Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY-01) introduced the "United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act" (H.R. 3596), legislation which would require the U.S. Department of Labor to track firms that move call center jobs overseas -- such firms would then be ineligible for any direct or indirect federal loans or loan guarantees for five years. Overseas call center employees would also have to disclose their location to U.S. consumers calling them as part of a "customer service communication" and give customers the right to be transferred to a U.S.-based call center upon request. Companies would also have to inform the Department of Labor 4 months before any proposed moves off-shore. The Department would also have to provide a list to the public of companies that off-shore their call center work.

The term "call center" is defined as "a facility or other operation whereby employees receive incoming telephone calls, emails, or other electronic communication for the purpose of providing customer assistance or other service". The term "customer service communication" is defined as "any telecommunication or wire communication between a consumer and a business entity in furtherance of commerce".

Although it is not entirely clear what impact H.R. 3596 would have on telephone survey research overall, it could certainly impede incoming customer satistisfaction research calls. MRA does not expect this legislation to advance, but we will do what is necessary to amend of defeat it.