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Expert
jjgraphics
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎24-03-2010

Moving the Call Centres to back UK?

There were a number of suggestions a while ago that BT were likely to move at least some of the call centre work back to the UK. It seems to have gone quiet about this.

 

Having just had a long tussle with some of our Asian friends on behalf of a client (there was eventually a satisfactory outcome after a number of calls when I eventually got to speak to someone in the UK who solved the issue in a couple of hours), I wondered if anyone knows whether it is going to actually happen . . . ?

Expert
jjgraphics
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎24-03-2010
0

Re: Moving the Call Centres to back UK?

Anyone?

Aspiring Expert
Croftie
Posts: 155
Registered: ‎23-08-2010
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Re: Moving the Call Centres to back UK?

I wish they would, 3 months we had slowdowns and disconnects before it finally packed up completely. I mentioned several times the problems were mainly in wet weather and basicly just got ignored. Turned out water was getting into the switch box accross the road. If it happens again we would probably have to put up with it again untill it packed up completely.
Contributor
kmccaughey
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎09-07-2010

Re: Moving the Call Centres to back UK?

I was one of the people working in the BT call centre (at it's old address in BElfast) when we lost our jobs due to the trasfers over to india. Really bad aidea.

Expert
jjgraphics
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎24-03-2010
0

Re: Moving the Call Centres to back UK?

I remember talking to someone with an Irish accent many moons ago when broadband started. I also had some dealings with somebody in the North-East a long time ago. At least they knew what they were talking about . . .

 

I can cope with the accents of our Asian friends, but they talk such rubbish.

 

For example, knowing that an HH2 was completely dead and having repeated several times that no lights were showing to be repeatedly told to "Go to the START menu . . " almost made me completely lose it  a few weeks ago.

 

After three more fruitless attempts I eventually got someone who understood a little more and eventually put me through to a UK operator who immediately arranged for a new hub to be sent.

 

How much longer do we have to endure this kind of nonsense which costs BT so much goodwill.

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harrybeadlebaum
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎21-06-2010
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Re: Moving the Call Centres to back UK?

Personally, I've never had any problems with the Indian call centre staff, though I do agree that sometimes they can be difficult to understand.

 

It is not unusual for call centre staff to follow some sort of script - I've experienced it myself with UK based call centres.

 

I would also like to see BT bring it's call centres back to the UK, since it would provide much needed jobs, but at the end of the day it all comes back to cost...

 

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/telecoms/article6816393.ece

 

"Sir Keith Whitson, group chief executive of HSBC, caused an outcry in 2002 when he extolled the virtues of employees in India compared with UK staff. He said that foreign workers, often graduates, were more efficient, enthusiastic and cheaper. They answered the phone more quickly and were highly numerate, he said. Work could be done in Asia for a “fifth of the price by smartly dressed employees” who were keen to turn up for work."

Expert
jjgraphics
Posts: 503
Registered: ‎24-03-2010

Re: Moving the Call Centres to back UK?

[ Edited ]

You must have been very lucky with the BT Indian call centres.

 

My work with computers for clients unfortunately brings me into contact with them quite frequently. By the time I get involved, the client has usually exhausted the most obvious options and has usually had several, and sometimes many, abortive conversations with the call centre in India.

 

In some cases despite having an incident number (which sometimes does not track back to the original problem or if it does, the details have not been recorded properly) and in some cases a special phone number with a PIN, I usually have to spend a lot of time going over the same ground with the call centre operators, sometimes having to be very persistent and firm with them to get them to escalate the problem to someone who can actually deal with it.

 

In the vast majority of the cases I end up dealing with, the problem is clearly outside of the building, but sadly all the call centre staff seem to want to do is to "take control of your PC" (which I will not permit as I am mostly dealing with Macintosh users) and fiddle with settings which have no relationship whatsoever to the real problem.

 

The quote from Sir Keith Watson, although historic, typifies the daft attitude in many businesses that price is the most important aspect of any service. It is not. Efficiency is most important and efficiency normally leads to lower costs. It is crazy to outsource these jobs to another country when we have people unemployed in the UK, many of whom would be pleased to have a call centre job.

