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'Oz racist, Indian call centre staff taught'

world Updated: Jul 25, 2011 01:12 IST

Indian call centres were allegedly teaching their staff that Australia was the “dumbest continent” and its people were “quite racist” and “drink constantly”.

According to a report in Courier Mail, the staff, while being taught about “How to act Australian”, were also told to “speak slowly” to customers on the other end of the phone line because they tend to be technologically “backwards”.

India-based phone helpline operators were also warned that Australians were “touchy” about their pets. The staff were also advised that they could hang up the call with Australians who used the “preferred term for us” — “brown bas...ds”.
After these allegations first appeared in the reputed news magazine Mother Jones, they have caused a concern in the US over cultural stereotyping, the report said.

One of the magazine’s writers, Andrew Marantz, spent weeks undertaking training in India with locals at an organisation called the Delhi Call Centre (DCC), as part of investigative journalism.

“For three weeks, a culture trainer will teach us conversational skills, Australian pop culture and the terms of the mobile phone contracts we'll be peddling,” he was quoted as saying. “Our first job at DCC will be to interrupt Australians at dinner and ask them to switch phone providers.”