseas' call centers (from where ever you are). My wife does tech support/developer liaison work - she's a sane, friendly Tom Smykowski - here in the DC area. If I was calling tech support, I would probably think I was calling India, China, or Mexico. I think she's one of a handful of 'Americans.'

I guess the authority level may be what tips you off, but dealing with JP Morgan Chase Manhattan Credit Cards, I got people in TX and BC who had no authority other than to say "I'm sorry, it will take 5-7 business days to resolve the problem."

I don't find it too difficult to understand different accents (courtesy of growing up military), but to repeat what has already been said, I think it comes down to the competence and creativity of the person you are speaking to. I've noticed that the only two places I know can go to get top of the line info are MR and one Genius at Tysons who I would trust my computing life to. I try to limit calls to Apple Care to only when I want to get an 'official Apple answer.'
 

jwkay

macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2004
101
12
Bergen, Norway
minimax said:
I have to agree with this. When I had problems with my iPod earphones I got transferred from the dutch center to the irish one (to my surprise, I had to switch to english quite unprepared). And there I was transferred again to someone with an indian accent. Could have been ireland again, but India seems more likely. I got proper assistence though. Although ending the conversation was a bit awkward.
When calling the Norwegian AppleCare number, I've had Swedish, Danish and Irish reps take the call. And the odd Norwegian now and again ;) Bit disconcerting never knowing which you're going to get - and understanding spoken Danish isn't my strongest point.
 

Bern

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2004
1,857
1
Australia
I think Australia gets sent to a call centre in India, every time I have called I get an Indian who then has to put me on hold to find out an answer to my question. But then most call centres here go out to India. It's cheaper than using the Australian workforce who want penalty rates, paid meal breaks, meal allowance, travel money, etc. Bring on the IR reforms I say.
 

asphalt-proof

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2003
584
0
Magrathea
The only time I have had to call was an iPod related issue and the nice gal that I spoke to said she was in Nova Scotia. I had a facinating conversation with her while she was trying tfigure out my dead iPod.
 

adk

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2005
1,937
21
Stuck in the middle with you
Most Indians I've gotten through to speak good enough english (very understandable) and they were following the same instructions people in the US do. I don't see what the fuss is about as long as they speak decent english.
 

steve_hill4

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2005
1,856
0
NG9, England
caveman_uk said:
They do use Indian call centers. They've had them for a while, it's just us poor sods over here that have had to deal with them up 'til now. They are utterly useless and know less about Macs than I do about how to be a ballet dancer.

It is a happy day when you get through to the Irish tech support people.
It annoys me when I hear people not wanting to speak to someone in Ireland, or saying that you will speak to someone in Ireland as if it's a bad thing, (this particularly offends me as someone who not only considers himself Irish, but whose family is from Cork, Apple's European base).

Generally, if you have iPod related problems in Europe, you speak to India. I find you are less likely if it is Mac or Service related. iPods are easy to deal with and the workers need little training, just ask the basics and if in doubt, take it back. It's just a shame that you can't get a decent response from these people, saying that, they are always polite and nice to talk to.
 

maestro55

macrumors 68030
Nov 13, 2005
2,711
0
Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
I have never delt with Apple support, but calling support for other companies (Dell and Time Warner.. maybe some others but not recently) I found that it is common to get foreign people (With the exception of Time Waner, which is local). I remember one time being on the phone with Dell, and while he put me on hold to transfer me, I fixed the problem.

I don't believe we should blame the Tech Support people, they are just getting hired to do their jobs. As for Apple, no reason to blame them either. They have to save money like every other company. I think as long as you can understand them, and they are helping you, no reason to complain. If they can't help you, BECAUSE you want higher level support, that is not their fault. Just request nicely to be transferred.

If I remember right, there are levels of tech support people, you start at the bottom and move up. Slow process as I hear.