 

My view is that if people could understand the call centre staff better and if the call centre staff were properly trained to do their job so that each problem was dealt with more efficiently and in a shorter time, far fewer staff would be needed and there would be no need to outsource the service to a country where a significant number of the staff are simply script readers have no real idea what they are doing.

 

An unrelated, but amusing, example of Indian call centre nonsense I can quote is having an Openreach engineer standing beside me, who had found a fault on a line, holding the disconnected pair of wires in his hand whilst having a conversation with their engineering call centre in India and being told that there was "no fault found on the line". After about five minutes of batting backwards and forwards, he absolutely exploded and said something to the effect of "Of course there's a fault on the ******* line, I'm holding the  ******* disconnected wires in my hand!" at which point he was passed to someone in the UK who dealt with the issue promptly.

 

What a pleasure it is, by comparison, to speak to the well-trained and efficient BTBusiness Broadband staff in the UK, and similarly, as a plain old BTBroadband user, when the Indians have finally run out of scripts to read and you get to speak to someone in the UK and things get done promptly.

 

Now, having had my two pennyworth of griping, back to my original question . . . does anyone know anything about the move of the call centres back to the UK?

Guru
RogerB
Posts: 4,076
Registered: ‎28-01-2010
0

Re: Moving the Call Centres to back UK?

I did hear last year it was on the cards ...

 

although, there may have been union issues, dunno .....

 

 

read: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1210452/BT-halts-plans-return-centres-Britain-locals-refuse-...

Contributor
harrybeadlebaum
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎21-06-2010

Re: Moving the Call Centres to back UK?

[ Edited ]

jjgraphics wrote:

You must have been very lucky with the BT Indian call centres.

 

Possibly, though I've only ever delt with them as a customer, and apparently not as often as you have. I can only speak as I find, as do you.

 

The quote from Sir Keith Watson, although historic, typifies the daft attitude in many businesses that price is the most important aspect of any service. It is not. Efficiency is most important and efficiency normally leads to lower costs. It is crazy to outsource these jobs to another country when we have people unemployed in the UK, many of whom would be pleased to have a call centre job.

 

My view is that if people could understand the call centre staff better and if the call centre staff were properly trained to do their job so that each problem was dealt with more efficiently and in a shorter time, far fewer staff would be needed and there would be no need to outsource the service to a country where a significant number of the staff are simply script readers have no real idea what they are doing.

 

All true, but all business owners/managers/company directors would disagree with you - the one's I've met anyway. Especially when it comes to price, and keeping business costs down, especially the costs of employing staff, or for that matter the costs of actually manufacturing a product in this country!

 

The key problem in this country has been that call centre jobs, like so many other jobs, are classed as a low paid, minimum wage, **bleep** job that no one really wants to do. Combine that with shift working, or unsociable hours, and you have a lethal cocktail that no UK worker will touch unless it's extremely well paid, their desperate to work, or the DHSS are forcing them to take the job at gunpoint! £5.80/hour simply won't cut it, and all you'll end up with is a high turnover of staff. And in that sort of working environment you can forget staff training! The people who are supposed to train either won't bother or only give you 5 minutes of their time and then watch you sink or swim. I mean, if this person is only going to stick around until they can get another job, or get pissed off and leave, or until they get knocked up by their spotty boyfriend and end up becoming a single mother living on benefits, what's the point in wasting the companies time, money and breath training this person? Plus, on top of that, you would also have to pay the UK employees national insurance, probably provide them with some sort of pension, maternity pay...

 

I saw this first hand, 15 years ago, in the electronics industry. This is why so many UK jobs have gone abroad. Employers simply can't get the quality of staff they perceive they want at the right price, plus the costs associated with running a business here are considered to be too high.

 

Sad, but true.

 

Does anyone know anything about the move of the call centres back to the UK?

 

Have you tried directly asking the moderators this question?