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Jim Bob Jr

@2wire.com

Earthlink is outsourcing the last of it's US techs

Hey guys, I just thought I'd share this little tidbit, The Earthlink techs that post here aren't alowed to tell you a whole lot about what's happening, They are in the Tier 3 department which will be around for a little longer (but good luck getting in touch with them outside this forum) That's the reason you don't see near the number of techs from there posting on here anymore (they all quit).

I know that stacey and naomi still get on here from time to time but they can't do everything for us. Soon they will be out of a job as well. Earthlink is outsourced almost completely through a company called WEST telecomunications, The few Earthlink employees that were working in atlanta, the engineers ( the guys who fix the really hard stuff and can fix stuff behind the scenes) were outsourced a couple months ago, the earthlink business technical was outsourced to philipines last month, and now they are outsourcing the last bit of employees that they had in their tier 2 department here, as well as the rest of the billing department and bi-lingual agents that they had here.

I know this is a bit meaningless and a bit of a rant but I thought I'd warn you guys no longer will you be able to demand a us agent when you talk to tech support because other than tier 3 (for the moment) there is none, and like I said good luck talking to them because they don't just talk to anyone.

Ok that's my rant, let the flame war begin.



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

No flamage here.

I appreciate the info as long as it is accurate and not rumor or speculation based, so feel free to share what you can, when you can.

If true, it is a very sad day for EL. I was hoping they would change direction with their getting a New President and CEO along with the LPV build out. They are just shooting the last toe off their left foot. The right foot has been toe-less for a while.

Regards,

Doctor Olds
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?



jim bob jr

@sbcglobal.net
reply to Jim Bob Jr

Unfortunately I think the new ceo is part of the problem, I'm pretty sure that michael lundsford only has one thing on his mind and that's the bottom line. If earthlink is willing to outsource their business customer's tech support (these guys pay substantially more in some cases for their service than consumers do) then why would they care about outsourcing residential tech support.

The only saving bit of information that I've heard (but this is rumor I have no proof) is that west's contract with Earthlink is fixing to be up and Earthlink has decided not to renew it. I'm hoping this is true, I know that earthlink had begun to listen in to certain calls (you know how it says this call may be monitored or recorded for quality purposes) and was not happy with what was happening, the constant transfers the lying (I know for a fact that tier 1 techs will cry outage when there is not one) among other things.

These are things that I know Earthlink is not happy about and wants to change, what they are going to do to make those changes is the important thing. One thing you have to keep in mind when dealing with their tech support is they have certain stats they have to keep up with one of them (the most important one to west) is their call time, I know for a fact that the tier 2 call time was supposed to be kept to an average of 16 minutes, now this is generally enough time to fix basic issues but not near enough time to tech more complicated software issues. That's why it seems like the techs are desperate to get you off the phone, that's also why some of you get transferred needlessly ( to lower the average call time).

Hopefully what I heard is right, I know it is in every body's best interest because west does not care about the customers they care about making money and in most cases west makes money off of each call their agent takes, that's why they make the average call time such a high priority there. As long as they can get you off the phone and the next customer on it they don't care. Just thought you guys should know these things.

I'll post more if I can think of anything.

If any of you have any questions please feel free to ask I'm gonna check in on this thread later on in the evening.



Splitpair
Premium
join:2000-07-29
Cow Towne
kudos:3
reply to Jim Bob Jr

said by Jim Bob Jr :

Earthlink is outsourced almost completely through a company called WEST telecomunications,
You sure that is not West Corporation as they provide a combination of fixed location and home based call center support for a number of Cable ISP's already.

Wayne
--
If you cannot fix it with a buttset and some beanies you ain't a technician.

chitownvet

join:2006-11-13
Chicago, IL

I fail to see the logic in this decision. If the ultimate long term goal for the company is a dissatisfied customer base, unintelligible and unskilled tech support people, incredibly long waits for phone support, and expecting the customer to do more than 50% of his own tech support than I guess they might be successful in their minds. As long as they milk it for all the profit they can get. Word will get around fast and they will fall like a lead zeppelin.

Personally I won't stand for it, I'll leave as soon as I can if a better option comes my way, or if I have to solve my own problems on my own time (as I have a few times already, with the help of this much needed forum!).



haditwtechsuppt

@wholefoods.com
reply to Splitpair

Wow, please post exactly the name and which providers are using them - it was such a completely unacceptable experience (i cried, i began having acid reflux at 2AM), i don't want to go to any internet provider that has that same setup. I felt like a freshman at a frat party...



