When I first moved to Phoenix in the mid-90's, the place was swarming, and I mean SWARMING, with call centers. Someone find me a stat, but I'd bet call centers were 10% of the workforce and 30% of the new jobs.
Anyway, we know what happened next. The call centers closed down, the jobs got sent to India, and the call center jockeys got jobs as realtors, mortgage brokers and appraisers, and the housing bubble saved the day. For a few days.
Well, now that the jobs are gone and the bubble has blown, guess what the call centers in India are doing now?
They're acting as collection agents, calling screwed and jobless debtors in Phoenix (and all over the United States) asking people to pay their credit cards, auto loans and mortgages.
"Sorry. Can't do that, Charanjit. You see, our jobs got outsourced to India, and then the REIC jobs we stumbled into blew up in spectacular fashion, and there's nothing left to replace 'em. Except maybe Burger King, or Wal-Mart."
Well, maybe the Indian call centers can offer unemployed Americans a job in India - assuming they'll work for $2 a day and sleep on the floor too.
Debt collection done from India appeals to U.S. agencies
GURGAON, India: In a glass tower on the outskirts of Delhi, dozens of young Indians are on the telephone, calling America's out of work, forgetful and debt-stricken and asking for cash.
"Are you sure that's all you can afford?" one operator in a row of cubicles asks politely. "Well, how do you take care of your everyday expenses?" presses another.
Americans are used to receiving calls from India for insurance claims and credit card sales. But debt collection represents a growing business for outsourcing companies, especially as the American economy slows and its consumers struggle to pay for their purchases.