Want to speak to an American when calling customer service? For you, extra price!


Anyone who's ever had a Dell computer knows the company doesn't offer much in the way of customer service. But this takes the cupcake.

In response to complaints that calls to customer service end up somewhere in Bangladesh, where the employee may or may not be able to make himself understood, Dell has decided to offer this fantastic new service. The Your Tech Team service promises that when you call tech support, you will get a real live American. For a price.

The service costs $12.95 a month for customers with a Dell account, and $99 a year for customers who've just bought a new computer.

If you opt not to pay extra, it's back to the Third World for you.

I can think of a few all-American words -- of the salty kind -- to describe this new form of pay to play.

Even I'm galled at the number of functions American companies have outsourced to the Third World. And I'm a fairly left of center sort. But nothing makes me go Archie Bunker faster than not being able to understand someone I've waited 40 minutes on hold to talk to, about some infuriating tech problem that shouldn't be happening on a new machine.

Actually, I can't decide whether to revile Dell more, or admire its chutzpah. I got so mad recounting that last paragraph I realize I would probably pop for the American.

What would you do? Pay for a y'all or save and take your chances the Indian worker who picks up the phone speaks the King's English?