April 26, 2008

Call centers in India now calling down-on-their-luck American debtors


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.

49 comments:

hurin said...

This is Karma

Anonymous said...

If you know of any home-debtors (et alia) who are experiencing this situation, just suggest that they politely say, "I cannot converse with you or I will lose caste. I know you'll understand." ... and then hang up.

Anonymous said...

So Phoenix bet their economy on call centers and then real estate?

Brilliant!

The Housing Bubble Ate My Balls! said...

hurin has it dead on I think.

Karma....

Agent 99 said...

Really? Indian collection agents? It'll never work. If they call, politely say, "I can't understand a word you're saying."

Anonymous said...

Tell them you'll pay them with hamburgers and roast beef, but only if they start using deodorant.

Anonymous said...

America needs to take those jobs away from Indians. All they do with their money is finance Jihad against America and it's Western allies. Are American corporations that stupid. Further, they use this money to finance terrorism.

Anonymous said...

When you get called by an Indian just tell them "I don't speak curry" and then hang up.

-Knight rider

Anonymous said...

If Americans lived their lives to the standard of living that the Indians do, then they could get themselves out of debt real quick.

Big Cheese said...

Well the Indians are onto their own massive housing bubble as they speak so they should practice for their domestic market.

But this is ironic, sad, funny and karmic all rolled together. Like HP Granola or something.

-BC

Anonymous said...

Nothing to Fear
But Fear Itself

Yeah. Nothing to fear.

That's why Bernake cut rates the fastest in history, and brought out several fed moves that haven't been used since the 30's.
That's why the FED has half its balance sheet on loan.
That's why the fifth largest securities firm in the US was sold for less than the value of their office building.


Because there is nothing to fear.


And inflation is contained.
And we have a strong dollar policy.
And there's a big 2nd half rebound coming.
And buy and hold.
And there's no place like home.

Buddah Cow Shakster said...

Mr William,I must aquire yodr Checking account numbah in ordoor do proceeed.I promise I will not tell the credit agencies if you pay now.
If anyone gives their account info out over the phone to a caller god help you.
I would say to the HINDU f@kker on the other end,"Send me $100,000 right now or the COW gets it!"
Oh NO no no ,Mr William pleeeze do not hurt the Buddah COW!We will have the 100,000 US dollars sent soon.
It better be here before I finish this 3x3 from In-n-Out!

DOPES said...

ACTIVATE THE JINGLE MAIL!

SEND THEM KEYS BACK!

SCREW YOU ANGELO!

EFF YOU WAMU!

SUCK IT WELLS FARGO!

BEND OVER BANK OF AMERICA!

DOPES!!!

wings said...

Can you imagine this:

You're a working man trying to feed your family working two call-center jobs.

Your jobs move to India and you fall behind as you struggle to feed your family because the Indians got your job.

Then the Indians that took your call-center job are now calling you up and shaking you down!

Well, for the evil American collectors that shook other Americans down, it's ironic and poetic justice.

For those good phone operators that lost their jobs to cheap Indian labor, it's pure evil.

Do you people realize how wicked and sick this is?

What the politicians need is the shock of one of their jobs being outsourced to India, then you'll see them screaming bloody murder and foul!

Can you say c-vil w-r soon in this country?

Wars have been fough over less...

As you all may have guess by now, I think it's been decided to dissolve the American middle class.

Anonymous said...

I don't think "jingle mail" is as easy as it sounds. I'm hearing they can lien up your cars, garnish wages, etc..... it can't be that wsy to walk away without recourse.

Bitterrenter said...

All of you out there who voted republican even once are to blame for the mess we're in. Starting with Reagan, the conservatives systematically dismantled this culture and geared everything towards helping the most dishonest, the most callous, the most greedy of the top 10% gain more control of your lives.

I predicted this back in the early 80s. I knew the damage would start with the blue collar and move its way up. It did. Those blue collar assholes are now folding clothes next to their wives at WalMart for $5.15 an hour but they'll STILL probably vote republican rather than for Obama. Good. When they've lost all hope and are living in tents maybe they'll get a clue. Until then, FUCK EM.

America is getting just what it deserves for its misguided love affair with conservatism.

Anonymous said...

wings said...

Can you imagine this:

You're a working man trying to feed your family working two call-center jobs.

