Senator Proposes Legislation Requiring Call Centers to Disclose Their Locations

And now the latest from the “pointless waste of time” department: At a September 1, 2011, conference in Columbia, Mo., Sen. Claire McCaskill ( D-Mo.) announced that she planned to introduce legislation that would require companies to tell consumers where their call centers are located.

The legislation, which is still being drafted, is aimed at encouraging companies to keep call centers within the U.S. Described as “simple,” McCaskill stated that the legislation would require that when consumers call a call center, they would be informed either electronically or by the person answering the phone where that call center is located. Companies that continue to offshore their call centers would not be penalized under the proposed legislation.

Several efforts have previously been made on Capital Hill  to introduce similar legislation in both the House and Senate, but they have never passed, including one made in June 2010, by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), which also included a per-call excise tax on domestic customer service calls transferred to foreign call centers.

It should come as no surprise that Federal legislators would waste taxpayer funds cooking up pointless initiatives like this.  How will a disclosure requirement change anything?  When consumers reach a call center and an agent with a thick Indian accent states, “Hello, my name is Sonjay, and I am in Bangalore, India,” does the worthy Senator think this is going to come as a surprise to anyone?  Does she expect consumers to hang up in disgust?  Does she expect companies to be shamed into shutting down their overseas operations? Please.

Here’s some news for the Senator:  Call centers are located everywhere, and they’re always hiring.  Anyone who willing to work in a call center (one of the toughest, lowest-paying jobs out there), can find a job today.

Author: Seth Heyman
Seth D. Heyman is a California attorney with extensive experience in advertising and marketing law, corporate law, contracts, governmental regulations, international business, and Internet law. He has counseled numerous successful companies, both public and private, and was responsible for regulatory compliance, contract management, corporate governance, and HR best practices for multiple organizations in many diverse industries, including marketing, telecommunications, energy, and technology development. He offers insight and guidance on federal and state direct mail, TV, radio, telemarketing, and Internet marketing laws, as well as online promotions, Internet privacy, data protection regulations, and similar matters.

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