Jim Bob Jr

@swbell.net
reply to Jim Bob Jr

Corporation, communications, you get my drift. Truthfully on the checks it says telemarketing. So anyway I'm still checkin in if anyone has any questions feel free to ask, I'm not sure if I can answer all of them but I'll sure try.



jim bob jr

@2wire.com
reply to Jim Bob Jr

I guess nobody has anymore questions, oh well like I said feel free, if you can't tell I do have a bit of inside info. I guess it's all pretty self explanitory but I do know quite a bit about the situation. Anyway best of luck to everyone, You're gonna need it.



fatness
subtle
Premium,ex-mod 01-13
join:2000-11-17
fishing
kudos:14

How many people will get canned?
When will the transition to non-US support be complete?
What is an appropriate number of rocks to throw at Earthlink?
--
Sure, that'll work..



skj
Welcome to the far side of reality
Premium,Mod
join:2002-04-04
Gone South
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to jim bob jr

Thanks for the info. That is indeed sad news in terms of what Earthlink is doing. Much of overseas outsourced tech support is really only good for the most simplest of issues. Unfortunately, you have to jump through so many hoops to get to someone who knows more than the basics. The fact that they are now getting rid of the more knowledgeable support personnel is very disappointing and will only serve to increase subscribers' frustrations with the quality of tech support that is offered by Earthlink.
--


The foundations of character are built not by lecture, but by bricks of good example, laid day by day.



Jim Bob Jr

@2wire.com
reply to Jim Bob Jr

As far as I know by the end of next week the US end of tier 2 is gone, so that priority callback number kevin gave out will no longer get you a US tech. I do know that tier 3 will be staying a bit longer so those of you that have their number and pin will still be able to get in touch with them but as we all know they only handle the really seriously messed up issues (as it should be with a department so high up). And I'm not sure how much longer they're going to stay.

As far as I'm concerned throw as many rocks as you can they have it coming. I don't really know what their thinking is behind this, maybe they think that muni-wifi is the wave of the future for them, maybe they're counting on BPL, there are a lot of things they have in the pipeline but I do know that for now they won't have any us tech support for dsl.

If you guys have anymore questions feel free to ask I'm not always on here but I try to check in when I can, I wish you all the best of luck and hope that none of you need to call tech support in the near future.


public

join:2002-01-19
Santa Clara, CA

said by Jim Bob Jr :

I don't really know what their thinking is behind this, maybe they think that muni-wifi is the wave of the future for them, maybe they're counting on BPL, there are a lot of things they have in the pipeline but I do know that for now they won't have any us tech support for dsl.
It is the bettie legacy. Hollow out the company to make it look more profitable, and dump the remains onto a gullible buyer.
Unfortunately bettie could not even get that part right.
So in the meantime wrap you modem in tinfoil, soak in elephant urine and call back in two days.


fatness
subtle
Premium,ex-mod 01-13
join:2000-11-17
fishing
kudos:14

Please listen to the following options.
• For help with elephant urine, press 1.

--
Sure, that'll work..



AtlGuy

join:2000-10-17
Marietta, GA
reply to fatness

said by fatness:

What is an appropriate number of rocks to throw at Earthlink?
How many ya got?

I feel sorry for Earthlink's customers having to deal with the horrible, horrible tech support they now provide and have provided for a while.

I remember calling their "support" for several transcriptionists who worked for one of my company's clients having an issue connecting to our servers. All of their traceroutes crapped out at the same point, so I asked the rep for an email address for me to send all the traceroutes to, showing them the problem. Of course I kept getting the clear your cookies, etc. crap. After about 30 minutes of getting nowhere I finally just hung up. Luckily a coworker of mine had a contact that still worked in their NOC, so I asked her to provide him with my information and he confirmed it was an issue with one of Sprint's routers. That took all of 3 minutes.

I will never ever ever use that company or recommend that company to anyone...ever.

