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The Fortnightly Dope

Vaibhav Wankhede gives you The Fortnightly Dope from the BPO world.

BPO scams
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!” goes a
popular adage. And it is very true when it comes to BPO operations. Yes, we all know that call centres employees handle sensitive data like
credit card info, passwords, bank account info and social security
numbers (in case of US customers). So what if someone lures them to give them all this data?

This is exactly what the British tabloid Sun did, to expose the ‘danger’ of identity theft. This comes after the much publicised Pune BPO scam. However, info on many more chhota-mota scams is floating around, though not being reported in the media. Processes involving mortgage and financial transactions are more suspectible to such frauds.

One such incident took place in Daksh in its Circuit City process. Some employees got together and ‘messed around’ with credit card data. Six employees, along with the Team Leader who failed to keep a check on them, were suspended. Rahul, who worked in Daksh, says “Many times I’ve seen credit cards numbers written on the table. Once I even bought this to the notice of the TL but she turned a blind eye to it.”

No doubt such misdeeds tarnish India’s image in the outsourcing business. Most BPO companies don’t allow mobiles, pens or papers on the operations floor for ‘security reasons’. But if you sms your friend working in a BPO, chances are that he/ she will sms you back. Because rules are not really strictly implemented.

Of course, identity theft is a worldwide problem, why single out India? A customer service executive in the US or UK would’ve been equally easy for the Sun reporter to lure – maybe not for 4 pounds per card number, but 20 or 50 pounds.

So frankly, their expose seems to be just another way of sensationalising the loss of British jobs to India.

Bonded Labour?
Think BPO jobs are quite simple? Amit, who earlier worked in eServe’s back office process, avers otherwise. The process he worked on, known as ‘Fund Transfer’, which was related to the investigation of fund transfers (duh!) was nothing like other cushy, relaxed back-office processes.

While the reporting time was 10 am. there was no fixed leaving time. Most employees slogged for 13-14 hrs. a day. And that too, with merely 2 days of training. He adds,”The team leaders were unco-operative.There was no home transport and remarks like “If you want the job, then do this, otherwise leave” were quite common”. Now disillusioned with the BPO industry, this postgraduate(!), is thinking of going back to his family business.

Decode the code
Rumour has it that a new JP Morgan Chase back office process has been contracted not to the JP Morgan call centre but to Accenture. To avoid leakage of information, these processes have been codenamed as ‘Monaco’ and ‘Popcorn’, ans are expected in September.

However, all’s not well at Accenture. Many employees say that it is very difficult to grow there, even for the pilot batch. The salary structure is broken into many components, baffling the employees. Junta is peeved with the wide difference between their net and gross salary.

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