A bill seeking call centre employees based in countries like India and Mexico to disclose their location and giving customers the right to transfer their calls to a service agent in the US has come up in the Congress for consideration.
Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, has introduced the legislation — the US Call Center Workers and Consumer protection Act — which, he said, would give preference in federal contracts to companies that have not relocated call centre jobs overseas.
The bill requires US companies to identify the location of a call centre and allow the customer to be transferred to a call centre in the US, if asked.
It also requires companies to notify the Department of Labor before they relocate call centres.
“Most Americans want to support American jobs by buying American whenever they can and that includes the customer service they get from call centres,” Brown said, adding that call centre jobs, are the most vulnerable to offshoring.
The Communications Workers of America reports that about 500,000 of the call centre jobs have been outsourced to foreign countries, most notably to India and the Philippines. American companies are also opening call centres in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and China.
The threat is very real and needs bipartisan support, said Brown. “Too many companies have packed up their call centers in Ohio and across the country, and moved to India or Mexico.”
The Union has cited security concerns for American Consumers, saying safeguards do not exist in overseas locations for dealing with personal information.