October 1, 2003 | Issue 5

Dell Cancels Yeshivish Tech Support

AUSTIN, TX — [TheKnish.com] After an onslaught of complaints, computer maker Dell Inc. has stopped using a technical support center in Brooklyn to handle calls from its corporate customers.

Some U.S. customers have complained that the Yeshivish technical-support representatives are difficult to communicate with because of the way they pepper English sentences with various old world Yiddish/Hebrew phrases - a phenomenon better known as "Yeshivishe Reid."

Tech support for corporate customers with Optiplex desktop and Latitude notebook computers will instead be handled from call centers in Texas, Idaho and Tennessee, Dell spokesman Jon Weisblatt said Monday.

Calls from some home PC owners will continue to be handled by the technical support center at Yeshivas Ahavas Kesef. Weisblatt said Dell has no plans to scale back the operation there.

"Customers weren't satisfied with the level of support they were receiving, so we're moving some calls around to make sure they don't feel that way anymore," Weisblatt said. He would not discuss the nature of the dissatisfaction with the call center at Ahavas.

Dell is one of a number of high-tech companies that have in recent years moved jobs to Brooklyn yeshivas and other developing yeshivish communities for the cheaper labor, which in Dell's case helps keep down the cost of providing round-the-clock support.

Among Dell customers dissatisfied with the company's use of yeshivish labor is Ronald Kronk, a Presbyterian minister in Rochester, Pennsylvania, who has spent the last four months trying to solve a problem that resulted in his being billed for two computers. The problem, he said, is that the Dell call center is at Yeshivas Ahavas Kesef.

"They're extremely polite, but extremely difficult to understand - they say things like, 'Mamesh, it's a groiseh tzoreh you have,' and 'Aha, nu efsher we need to ploog avek at this eisek,'" Kronk said.

He added: "Sometimes they end a phone call by saying, 'Tayku, we'll have to wait till Moshiach comes.'"

Writer

Pencil Martin Bodek is short, dark, handsome, runs marathons (finishes them too!), can solve a Rubik's Cube in 1:47, is a big TED chasid, can whup your keister in Scrabble, loves halva, co-founded TheKnish.com, and writes books from 5-9: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mbodekatgmaildotcom


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