Good luck to all the employees losing their job. Look at this way, it can only get better after working at a hell hole like Earthlink. I know because I used to work there (around the time of the Mindspring/EL merger). The fun place that I knew and loved is long dead.


itsnotfairvideo

@qwest.net
reply to Jim Bob Jr

Wow looks like the same thing is going on again. When will the losing of the jobs stop?
»[General] Earthlink Tech Support


nort_enidan

join:2006-10-03
Atlanta, GA
reply to Jim Bob Jr

the TRON department for aDSL w/c is the tier 3 tech support was given to the Earthlink counterparts in the Philippines, May of 2005. It was passed on to India sometime between March-April of 2006 when Phils. totally took charge of LPV. The only techs left in Atlanta back then was NOC [network operations center] and the SWAT [i dunno what that means hehehe] team w/c i believe was the team where Naomi and the rest of the guys in this forums belong to. Before i left Earthlink a few weeks back, part of NOC was already handled by Indian techs. I personally disagree with that decision - the Atlanta NOC techs can fix network problems no matter how hard they were unlike their indian counterparts who would just tell us "i'm sorry i don't know how to do that and there are no available Atlanta techs at the moment.."



fatness
subtle
Premium,ex-mod 01-13
join:2000-11-17
fishing
kudos:14
reply to AtlGuy

said by AtlGuy:

Good luck to all the employees losing their job.
Yes, that needs to be said again.
--
Sure, that'll work..

amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22
reply to Jim Bob Jr

I suspect the motivation is similar to Sprint's dismissal of customers who require too much effort. Onshore support staff probably handle the nastiest of the nasty problems. I could see EL making a purely business decision that they're going to go for the low-hanging fruit (the easy installations, etc.). Let the problem children (with bad home wiring, too far from the CO, etc.) go elsewhere.

Mark


AldousSky

join:2007-05-28
La Vernia, TX
reply to Jim Bob Jr

Hey guys. This is Kevin... i used to post as elnk_kevin back when i worked for earthlink. I just wanted to let you know that this is most definately not a rumor. It is completely true... every word. Thanks for saying it, Jimbo... i was about to do it if no one else did. The only recommendation that I have, is, if you are out of your contract and can, end your service with Earthlink and get service with a real isp... One that will treat a customer right and not make it's customers... some of which paying hundreds per month... talk to someone they can't understand and who has difficulties understanding them. And Jimbo... a personal note... thanks again. It's been good to see your face again. It'll be cool working with you at 2wire.


AldousSky

join:2007-05-28
La Vernia, TX
reply to Jim Bob Jr

And by the way... to those wondering... most isp's, as well as most large name corporations... outsource at least part of their tech support. West alone had Comcast, Earthlink, and Cingular.
Also... on the Earthlink side, west was not the only company that they outsourced to. The one we worked at in Universal City, Tx, just happened to be a west call center. There are other, more than likely equally as bad, call centers out there.


amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

1 recommendation

reply to AldousSky

said by AldousSky:

end your service with Earthlink and get service with a real isp... One that will treat a customer right and not make it's customers... talk to someone they can't understand and who has difficulties understanding them.
A few comments:

1. As you said in a subsequent post: Almost everyone of any size is going offshore. I doubt I could move to anyone different who isn't doing the same thing.

2. I've not had any problem with EL's offshore support. In fact, I've always been satisfied.

3. I've had no trouble understanding them, or being understood.

4. I've had far worse experiences with domestic support staff. Recently I considered moving to Kite Networks (municipal wifi). I was less satisfied dealing with their support (who speak 'Merican) than all my experiences with EL's offshore support.

That's just me. Maybe I've not had one of the big hairy problems others have had.

What I don't like about offshoring is that it is essentially unfair, unfree trade. You could work for $10k a year (and compete fairly) if you could opt out of society's forced standard of living (like trash pickup, sewage treatment, water quality, environmental protection, building codes, etc., etc.). If you were allowed to use your gutter as a sewer, your backyard as a smelting plant, and add 5 stories to your house to have rental income (regardless of building codes or zoning) you could work for a lot less money.

Something seems perverse about a society *forcing* someone to live with all this "overhead," and then shrugging its shoulders when you're forced to compete with those who don't, saying "it's just a free market." There's nothing free about that.

Mark

chitownvet

join:2006-11-13
Chicago, IL

Wonderfully said. Rampant capitalism is inherently evil. The world of Charles Dickens is quite like our world of today.

I have had my share of spats with the "offshore" so-called English speakers. I've found that it's the intricacies and the nuances of our language that they cannot fathom. One must speak to them like one is talking to a child. At least an American from any corner of our nation can understand you, even with a thick Chicago accent...


amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

If the tables were turned, and a huge number of jobs paying $80k (instead of the average $30k) were available in one field, Americans would do the same thing Indians and Chinese are doing. Everyone would go where the employment is regardless of how suited they are to it. Consumers of those services would be just as dissatisfied.

I just think it's important to realize Indians are no different than us. It's not even the language issue. If you deal with an Indian who has an intuitive aptitude/passion for her work there wouldn't be much to talk about. If you deal with an American who lacks that "fit" for their work, it wouldn't matter that she speaks English. (We just don't have that many bad fits because we don't have the huge influx of jobs like India or China does, attracting everyone and their grandmother.).

