Indian Call Center Agents Routinely Face Racial Abuse: Study

A new study has revealed that Indian call center agents often become victims of racial abuse from US clients, with some callers labeling them ‘job thieves’.

Indian call center agents

A new study has revealed that Indian call center agents often become victims of racial abuse from US clients, with some callers labeling them ‘job thieves’.

The report, prepared by Sweta Ranjan-Rankin from the University of Kent, United Kingdom, has cited the trauma of an unnamed female call center agent who goes to the bathroom to dry her eyes every time she hangs up the phone.

“It is a post-recession reality. Western clients are extremely cagey. If they think you are an Indian, their biggest fear is you are stealing their job and that everything is being outsourced,” says Rajan-Rankin, according to Indian newswire Press Trust of India (PTI).

She claims to have prepared the report on the basis of interviews conducted between 2010 and 2012 with agents at two global outsourcing firms operating call centers in India. Most of the employees she interviewed told at least a few tales of verbal abuse they suffered while on calls.

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“With Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump in America, recession, and the pulling back of services, you might see much more customer abuse, much more racial abuse,” she warned.

The western companies are also partly responsible for what is happening, the report says, because they hide the fact that their customer care service is outsourced to India.

Even call center agents are told not to reveal that they are working out of India. “As a result, they get enormous amounts of abuse, which is often racial in nature,” she added.

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