[LINK] Mumbai Jumbo

Ann Moffatt annm@exocat.com.au
Mon, 17 Feb 2003 23:06:44 +1000


the off shore call centres actually give their employees names appropriate
to the country they are servicing. also staff read the daily papers of that
country so they can converse with callers as if they are in country. i have
a friend who is a top manager at amex.

we had similar discussions when hand written info was going out of australia
to be punched on cards. often v sensitive info. it was supposed to be
covered by the 'cross border data flows' legislation but i don't know if
that is still in force or still relevant. those discussions were late 70s.

i have recently read that handwritten doctor's notes (from the usa, i think)
are sent to india to be word processed & text sent back by em.

peace & love

Ann Moffatt
EXoCaT Pty Ltd
49 Raintree Avenue
tel +61 (0) 7 4129 5796
fax +61 (0) 7 4129 5916
----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell Ashdown" <russell@ashdown.net.au>
To: <link@www.anu.edu.au>
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 10:45 PM
Subject: [LINK] Mumbai Jumbo

> I had reason to telephone Amex today.  I called the 1800 number,
> and after navigating the auto-attendant, I ended up in an area I had
> not meant to go to.  My call was answered by a chap with an accent
> I identified as Indian (Southern Asian, not North American).  I
> thought nothing of it, and asked to be put through to the area I had
> meant to get to.
> The call was answered by a female with an accent very similar to
> the first individual.  She was not able to help with my enquiry, and
> put me on hold while she summoned her supervisor.  Lo, and
> behold, the supervisor also spoke with the same accent.  My
> curiosity was aroused.  I asked her where she was, and she replied
> "In Sydney."  I said: "Where in Sydney?" and she said "Level 16,
> 388 George Street, 2000, Sydney."  "Hmmm..." I thought, "2000,
> Sydney, eh?"  I had a sneaking suspicion there was "something
> crook in Tallarook!"
> I asked her what the weather was like in Sydney, and she replied it
> was fine.  That wasn't going to flush her out...  "It must be terrible to
> be stuck in an office all day,  It's beautiful here in Brisbane, I just
> went for a short drive in the Dandenong Ranges and came back
> along the Swan River.  It was very relaxing."  "Yes," she replied.  "I
> have been meaning to go to Brisbane." Snap!
> "Now, just where exactly are you specifically?"  I said. "Our main call
> centre is in Sydney." she said. "That may be so I replied, but just
> where, exactly are you right now?"  "I'm in the call centre." she said.
> I told her I didn't believe that she was in Sydney, much less even in
> Australia.  I told her I thought she was in India.  She denied it.
> Well, as it turned out, I didn't have all the paperwork I needed to
> complete the transaction, so she gave me her name and extension
> number to call her back.  This I did about ten minutes later.
> This time, someone else answered and I opened with: "Hello, I'm
> calling from Australia to speak with ......... Can you put me through
> please?  Oh, by the way, how's the weather where you are in
> India?"  "Oh, it's a lovely day and about 30 degrees. How is the
> weather where you are in Australia?"
> Well, I was put through to the person I wanted to speak to and
> provided the information.  I then asked her why she had lied about
> her location.  She protested she was in Sydney, but I told her that
> "the jig was up".  "I know you are in Mumbai," I said "Why did you lie
> about it?"
> She explained that it was company policy to not disclose the
> whereabouts of the call centre, and when I pressed her as to who
> framed this policy, she said it was from Sydney, and she named an
> individual who she said is based in Sydney and who conducted
> training courses in Mumbai.
> Now, I am not naive, I understand this sort of jiggery pokery goes
> on, but I was shocked at the blatant fashion of the denial.
> What I would like to ask Linkers is this:  Is it acceptable to have the
> private credit card accounts of Australian residents available online
> in a foreign country to be scrutinised by nationals of that country and
> outside of the laws of this country?
> Further, what of the ethics of companies such as Amex if they are
> instructing their foreign employees to lie to their Australian
> customers about their whereabouts?
> And finally, what protections that would normally be available to
> Australian citizens with regard to privacy, credit and other legal
> considerations would be circumvented where the database is wholly
> or partially located offshore?
> Russell Ashdown
> (Now tell me that this post is off topic!)
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