A new poll conducted by the Communications Workers of America found that 78 percent of respondents from the general public view overseas call centers in a negative light, and that more work should be done to increase U.S. call center staffing numbers. The largest gripes noted by the survey included aggravation when transferred to a foreign call operator, according to the Huffington Post.
"There are, frankly, very few polls that show this kind of unanimity, this kind of intensity in America today," Celinda Lake, president of the polling firm Lake Research Partners, told reporters on a conference call on August 14.
The sentiment of the respondents appears to be shared by one company in Amarillo, Texas, which has chosen to set up its newest call center in town as opposed to offshoring the jobs, the Amarillo Globe-News reports.
According to the news source, satellite television company Sitel plans to open a new tech support center in Texas, which will bring about 100 new call center jobs to the Amarillo area. The workers will be needed to respond to incoming technical assistance calls from satellite TV customers around the country. Although company spokesman Andrew Kokes did not give the name of the client for which they will be taking calls, he said the size of the company is "on par" with Dish Network and DirecTV.
"It’s always good to hear about 100 new jobs coming to the community," Amarillo Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Buzz David said. "That’s Sitel’s forte: They staff up and down depending upon what kind of clients they have."
Sitel, which first moved to Texas in 1995 after the economic development corporation promised the company $800,000 to be put toward startup costs, has twice been ranked as the top overall call center in the Black Book of Outsourcing, a yearly publication issued by Datamonitor.
Amarillo Sitel site director Mike Thompson said the work could begin as soon as September.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, telephone call centers employed a total of 432,510 people as of May 2011. This number is expected to continue to grow as more companies employ domestic call centers to handle their technical assistance and other customer inquiries.