PITTSBURGH - Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's "Ravenstahl Response Line," a call center where city residents can register non-emergency questions and complaints with the city by dialing 311, has been outsourced to a help desk in India.
The Mayor announced that callers would receive the same efficient response they would receive if the Response Line were headquartered in Pittsburgh but conceded that "that there is a language barrier with the Indian operators, and that some of the operators don't have any idea what the caller is saying. But that would be true for Pittsburgh-based operators as well."
Some callers complained that regardless of their complaint, the operator's advice was always the same: "Turn off the machine, count to ten, then turn it back on."
Ravenstahl said that outsourcing the Response Line was part of an economy effort that will save the city millions of dollars. "If this works out," he noted, "we're going to outsource city council to New Delhi."