Tech Live Connect is leading provider of Premium Tech Support (PTS) to consumers across the world, with all services delivered remotely online via our encrypted, secure platform. Since 2011, we have served by over 1,000,000 users and have achieved a boastful rating of 9.8 out of 10 on Trust Pilot (a third party consumer review platform). Our team works hard to deliver value to our customers with a resolution rate of over 91%, and a CSAT (Customer SATisfaction) rating of 93+%. TLC operates a 24x7 "on demand" PTS center with over 500 staff applying best practices in technical efficiency, quality, privacy and data security. In addition, we've taken the extra step of becoming PCI DSS certified to ensure data security and integrity. 'Customer Delight' is the service mantra by which all of TLC's Live Experts and managers strive to operate, as supported by our 'no questions asked' money-back guarantee. TLC's message is clear and simple: we fix your PC, or you don't pay.
An Indian news organization ("INO") published an article in April 2017 that made several allegations about improprieties in the business operations of Tech Live Connect, including within its BPO (Business Process Outsourced) call centre partner in India. Prior to publication, this INO had provided a draft of the article to TLC. In response, TLC informed them about the falsity of many statements in the draft and provided the INO's staff unfettered access to our call centre, policies, and processes to demonstrate the inaccuracy of many of the article's claims. Nonetheless, the article that was ultimately published was virtually identical to the one they had provided before the site visit. The article is riven with falsehoods that we wish to clear up with this statement.
The INO article claims that "A tech support scam begins by planting a pop-up message in the target user's web browser that alerts them to a so-called virus infection, employees and experts say."
- TLC does NOT, directly or indirectly, install pop-ups on customers' systems. 100% of our calls originate from software products marketed by our partners and downloaded only by consent of the consumer. We simply do not employ illegal pop-ups, and INO has provided no proof otherwise, but instead leads the unknowing reader to assume it is so.
- There are many rogue centres operating in India and other countries that survive off covertly installed pop-up calls, which are the scourge of the Premium Tech Support (PTS) industry. TLC is not one of these centres.
The INO article states that "There are hundreds of similar call centres in the neighborhood. But Saburi TLC is different, a shadowy outfit accused of being among the biggest players in a thriving tech-support fraud that cons unsuspecting foreigners into buying expensive security software for their perfectly normal computers."
- We have a transparent commitment to customer satisfaction, taking quality and compliance more seriously than almost any other global call centre and maintaining a "no questions asked" refund policy. "Shadowy" we are not. TLC has many thousands of satisfied customers who have praised TLC's efficacy, quality, satisfaction guarantee, professionalism, and customer service.
- As a testament to our commitment to quality, we have terminated many employees for non-compliance with our policies or for sub-optimal performance. The allegation that TLC is a "shadowy" operation (which lacks any attribution in the article) likely came from a disgruntled ex-employee.
- As the INO article notes, fraud in the Business Process Outsourcing ("BPO") industry is routinely "run out of flats or nondescript locations by a handful of people." TLC, in contrast, transparently employs hundreds of people in a state-of-the-art call centre at a well-known location.
- In awareness of the strong reputation of TLC's services, fraudsters routinely use our name to trick unsuspecting consumers. Indeed, TLC alerts all its customers to these schemes by providing them with the warning displayed at the bottom of this statement.
The INO article quotes a customer impugning the quality of our services and claiming to have purchased a $200 service plan from TLC, allegedly scammed by a virus pop-up message.
- After this alleged scam, this customer renewed his TLC service plan 6 months, belying any claim that he was tricked into joining in the first place.
- Our records further reveal that this individual used our services seven (7) times and, each time, completed a customer survey stating that he was satisfied with TLC's services.
The INO article directs readers to two videos, one entitled "When [INO] called Tech Live Connect," and the other entitled "How does a tech support scam work?," both of which leave the impression that this is how TLC operates.
- The first video is clearly a re-enactment; it does not depict an actual call to any call centre, let alone to TLC. The 1-800-number displayed in the video does not belong to TLC. Yet, the article is written to falsely suggest that TLC is somehow involved.
- The second video was parsed together from seven separate calls initiated by INO personnel. No pop-up is alleged or depicted. And what INO has edited out of the video – but is clear from our recordings of the calls – is that the TLC agent ultimately suggested a solution costing $8, a charge that was applied (and then promised to be refunded) in order to allow the customer to access the software. If this is a scam and $8 is "expensive security software," then we are guilty.
The article states that an "[INO] investigation and interviews with former and present employees of [TLC] reveal the two companies are intimately connected..."
- The connection referred to above that between TLC (the brand) and its BPO call center, which is indeed "intimate," given the nature of our Master Services Agreement and our decade of operating together. Most BPOs have similarly "intimate" relations with their larger clients. INO's article suggests that there is something nefarious in that, but does not explain why that is so.
- Any Indian news outlet should likewise know that it is customary for BPO executives to use the brand's primary domain for emailing its clients' customers, so as not to confuse consumers. Tech Live Connect is not the owner of saburitlc.com; the former has never owned the latter's web presence.
- The rest of this section of INO's article hardly warrants comment, as it simply displays a gross lack of understanding of standard operations and practices utilized within a major Indian industry - BPO.
The article pursues a defamatory assault on our BPO partner's founder and CEO, accusing him of operating a "maze of deceit."
- He helped pioneer this industry, serving as an award-winning executive at many larger BPOs before starting his tech support call centre business. His desire to shed the corporate caste system and to control his own destiny should be lauded – but instead, INO implies that his choice to leave "the top of the BPO ladder" was improper and even nefarious.
- Having nothing to hide, he invited INO into his centre in order to provide a model for "best practices" and to assist in exposing rogue centers in India – a cause to which he remains committed.
The INO articles states that it had "also filed a request for information with the office of the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which revealed that the US FTC had received 699 consumer complaints against Tech Live Connect.
- TLC's counsel submitted its own FOIA request to the FTC, which responded by saying that it had received ninety-four (94) complaints against the company since 2012 – less than one-seventh of what INO's article claimed. While we take all complaints seriously, the ninety-four calls that led to these complains represent just a tiny fraction of the 500,000 calls that TLC fields every year. Furthermore, many of these complaints did not even result from calls with TLC; they resulted from fraudsters' impersonating TLC employees – a prolific practice that, as discussed above, results in our providing our customers with the notice reprinted below.
- The FTC is the leading champion of consumers' rights in the global marketplace and is empowered to pursue investigations and prosecutions to prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices, but the FTC's response letter makes it clear that it has never pursued any such investigatory actions against TLC.
- While the INO article indicates that the FTC "has investigated several India BPOs for fraud" and that "the US FTC charged six tech support firms with fraud in a US district court," it fails to disclose that TLC has never been the subject of any such investigation and was not one of the firms that was charged.
The INO article is the kind of shoddy journalism that erodes trust in the news media, now at an all-time low globally. Contrary to their insistent claims, the INO has chosen to target a reputable company without doing its homework and has squandered the opportunity to provide objective reporting on the massive outbound call-based fraud originating from India. TLC has done more than almost any other call centre to improve the reputation of the Indian call-centre industry – and we intend to continue those efforts despite the publication of this grossly inaccurate article.