BT brings call-centre jobs from India back to UK

BT brings call-centre jobs from India back to UK

Summary: The telco is cutting its call-centre workforce in India by 4,000 as it returns some of the work to the UK

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TOPICS: Networking
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BT is cutting its call-centre workforce in India by 4,000 and bringing some of the work back to the UK, the telco confirmed on Thursday.

The cuts all fall within BT Retail and involve only third-party call-centre staff rather than direct BT employees, according to a BT spokesman.

The workforce reduction will be complete by next year, he added, attributing the cuts to "improved customer service which means that fewer support staff are required".

As a result of the job cuts, some work performed by Indian staff will in future be carried out by employees in the UK.

"Some work will… be moved back to the UK and given to full-time BT employees who have been affected by cuts elsewhere in these challenging times," the spokesman said. "BT has a responsibility to find work for its permanent workforce and this is just one measure it is taking to protect its direct workforce."

The move was disclosed at the telco's annual general meeting yesterday, according to a report in The Times. The newspaper claims at least 2,000 jobs will be repatriated, with the total expected to be closer to 2,750. However, the BT spokesman refused to confirm exactly how many jobs will be returned to the UK.

BT will still have call-centre operations in India and will continue to source software and applications development work there, according to the telco's spokesman.

"This announcement shouldn't be seen as a reflection of BT giving up hopes on sourcing [work from India]," he added.

The company recently topped a poll of UK companies with the worst customer service, with complaints including call-waiting times and trouble getting offshore call-centre staff to understand English accents.

At the company's annual shareholder meeting yesterday, BT chairman Sir Michael Rake said the company is focusing on improving customer service, along with investing in fibre infrastructure to enable superfast broadband. According to Rake, BT also expects to cut over £1bn of costs in the current financial year.

In separate news, BT announced it has been awarded a Ministry of Defence contract worth £99m over five years for managed voice and data networks in more than a quarter of a million MoD assets, including buildings, comms rooms and underground cable ducts.

Topic: Networking

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  • outsourcing from BT

    No disrespect to any outsourced call centres but its about time that the jobs were brought home to the UK.
    Lets hope that BT sets a trend and more UK based companies stop outsourcing to foreign call centres and give the british a chance at gaining some self respect and the unemployment in this country starts to drop which in turn should help to boost the failing economy.
    Lets face it not everyone is happy to call a call centre where you can't understand a lot of what the representative is saying to you which in turn makes more people frustrated at the original company they are trying to deal with.
    andy.whitmore@...
  • Unintelligible service

    While the concept of using cheap call centre labour in India seemed economically sensible, it has in fact been counterproductive in most instances. The customer in UK speaks British English with it's various accents and it's colloquialisms which, unfortunately is not the same as Indian English which, on a telephone, is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fully comprehend. Conversely it often is very difficult to get the Indian call centre operator to properly understand the caller.
    A British, UK based, properly trained operator should invariably give a better service, and at a better throughput which results in a smaller work force and greater customer satisfaction.
    Companies intending to move to overseas call centre service should not blindly follow the trail to India but should search for English speaking countries that do not have the accent problem. To mind comes the former British Honuras, Belize, in Central America where the English, tainted with an American twang, is very comprehensible.
    hampshirehog
  • have you ever tried talking to an indian call center?

    have you ever tried talking to an indian call center? I have, its bleedin impossible.. If BT and other large companies truely wanted to improve service , they would axe the foreign call centres and employ brits.

    There is a saying that goes a little like this... 'cheapest isnt always best' and that has always been true where customer service is concerned.
    tonyb299