New Bill Targets Outsourced Calls

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If there’s one thing that consumers hate more than dealing with customer service representatives on the phone, it’s having those calls outsourced to other countries. In the past, big companies like Delta (Stock Quote: DAL) have actually scrapped their overseas call centers just to appease customers. Now, a new bill is hoping to crack down on these outsourced calls.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced new legislation today that would tax companies 25 cents for any customer service call that is handled outside the country. The bill would also require companies to notify users when their calls are outsourced to operators outside the U.S. so the person on the other end of the phone would have to tell you where they are working.

Schumer argues this will not only provide a more transparent customer service experience for consumers, but will also reduce the incentive for businesses to ship jobs overseas.

“If we want to put a stop to the outsourcing of American jobs, than we need to provide incentives for American companies to keep American jobs here,” Schumer said in a press release. “This bill will not only serve to maintain call center jobs currently in the United States, but also provide a reason for companies that have already outsourced jobs to bring them back.”

Not surprisingly, some in the industry are already lashing out against the bill. TollFreeForwarding.com, a site that provides phone numbers to companies in dozens of countries, argues that this bill will only make it more difficult for companies to do business in America. “It will cost jobs while aiding the continued destruction of American wealth and influence. As an employer, it is prohibitively expensive to do business in this country, primarily because the talent pool is tiny due to our poor educational system. Even in a down economy, American technology companies have difficulty finding well-trained individuals who are prepared to work at the pace of international business,” the company said in a press release.

However, the Associated Press also points out that the majority of economists have been against similar plans in the past that impose “protectionist tariffs and trade barriers” to limit American businesses from outsourcing overseas.

There is no word yet on how many senators support the measure.

What do you think? Should American businesses be penalized for outsourcing, or will this backfire on us? Let us know in the comments!

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