Your jobs move to India and you fall behind as you struggle to feed your family because the Indians got your job.

Then the Indians that took your call-center job are now calling you up and shaking you down!

For those good phone operators that lost their jobs to cheap Indian labor, it's pure evil.

Do you people realize how wicked and sick this is?

I had 5 different jobs outsourced over 7 years to Bangalore. I have a degree in IT. The reasons given for the move to Bangalore were cost cost cost. We were all doing our jobs.

As our dept was technically "downsized" we qualified for unemployment benefits. When we called the number given to us we were speaking with Indians in Bangalore, who determined our qualification for unemployment.

Imagine begging the people that took your job for a pittance in benefits to feed your family.

The State of New Jersey has hired out their Dept of Workforce Services to India.

Personally, I can't wait for the day that America finally opens its eyes to see a vast wasteland of nothing.

As hurin said...This is Karma.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

America needs to take those jobs away from Indians. All they do with their money is finance Jihad against America and it's Western allies. Are American corporations that stupid. Further, they use this money to finance terrorism.

April 26, 2008 2:49 PM

You are one those people who opines about any subject matter without doing any basic research to back up your premises. India is 85% Hindu and NOT a Islamic nation. India is a democratic nation (ever since their independence in 1947 mind you)and Indians (except for a small faction of radical Muslims) do not sponsor terrorism you idiot. Go do some basic research and have some facts ready before you post generalizations.

ROM said...

Have any of you even spoken to an Indian on a call center line? From my experience they're just a polite as the nicest American. Obviously it works based on the article. Just because you assume that there is no way they could communicate properly doesn't invalidate the numbers. It just exposes your ignorance and xenophobia.

Arizona Jake said...

The best way to get even with them is to begin talking in a very thick accent that makes it inpossible for them to understand. After a couple of phone calls they will mark your account as unable to communicate and stop calling.

Jill said...

This is going to backfire. No red-blooded fast-spending American is going to give money to foreign collections agents.

Rather than being able to guilt or pressure debtors into paying up, these Indian call centers are going to unintentionally give people another excuse to not pay their bills. Debtors will actually brag about telling off Indian collection agents; we'll hear them in bars on Friday night saying, "...and then I told Raj to go f-himself!"

The most effective collections effort I've ever seen was a smalltown bank president who used to drive past debtors homes on Sunday as they mowed their lawns, then pull his car over and ask for a check on the spot. EVERYONE paid that guy (this was a long time ago, of course). The point is effective collections efforts need a personal touch that makes debtors feel guilty if they don't pay up as much as they possibly can. No one will feel guilty about refusing to pay Raj in Bangalore.

I am fiscally conservative with a 790 - 810 credit score and have never had a late payment credit...and I wouldn't pay Raj in Bangalore, either!

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me how many people here are blaming the Indians. Remind me again. Who's hiring the Indians to do this job?

Is it Osama bin Laden? No?

The Freemasons? No?

Some evil Nazi cabal remnant? No? Well, I'm confused. It doesn't seem to me that the Indians TOOK your job, it seems to me that someone gave it to them. Well, I think we should figure out what nationality they belong to, and go bomb the **** out of them.

Charlie In LA said...

I would recomend never to talk to them. If it were me to get a call from a collector in India (or anywhere else), I would politly say "Anything requiring my attention should be directed to me through the US mail as I require a written record for any business related matter, and request no further phone calls be made to me" and hang up. I would not give or volunteer any address or personal information.
This totally elimnates any cost effectiveness that could be generated by them. No one is obiligated to talk to strangers, especially in India. If no one talks to them, they can not generate revenue. The US mail issue would need to be handled by workers in the US. If they can not generate revenue, sooner or later they will end the collectors jobs in India. Anyway , my understanding is collectors can do 1 of 2 things, call you or sue you. I belieive the credit laws allow consumers to formally request no phone calls from a collector. This forces them to sue you or leave you alone. If they don't sue, one may be able to get out of some debts by statutes of limitations . If they sue, can they actually get money from someone who has none. Check your state's collections laws as well as federal law. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

"Have any of you even spoken to an Indian on a call center line? From my experience they're just a polite as the nicest American. Obviously it works based on the article. Just because you assume that there is no way they could communicate properly doesn't invalidate the numbers. It just exposes your ignorance and xenophobia."

