H-1b/Outsourcing->Dell Fire Hazard?
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The Consumerist writes:

Dan writes is to let us know that a Dell Laptop was the most probable cause of a fire that destroyed his home. We must say he seems in good spirits about it, all things considered.

Now, what does this have to do with immigration?

Dan is asking for our help contacting Dell, as they've been unresponsive to his queries:

" I have tried to call Dell to at least notify them of my problems, but each time I have called I get transferred into an endless loop of "Joe" or "Alan" all speaking a delectable version of English I presume emanates from Bangalore. I have been outright hung up on each time I get someone who speaks a reasonable version of English, or sounds like they might be in charge of something. Promises of call backs have gone, of course, unreturned.

Maybe you can help notify them. Or maybe pass along my new motto for Dell—

"Dude, you're getting a burned down house!"

Ouch, this is so horrible. We suppose you could try emailing Dell's Customer Advocate, Marie at: Email: Customer_Advocate [at] dell [dot] com. Any suggestions from the rest of you?

I also had a bad experience with a Dell product—it gave out on me a couple weeks before the warranty expired—and I got a lot of foreigners giving me the run around until after the warranty expired.

I've seen similar quality problems at companies like HP, Intel and Microsoft since they have become addicted to the corporate welfare of H-1b. Power over people is addicting. When I worked at HP, it was obvious that some managers were enamored of the fact that their Indian charges could be sent home at a whim—unlike Americans who at the time were still able to find other employment pretty easily.

Part of the problem is most of the H-1b intensive companies don't have that much in the way of real competition. Intel and Microsoft are de facto monopolies—and rather few companies make the bulk of laptop computers sold. If companies had to pay reasonable fees for these visas(at least $10,000 per visa per year), labor markets might start to function a bit more reasonably.

Dell is an interesting case study. They are not the worse H-1b offender by most measures. Still, in 2001-2003, they applied for over 600 H-1b visas. Now, their US based workforceincreased by only 1100 employees from 2000-2005. That figure for H-1b applications doesn't include folks that worked for other companies, got a green card and then came to work for Dell, illegal immigrants (which are so common in Texas that I'd be very surprised if Dell hasn't hired some even though they aren't common in the high tech industry) and workers that are on temporary visas other than H-1b (L-1 is a prominent example). I find it hard to believe that Dell is increasing its "American workforce" in any meaningful sense of the word.

Anyhow, you can look at the substantial political donations that Dell Chairman makes to protect his way of doing business. Some of the recipients are nominally sympathetic to issues raised at VDARE.COM—but a lot like Orrin Hatch, clearly aren't. What you have to remember, is that with friend like Michael Dell, around, folks like VDARE.COM readers just don't count for much in these folks eyes.

This story is being discussed at slashdot.org.

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