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Foreign Outsourcing As A Stock Indicator

I was one of the very first AOL customers, and I left them 11 months ago because of the horrible service I received from their call center in India. Basically, they claimed that I signed up for a new service (which I didn't), and, then, in a nasty tone, told me that my wife or kids must have signed up for the service. And they wouldn't reverse the charges or credit me more than 10% of the cost. I wasn't the only one who jumped ship over this issue.

My Technology Department is not outsourced. My view is that, if you don't believe in or activley support your organization's mission, then you ought to be outsourced (I'm talking about an EDS or Accenture). But outsourcing overseas is a bit different. The hidden costs will end up burying the conversion. For instance, the CFO might love the idea as a cost-saving measure, but, if they really knew about the internal costs and risk factors - like customers, time, labor, and PR - they might think otherwise.

I am getting ready to fire several companies that outsource support to India. Computer Associates and Veritas are the two that have outsourced their tech support to India. Today, my Disaster Recovery Manager told me about a late night call to India where he was berated and cursed at for calling about a Veritas problem. This is not the first time that this has happened. It's going to be the last.

I'm not giving these companies another chance. I'm not a customer tyrant, but, to me, good customer service is absolutely not up for negotiation. My company paid for support. I'm looking at other options.

I think that outsourcing code development might work if you tightly control the project (set and measure goals, communication protocols, etc.), but that might make it a lot less cost effective - especially, in gearing up the partnership.

I'm at the point now where, if I read about another company that is outsourcing a significant part of it's core business, I just might SHORT a lot of it's stock.

What's riskier - me betting on a bad outsourcing move or companies risking their customer base?