It's also not really Earthlink's fault. Everyone's doing it. It's been going on a very long time, and it's become a matter of survival. If it's wrong (for the reasons I mentioned earlier), it's a political issue which should be fixed with legislation.

I don't know if it can be fixed politically. I wouldn't rule it out as "tampering with free markets." We do that all day long, from social creation of corporate charters (a fictional entity who serves as the "fall guy" shielding officers and investors from their own personal liability). Or, the SEC and banking regulation which interferes with willing buyers and sellers in the name of moderating raw market forces. Or, even food quality laws which prevent me from selling unsanitary food even if I can find willing buyers.

Maybe it can't be fixed. In which case it would serve as another validation of our progressive tax system. That those who benefit the most from the kind of unfair, unfree market conditions like offshoring owe progressively more than those who are destructively impacted by it.

There's something perverse about dismissing it as just "normal free market conditions." If that were true, then let's take down all the other social moderations to raw, free markets so that everyone gets to enjoy it like tech workers have for the past decade.

Mark


bmaasjr320

join:2006-03-14
Vancouver, WA
reply to AldousSky

AldousSky, that's exactly what I did one year ago. I was already out of contract. So I took my DSL service to a local ISP. I simply left because I was having a sync issue after being upgraded to 6.0/768 speed.

I was trying to explain to the offshore techs about my line problems. But no, they said everything looked fine from there end. Yeah right what about my end. I found out a few weeks later from my local Telco. The problem I was having turned out to be a ground fault in my drop line.

FWIW, There is an Earthlink company here in my hometown call New Edge Networks. A few months ago our local paper did a story. On Earthlink's new found acquisition serving business to business customers.

In the picture Earthlink had sent out one of there corporate types from Atlanta. To give a big pep talk to local sales staff. Once I saw this picture I knew right away. It would only be a matter of time before Earthlink would go downhill.

BTW does anyone know where Blinky went.



Splitpair
Premium
join:2000-07-29
Cow Towne
kudos:3

1 edit
reply to chitownvet

said by chitownvet:

One must speak to them like one is talking to a child.
That will not work one can speak to them like a machine and that will work but not as a child.

There are weeks that it seems I do nothing but work with Covad’s India based tech/test support people and I have learned as you have don’t get off the subject and don’t jump ahead of their questions. I also learned early on I was causing some of the problems by speaking a bit too fast and using industry acronyms. Other than that I have had no problems communicating with or understanding them. I also understand the issue from the other side as I also provide tech support to technicians. There has been more than one time while on the phone trying to answer a question I have thought to myself “what the heck is he talking about”?

At least an American from any corner of our nation can understand you, even with a thick Chicago accent...
I don’t know how it is nowadays but I was up that way in 86 for switch training and I had no trouble understanding people though they where somewhat puzzled by my accent.

Wayne
--
If you cannot fix it with a buttset and some beanies you ain't a technician.


itsnotfairvideo

@qwest.net
reply to AldousSky

Congrats on getting out of there Kevin. I know what you went through. I was there for many years along with others that post on this forum.

»[General] Earthlink Tech Support

Were you there back when the omaha center was still in operation?


ldyryslin

join:2007-07-16
Lakeland, FL

2 recommendations

reply to Jim Bob Jr

Wow..
I contacted some of the few of what was there not to long ago, I used to post here to help yall. I got Doc'Old's up and running at one point when he had tore this forum a new one looking for aid (original closing of the in house support, when all call support went to outsource cept for TRON)

I moved on to QA for a bit before my health took a nosedive.
I don't get how one can outsource NOC or Biz support, but I watched them do it.

Salute to the Mindspring mentality.. Elnk killed it well.

-wave-
old elnktra



dbarber

join:2000-07-25
West Chester, PA
reply to Jim Bob Jr

I think that ELNK_Stacey See Profile is gone. She last logged in here 4 days ago. I have repeatedly PMed her, to no avail. With all the screwups with my current problem, I'm about to go elsewhere. The problem is that the rest of them are as bad or worse.
--
These opinions are strictly my own. However, if you really want them, we can negotiate.



fatness
subtle
Premium,ex-mod 01-13
join:2000-11-17
fishing
kudos:14
reply to ldyryslin

Hi Tra, nice to see you again.



sashwa
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-29
Alcatraz
kudos:17
reply to ldyryslin

Hi Tra! It's great to see you again. But I'm sorry to hear about your health. Hope you are doing better these days.