British callers who insult call-operators in India are making them sick with their behaviour, for a survey has found that the people working in call centres are plagued by heart attacks, ulcers and insomnia.
The study, conducted by Strathclyde University for the Union of IT Enabled Services, which informally represents call centre workers, found that 77 per cent felt "very" pressurised and 45 per cent identified difficult customers as the main source of their stress.
The salaries received by the call centre employees are sky-high but price they are paying for it is also high.
"Youngsters love spending the kind of money their parents only dreamt about, but I'm worried that stress and illness will turn them into zombies," the Telegraph quoted Karthik Shekhar, the union's general secretary, as saying.
Staff in call centres dealing with customers in Britain says that they have been shocked at the ferocity of the verbal attacks they encounter.
Aggarwal, an English graduate, said she planned to quit, tired of wishing customers a good morning only to hear some abusive language at the other end.
Some companies offer counselling to employees to help them overcome psychological problems.
Archana Bishta, who runs the 1to1help.net advice service in Bangalore, said she had helped workers who were suicidal or having a nervous breakdown.
"Most call centre workers live in big cities, away from home, so they have no family support. Dealing with angry customers can make them very emotionally fragile. They blow their top or cry over the smallest thing," she said.
The Indian government is very concerned about the problem and is preparing to launch a health strategy for the workers.