You sure missed the point, you dumb shit! No wonder the Democrats cannot come up with better candidates. Now they believe that anyone who opposes jobs being moved offshore is a xenophobe.

Anonymous said...

You're a working man trying to feed your family working two call-center jobs.

Your jobs move to India and you fall behind as you struggle to feed your family because the Indians got your job.

Then the Indians that took your call-center job are now calling you up and shaking you down!

Well, for the evil American collectors that shook other Americans down, it's ironic and poetic justice.

For those good phone operators that lost their jobs to cheap Indian labor, it's pure evil.


But according to Rom, you are a xenophobe. One of the reasons this still goes on is that there are too many left-wong nuts like Rom who promote the same free-market policies as their right-wing opponents, albeit for different reasons.

Do you people realize how wicked and sick this is?

What the politicians need is the shock of one of their jobs being outsourced to India, then you'll see them screaming bloody murder and foul!


Since that will not happen, the only thing that will make them learn would be if people dragged them out of their offices and beat the crap out of them and displayed on the internet for the world to see.

Reality said...

Bitterrenter,

You are an idiot for blaming the Republicans alone. The housing bubble (and the stock bubble before itis the result of banking shenanigans. We are in such a mess because of the fiat money banking system. Guess which party is the party of the bankers? Yup, the Democrats, ever since the days of Woodrow Wilson and FDR! Which party do you think the big shot bankers, such as Bob Rubin, Sandy Weill, Schumer, Corzine, etc. etc., root for? Yup, Democrats. Ever wonder why the big banking states, such as New York, NJ and CT keep electing Democrats? Big government programs are just excuses to make the nation more endebted to the bankers.

dude's orange said...

I could picture Lawrence Yun taking over one of these call center operations as his next gig...

dopes!

Anonymous said...

Indians (except for a small faction of radical Muslims)

Just 10% of Indians being Muslims means there are 110 million Muslims in India. That would be the third highest population of Muslims in the world. There are plenty of jihadist Muslims in India, as they have been killing Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Christians for for 1,000 years.

James said...

Thank you, Mr. Bush

chan said...

its as simple as people paying for their deeds. nothing personal. every dog has its day. its time for china and india.

The Funeral follows shortly. Got Rice? said...

"Have any of you even spoken to an Indian on a call center line? From my experience they're just a polite as the nicest American."

That is terrifying and a great insult to Indian people.

Nicest American?

Americans are too stupid, inarticulate and lazy to be effective in such occupations.

Americans are great and lead the world at shopping, eating/becoming morbidly obese, raising multiple inbecile semi-retarded children and selling each other shit they cannot afford with money they will never have, oh, and making such produtive things like iPhones and web sites and our 'honest' media seemingly controlled by about 7 people...

American doesn't need steel, or coal, or automobiles or trucks and buses or railroads or timber and logging or textiles or garment production or a defense industry or airplane manufacturing or food production OR DEBT CoLLECTION CALL CENTERS....

All America needs is McDonalds, McMansions far into the suburbs, gas guzziling trucks and SUV, a shit infrastructure with worn-out roads and collapsing bridges, hetto inner cities, cheap never-ending credit and massive government bailouts paid for by the 77 Americans still employed (for now)... and a country run by crooks, thieves and liars, like the current and next executive branch.

America also needs intellectual giants and honest politicians like the entire Bushco and their extended saudi oil Families, retarded and illeterate judas-goat son George W.Bush, Honest shotgun Dick "Halliburton" Cheney, Orangello Mozilo, Greedspan, and my personal favorites, the most Rev. Jesse HiJackson and Al Tawana Sharpton.

No Wonder America is Dead.

The funeral follows shortly...

Knight Rider said...

Leave the Indians alone and don't shoot the messenger. I am of Indian descent but born in the US and I find the Indian work ethic quite refreshing. If you want to take advantage of this start up your own business using Indian labor.

America is full of opportunities. Think people think! However you can't do the same low skill job like working as a call center rep and assume you will have employment for life. Upskill yourself... this is what the gov't should be helping with.

