Frontier Airlines’ Call Centers Speak American

Frontier Airlines won’t route your call thousands of miles farther than they fly, like sending the call to the Phillippines when you’re trying to buy a ticket from Denver to Albuquerque. Among airlines, they’re an exception, as more and more companies are closing U.S.-based call centers.

Cost is the obvious motivation for sending a call center abroad:

    Average pay for U.S. call-center workers is $10 to $12 an hour; at outsourced call centers, employer costs can be 10 percent to 20 percent lower, Butler said. Frontier reservations agents start at close to $9 an hour; more- senior employees make more.

Frontier and others are realizing that these international call centers may be penny-wise, pound-foolish. Customer satisfaction with outsourced customer service, especially to offshore locations, runs low. Some corporations, like Dell, American Express, and US Airways, have backpedaled, bringing some calls back to the United States after consumers complained enough.

If you piss off your customers with phone reps who don’t understand the rules or the product (a problem with any outsourced call center, regardless of nationality) what good are the cost savings?

Agents Along for the Ride [Denver Post] (Thanks, Brandon!)

Comments

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  1. Chris Gibson says:

    Well, I was thinking about the decisions to outsource customer service to offshore facilities, and I swear to God, by absolute coincidence, just after reading this article, I saw this in Dictionary.com’s “Word of the Day” (talk about eerie…and RIGHT):

         improvident: lacking foresight; negligent; thoughtless

    There you go, DellUSAirAmericanExpress – it’s like a giant magic eightball, trying to get a message through your thick corporate skulls!

  2. Is there a list of what companies keep their call centers located?

  3. snark says:

    Personally, I rather love it when I get to speak to a lovely, well-educated person in India. Much better than speaking to a hideously underpaid, uneducated native with a chip on their shoulder.

  4. Law-Vol says:

    Bravo for the move, but it’s still an LCC. I’d much rather they spent the extra dough an extra inch of seat pitch for every row.

  5. kerry says:

    snark:
    It *is* nice when you get to speak to a lovely, well-educated person in India, I’ve had it happen a few times. More often than not, though, I get a poor connection to a burnt-out, angry person in India who knows less about the product in question than I do and has no real desire to help me solve my problem.

  6. I don’t know. I speak to many call centers in India. They are very polite, but they aren’t really helpful. Maybe less so, and the ownership of problems isn’t there.

  7. I had a horrible encounter with the call center for Sallie Mae in India. I found later I wasn’t alone.

    http://bonjourpeewee.blogspot.com/2006/07/sallie-mae-outso