I don't think it's racist for one to say that it's difficult to understand accents; especially because accents don't necessarily have anything to do with race. For instance, it can be just as hard to understand someone from Louisiana with a thick Cajun accent as it is to understand a non-native English speaker in a foreign country.
Many call centers have taken steps to address this by providing employees with 'accent elimination' courses.
It can be difficult to understand accents; that is simply a fact. By saying that, you are not demeaning these workers or implying they are less valuable as people.
Only thing I can imagine benefiting the poor info flow is the fact that the company they are outsourcing this to may have stricter policies on what needs to be provided to them by clients (in this case, SEAS) to ensure smooth operations.
Well, this is unfortunate. I know, I know, centralized customer service was notorious for giving inaccurate information, but several times I had to call and got EXTREMELY helpful CSRs. I'd guess people working directly for SEAS probably had a little more latitude to fix problems than any 3rd party will, regardless of where they are based.