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Apple nixes off-shore support in India

updated 12:30 am EDT, Sun June 4, 2006

Apple pulls out of India

Apple has canceled its plans for its offshore tech support in India, but the company was not forthcoming about its reason for the pull out. The Times of India reports that Apple has laid off all 30 employees it had hired for its subsidiary, Apple Services India Pvt Ltd. in April of this year The company told workers in a meeting on May 29 that "the company is revaluating its operations and has thought of pulling back its Indian operations," according to the report. Apple, which said it was giving the employees a severance package of two months salary, told the Times that it has "decided to put its planned support centre growth in other countries."

The company, however, will continue to operate its sales and marketing arm in Bangalore which employs 25 people. The specific reasons for the pullout were unkwnon, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs had delayed his trip to the region, after reports indicated that Apple had planned a two-phase 300,000 square-foot tech support center with as many as 1,500 workers by the end of this year and a total of 3,000 employees by the end of 2007 in the new Bangalore facility.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Ishan Bhattacharya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Offshore tech support

    Apple was being unfavorably compared to Dell as well as other vendors (both of computers and other products and services) for using offshore tech support for their "elite" products. Whether this was fair or not is really irrelevant. Perception is everything in marketing and xenophobia exists at all education and income levels in society. Apple will still use the talent pool in India to its advantage. It just does not want "guilt by association" with other computer hardware distributors (as well as banks and other retail establishments) to undermine the image of Apple products as a "cut above" what's available from Best Buy, CompUSA and the like.

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Thank God

    I have used Indian customer support from everything ranging from ordering a Pizza Company (Vocelli's Pizza, Pittsburgh), to Dell.

    In all cases, its a s*** poor experience. Customer support should be nation-specific. Although we would like to believe that the world is a small place, there are too many cultural differences to be putting the most important people, customer support, in other countries.

  1. spyinthesky1

    Joined:

    0

    Call centres

    Well my experience of Indian call centres is appalling so I feel this move is a positive one. Tech centres as such are generally less of a problem I think.

  1. smitch

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Agreed

    There seems to be a cultural language barrier to connecting with tech support outside the country of origin. I have expectations in my country because of past experience. My support calls (for ANYTHING tech or non-tech) which end up in India have always required talking to two sometimes three people, often the last of which is someon here in my home country. Its not bigotry that is the issue since the folks I'm talking to probably do have answers I need and I'm not in any way against those in India. It is mostly the language. Understanding American English with its nuances seems to always gives Indian tech support problems. I find I spend as much time helping them comprehend the English of my problem as I do understanding their response. My knee-jerk reaction when I am talking to tech support now, is 'where are you physically located' which tells me immediately whether I'm likely to resolve my issue or not. I often just ask to speak to a supervisor and then I get transferred to someone back in the states.

  1. chotty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ireland

    I have gotten Ireland a couple times when calling Apple support and it was FANTASTIC. Much nicer than their US counterparts and always ON THE BALL! No wonder Ireland has become the "Celtic Tiger" of EU economics and tech.

  1. goatman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    no thanks

    The biggest thing that drives me crazy about Indian call centers is that at the end of the call, they do the corporate "thank you" over and over. I actually raised my voice to someone recently saying, "Please stop thanking me!"

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Mr Steve...

    My experiences with offshore tech supporthave been disappointing as well. Cultural issues aside, understanding, language & poor quality VoIP connections have been extremely frustrating... Treading carefully would be wise...

    Besides, I thought Apple products didn't need support ? Do they ? :)

  1. dlindsay17

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    good!!

    thanks for listening, Apple!

  1. milhouse

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    good move

    I had terrible experiences with Dell's India support center (picked up a monitor). It took multiple and repeated calls to resolve a simple issue. because of this, I would look elsewhere in the future before buying a commodity item from Dell. My GF's bank even has their support center in India. She found out when trying to resolve a credit card issue. She refused to give her personal account and ID info to someone in another country and uses a card from another issuer. Not only is the language thing an issue, but security of personal/financial information as well.

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ummm...

    I am surprised that a sence of bigotry remains when someone says that the language is a barrier. While not being a bigot myself, I myself work with a firm developing software for US and supporting multiple sites, our customers are happy the way we handle all issues. You would be surprised the way we propose solutions right from high end Rational support to Mac OS X porting. I have been personally involved to the extent the cutomer refers to me issues concerning cross-platform development to Macintosh specific issues. I support them from automation using AppleScipt, Perl, ANT or RealBasic to C programming. Please get over the feeling that technically we are not sound and believe me I chat with many on iChat from home and they welcome that my English is clear and we communicate easily. I have used and also helped many solve pertinent issues many a time and for free. :) But then life is like that. I may be the lone wolf but I am more of a Fat Tyre drinker at the AZ bar on Southern in Mesa. :)

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