-KR

Anonymous said...

the funeral follows shortly. got rice? said...

blah blah blah blah blah blah........and I'll bet you are yet another Indian that lives in America but does nothing but talk about how terrible it is. Go back to your filthy country if it's so great there.

DirkDiggler

corvinus said...

I bet Andrew Hac would have had something to say about this, but he seems to have vanished.

Bitterrenter said...

Republicans never met a regulation they LIKED. They were in charge when the restraints were removed, they backed deregulation, they favored removing the tax consequence of flipping, etc etc etc

Conservatism is a disease of the soul. Personally I hope they get control back and run this piece of shit culture off the cliff. When you're all living in slums watching the wealthy eat your lunch, maybe you'll wake up.

Rom said...

You sure missed the point, you dumb shit! No wonder the Democrats cannot come up with better candidates. Now they believe that anyone who opposes jobs being moved offshore is a xenophobe.

--You missed the point you silly anon. Many of the posters were assuming that Indians can't do this job. Obviously they can. Hell, they speak better English than most of the people on reality TV. Oppose offshoring all you like but don't make the false assumption that the Indians can't do the job and don't mistake them for terrorists and leave the racist comments for when your in bed with your wife.

Oh, you didn't say any of those things? Sorry, how was I to know. I can't tell the good anons from the bad anons.

che is dead, get over it said...

36 comments about a story tied in to Phoenix, and nothing by Frank or Andrew Hac? Two by bitterrenter?

This has to be the suckiest thread of all time on Housing Panic.

Anonymous said...

"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."


this is the part where, as smart as you are, you suddenly seem very stupid. it's your missing link.

what's it like to live in a country where a MIDDLE CLASS LIFESTYLE costs a fraction of what it does in the U.S.?

Honestly, I've left TIPS in Chinese restaurants (bejing, shanghai) where waitresses broke down in tears and called their families out in the country.

You've got to stop talking about India as a place that sounds insurmountable on just a fraction of what U.S. workers make and, instead, take into account local cost of living and exchange rates.

cheerio, from another part of the world...

emmy said...

personally,if debt collectors are calling, I would say you can't afford that phone line.
It is miserable to continue to outsource, and it is dragging this country down. Buy American food, goods, and do business with ameican companies.

PAY'NRUPEES said...

IF you are going to walk away from your debts, at least cancel your phone and get a cheap pay as you go cell phone. Only this who you want to hear from get the number. Why is having a land line such a big deal.

Go off the grid as far as having a stable land based telephone number and the collections thugs are way too lazy to bother you.

If you must keep your old number, get a screening service that will only accept your list of numbers, and if a collection agent from anywhere calls, they get a "your number has not been authorized" recorded message and you can program the system to hang up on them or require them to enter their call back number using their key pad. Its works well to prevent them from intruding into your life.

Anonymous said...

personally,if debt collectors are calling, I would say you can't afford that phone line.


How can potential employers contact you about jobs?

Anonymous said...

If there is one country that will be the redeemer for human kind, it is India.

The fact that it remains one united nation after 60 years of independence even though its diversity is unparalleled in the world is a proud badge that Indians wear.

India's main problems seem to be a lack of money and focus on infrastructure development in the transportation, health and education sectors. Festering corruption in India can be attributed to systemic inefficiencies and lack of faith in Government taking care of people's needs. Indeed, if you can survive and thrive in India, living anywhere else on the planet is a cakewalk.

Average Indian are among the most contented, simple and helpful people that I have encountered. There is a willful intention of people to come to the aid of a person in distress without putting in too many pre-conditions. People see and respond positively based on their assessment of the situation.

India is the nation that is on the right track to lead the world. Despite being at the receiving of terrorism from Pakistan, they have steadfastly resisted using the most ethical means possible.

There is a small percentage of rabid hindu fundamentalists, but they are of not threat to India's diverse society. Other than that, India is the preferred place of choice for 800M hindus, 150M Muslims and 50M Christians. Christians and Muslims have EXCELLENT relations in India and serve as an example for the West on how to build bridges with the Islamic world.

Hindu thought and culture can only positively influence the west. Some of the good things that the west could learn from India is contentment, vegetarianism,ethical treatment of minorities, etc.

Rev. Al Sharpton-American said...

