McCaskill touts local call centers bill

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Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY,Mo.
-- Tired of talking to a person in Calcutta when your computer goes haywire? Have a question about a bill and don’t understand the customer service agent in Bangkok? Well...you have an ally in Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

Missouri’s senior senator sponsors legislation that would require any call center with business in the United States to have their call takers state their name and where in the world they are located. McCaskill says that identification should spur U.S. businesses to locate more of their customer service lines in the United States.

“I don’t know about you, but I have called for help sometimes and I can’t get them to tell me where they are when I’ve been frustrated because there’s been a language barrier, or understanding what I’m talking about or even when somebody doesn’t know where I’m talking about,” said McCaskill during a press conference on the floor of the call center at Missouri Book Services in Columbia.

“I think (the legislation) gives a boost to American-centered call centers because I think most Americans would prefer to use a call center that’s located here in the United States.

McCaskill says outsourcing has cost thousands of U.S. citizens jobs in call centers. In Missouri alone, that figure has dropped from 13,000 in 2007 to 9,000 currently.

McCaskill’s plan has little cost to it, and she admits it might not spur a rapid resurgence in call centers coming back to America, but she says every little bit helps.

“These are good jobs, and as we are trying to grow jobs, if we can do something that’s not expensive that helps promote jobs growth in America, I think we need to jump on it.”