Alamo and National lose a rental customer.
I’m going to Austin, TX in April to attend an Apple Computer event. I had to do the usual things to arrange a trip like that: airline reservations, hotel reservations, car rental reservations. I did the airline stuff on the Web — it really is easier. I did the hotel reservations by phone, calling two of the three hotels close to where I had to go. And then I did the car rental reservations by calling toll-free phone numbers.
Hertz and Avis phones were answered by folks who were obviously American based in US cities. I only had to make my request once. English is their primary language and they had no trouble understanding me. I got rates from each — Avis was $22 cheaper.
But that wasn’t enough. I also called Alamo and National. And in both cases, I was connected to someone at a noisy desk in India.
Regular readers of this blog know how I feel about outsourcing US jobs for US companies serving US citizens to foreign countries. When I make a reservation with a US company for service in the US, I fully expect the entire transaction to be conducted in this country.
Yet Alamo and National, in their attempt to save a few bucks an hour on employee costs, are willing to sacrifice good customer service. Both representatives had heavy Indian accents that were difficult to understand and, in both conversations, I had to repeat my requests several times. I told both of them that I didn’t do business with companies that outsource customer service labor and hung up on them.
Months ago, I cancelled all of my AT&T service and sold all of my AT&T stock because the company had turned over customer service to representatives in India. I’ve also cancelled several credit cards when I learned that customer service was handled overseas. I’ve stopped doing business with companies I know are outsourcing.
There’s something wrong with outsourcing US jobs to overseas employees. Every time a US citizen loses his or her job to someone in another country, the US economy gets a little weaker. There’s one less person with an income, one less person able to buy goods and services. When that person has to take a lower paying job — like as a checkout person in a Wal-Mart — the weakness remains despite the replacement job.
Am I alone in feeling this way? Are American companies so greedy that they’re willing to lose potential customers — not just people like me with principles but the people they’re leaving on unemployment lines? When is it going to stop? I’d rather pay more for goods or services to know that in doing so I’m keeping other Americans employed.
Do your part. Stand up for what you think is right. And just say no to outsourcing US jobs overseas.
Now don’t get me started on goods made in China.