Companies are increasingly turning to outsourcing as a way to save money. However, while the upfront costs of outsourcing may be cheaper than using in-house labor, quality often suffers. This can cause angry customers, decreased repeat business and a reputation for low quality. When companies outsources to other countries, the consequences can be even worse.

Reduced Control

Whether you outsource to a foreign country or another company, you lose complete control over labor and manufacturing. This can result in lower-quality products. When you don't directly interact with people making your products, they may be less loyal to the company and have a reduced incentive to produce good work at a reasonable pace.

Language Barriers

When companies outsource to another country, language barriers can prove problematic, particularly when companies outsource customer service. Customers may have difficulty communicating their needs to customer service representatives who are not native speakers, and customer service representatives may not be able to competently explain issues to customers. This can result in lower customer satisfaction, poor customer service and a loss of business.

Cultural Barriers

When companies outsource to countries that have different cultural values, quality may suffer. Customer service representatives in foreign countries, for example, may not communicate to customers in culturally appropriate ways or may not understand figures of speech. Other countries may not use the safety standards used in the United States, resulting in products that break or contain dangerous chemicals. According to the New York Times, 60 percent of recalled products were made in China.

Increased Bureaucratic Difficulties

When you outsource to a foreign country, you may face time zone difficulties and travel costs that can greatly increase your costs. Moreover, trying to navigate decision-making in a different country can compromise product quality. When outsourcing to a U.S.-based company, you may face an avalanche of paperwork, difficulty communicating with the other company and an increased need for oversight. Not only do these issues increase costs; they can also reduce quality and increase stress.

Poorly Made Products

One of the reasons that outsourced products are cheaper is that foreign factories often prioritize quantity over quality. Workers may have to produce shocking numbers of products in an hour or day. This can cause quality to suffer immensely. Outsourced clothing may have loose or uneven stitching. Foreign-made computer parts may not be properly assembled, and toys made in foreign countries may break quickly.

Poorly Qualified Employees

The conditions in many foreign factories are truly abysmal, according to journalist Naomi Klein in her book "No Logo." This means that employees may not stick around, and that highly qualified employees are more likely to seek work at businesses that provide higher wages. The result is that the least qualified employees tend to work at the cheapest outsourcing locations. This increases the likelihood of producing poor-quality products or giving customers bad customer service. Even when you outsource to U.S.-based companies, you may encounter poorly qualified employees. Because you didn't interview and hire workers yourself, you have little control over their skill level and qualifications.