British Telecom to shut down India call centres

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London, Sept 19: Telecom giant British Telecom has announced plans to shut down its call centres in India to bring them back to Britain following complaints of poor customer service.

The UK's flagship telecom giant, which has used call centres in Delhi and Bangalore, has said that more than 80 per cent of calls will be answered in the UK by the end of 2016, and that it will go further in years to come.

British Telecom to close call centres

"Our customers have told us that they would prefer to speak to a contact centre in the UK when they call us," explained John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer.

"When we launched BT Mobile earlier this year we located customer service in the UK and our customers have valued that. We think doing this for our other products is one way in which we can boost the service that we offer customers.

Our offshore partners have provided a good level of service, however we believe that now is the right time to commit more investment to the UK and that this is something customers will appreciate," he said.

Since 2003, the firm, which has more than 10 million customers in the UK, has used call centres in Bangalore and Delhi to supplement its UK operations, according to the 'Guardian'.

Currently half of BT's customer calls are dealt with at centres in the UK. The firm will continue to outsource back-office work and functions that do not involve frontline work of taking customers' calls offshore and those jobs will most likely stay in India.

BT said it has already created more than 1,000 new UK jobs to meet this commitment, and plans to create "hundreds of other customer call centre positions in the UK over the next year".

The company has 20 contact centres in the UK from Wales and Cornwall to the Midlands and Scotland. Telecom customers have long complained of poor customer service with staff unable to sort out basic problems.

BT has said it has also invested in new systems to assist its advisers and improve customer services.

Last week the consumer group Which? reported that not being able to ring a call centre based in the UK was the nation’s biggest customer service bugbear.

Nearly half of those surveyed by the organisation said they were irritated by call centres not being based in the UK.

PTI

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