Byte Me 378 – In The Name Of Profits

11th August 2018

Call out overseas ‘support’

This week we talk about an issue that I feel strongly about and have already mentioned previously.  Although in this case we see yet another elderly Aussie that has worked hard all of their life helping to try and make this country great – hit hard in the pocket.  This is the case of a 94-year-old gentleman (lets’ call him Archie) who has now lost $4500 as well as a lot of confidence because of a phone scam.

This scan all started when Archie called Australia’s biggest Telco to try and get some technical support on his intermittent Internet connection.  He called on the 13393* support number which instantly saw Archie struggling to talk technical with a support person from the Philippines.  Archie said to me “I would have been flat out ordering a coffee from this guy over the phone, so after nearly an hour I was only more confused”.

Archie terminated the call himself with increased frustration and nothing else to show for his lost hour.  However, to his surprise his phone rang again just 40 minutes later, and it was another support person from the same Telco offering help with his Internet.  They had the same accent and were no easier to understand but the fact that they had called back was enough to instil Archie with a glimmer of hope.

This support person suggested that they needed to replace the modem and needed access to Archie’s PC to determine which model would suit best.  94-year-old Archie immediately complied and let the caller remotely control his PC.  Archie told me “they opened all manner of different screens and looked to be very proficient.  At the end of the call they promised that the new modem would be sent out and they hung up.

Obviously by this stage the caller/hacker had got what they wanted, and Archie has not heard from them since – let alone seen any sign of a new modem.  What Archie has been blessed with is an amount of $4500 missing from his credit card.  This went unnoticed until the end of the billing period several weeks later and by then everyone including Archie’s bank was telling him that it was too late.

I questioned Archie to see if in fact he held any shares in the Telco in question and got a very blank look.  It was clear that Archie was no fat cat investor but rather an average Aussie just trying to live out his last few years.  I mentioned the shares because the profit raising and subsequent higher dividend payments to shareholders is all that the offshore call centres are providing.

It leaves the question – what are we doing letting an Aussie Telco farm out their support call centres to offshore entities?  These are calls about highly technical issues where any language barrier plays absolute havoc.  Then if you factor in the miniscule amount these people are paid per hour and the comparative windfalls that can be had by them giving out Aussie details to a scamming house just down the road and it all adds up to a severe lack of service and questionable ethics.

Buying overseas grown / processed foods also affects the global viability of our country but what would happen if these foods also made us sick?  They would be removed from sale immediately.  Well some of the phone scams that are resulting from our offshore support call centres are also affecting our health – just ask Archie! 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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