Sharpton vows to 'close this city' after officer acquittals

By VERENA DOBNIK Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 04/27/2008 01:56:19 AM PDT


NEW YORK—Hundreds of angry people marched through Harlem on Saturday after the Rev. Al Sharpton promised to "close this city down" to protest the acquittals of three police detectives in the 50-shot barrage that killed a groom on his wedding day and wounded two friends.
"We strategically know how to stop the city so people stand still and realize that you do not have the right to shoot down unarmed, innocent civilians," Sharpton told an overflow crowd of several hundred people at his National Action Network office in the historically black Manhattan neighborhood. "This city is going to deal with the blood of Sean Bell."

Sharpton was joined by the family of 23-year-old Sean Bell—a black man—and a friend of Bell who was wounded in the 2006 shooting outside a Queens strip club. Two of the three officers charged were also black.

The rally at Sharpton's office was followed by a 20-block march down Malcolm X Boulevard and then across 125th Street, Harlem's main business thoroughfare, where some bystanders yelled out "Kill the police!"

Fifty of the marchers carried white placards bearing big black numbers for each of the police bullets fired at Bell and his friends.

Sharpton urged people to return for a meeting this coming week "to plan the day that we will close this city down" with the kind of "massive civil disobedience" once led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

"They never accused Sean Bell of doing anything. Then why is he
dead?" Sharpton asked, his voice roaring with anger. Authorities "have shown now that they will not hold police accountable. Well, guess what? If you won't, we will!"
"Shut it down! Shut it down!" the crowd chanted, standing up and applauding wildly.

Sharpton didn't say exactly how they would protest the acquittals of the officers who fired the 50 shots. He said Bell's supporters could demonstrate all over the city, from Wall Street to the home of Justice Arthur Cooperman, who on Friday acquitted the three detectives after a nonjury trial.

Sitting behind Sharpton as he spoke were Bell's parents, his sister and Nicole Paultre Bell, who took her fiance's name after his death.

"The justice system let me down," Paultre Bell told the crowd in a soft voice. "April 25, 2008: They killed Sean all over again. That's what it felt like to us."

It was her first public comment since she stormed out of a courtroom Friday after the NYPD detectives were cleared in Bell's killing as he left his bachelor party.

One of Bell's companions, Joseph Guzman, also spoke briefly on Saturday, saying: "We've got a long fight."

Anonymous said...

Just get a GrandCentral number to screen your calls:

www.grandcentral.com

wings said...

Anonymous said:

America needs to take those jobs away from Indians. All they do with their money is finance Jihad against America and it's Western allies.
_____

Ha, ha!

India is Hindu.

Nice to see we've still got some fired up White Trash in here.

Really, I'll take the honest, White Trash Americano over someone overseas.

Stand up for the common man biatches, before there's nothing left.

At least dude has the sense to know that SOMEONE overseas is bending the American worker over.

Anonymous said...

Over the last five years ANYTIME I get a call from a person with an Indian accent trying to sell me something, I calmly tell them that if their company wants an American to buy their product and use American dollars to pay for it, then they darn well better hire an American to make the sale. Then I hang up. If enough of us did the, the jobs would come home to the U.S.

Anonymous said...

Reality -

Do you honestly think that the debacles of the last 8 years, six of which enjoyed Republican majorities in Congress, can be laid at the feet of the Democrats?

Let’s just recount for a moment what’s gone missing during Dubya’s benighted reign:

4 airplanes
2 towers
3000 American citizens
4000 American soldiers
2 million Iraqis
Bin Laden
Al Zawahiri
WMD
An historic Southern city
An 85 year old investment brokerage
A third of the value of a dollar
Gas at $1.47/gallon
Crude at $24.95
The homes of half a million American families
3.2 million jobs
Integrity, competence and personal accountability among our public servants
And, oh yeah, the economy of the richest nation in history.

Shabba said...

I've never understood the liberals who blame George Bush for everything. To say that Bush was responsible for Katrina, Bear Stearns terrible business practices and the excess consumerism and materialism that caused the real estate bubble is just idiotic.

These type of arguments just show how dumb you have to be to buy into the whole liberal philosophy of how the world works. It's just idiotic, I don't know why I even waste my time replying to this garbage.

Anonymous said...

yep, isn't that special? dotheads calling here about overdue bills with all that personal info at their disposal. can you say identity theft? i knew you could....