Telstra Jobs Threat



By Alan Tristram

November 29th 2009

TelstraClear is remaining tight-lipped about a ‘feasibility study’ which could axe the jobs of 70 call centre staff in Paraparaumu.

An earlier TelstraClear announcement says the firm is looking at “inbound contact centres to improve residential customer service and maintain competitiveness.”

It says the study will “assess all the options…and whether our customers’ needs can be met.”

The one thing Chris Mirams, Telstra communications manager, would say is that Telstra would take into account Kiwis’ dislike of the poor service from many overseas call centres.

What about the workers?

Meanwhile, there’s no mention in the company’s media release about the effect of the proposals on the interests or feelings of the 70 Kapiti Coast workers, who now have to wait more than three months to know whether they will still have a job.

Except that is, for this sentence:

“No decision has been made and staff have been fully informed.” (from Maggie Robertson, head of customer services).

But one worker quoted by a local Kapiti paper points out that the staff includes elderly workers, sole income family earners, newly-married couples and people who’ve just taken out their first mortgages.

Big Profits in Last Financial Year

In August, TelstraClear said net profits were up on 2008.

TelstraClear earnings in NZ rose near 7 per cent to $159 million — before tax, interest depreciation and debt repayments.

The company’s chief financial officer, Michael Boggs, said consumer revenues were up almost 20 per cent year on year, consistent with the previous year.

Difficult problems for call centres

Problems with telecommunications (and computers) are some of the most difficult to sort out in KIN’s experience.

Earlier this year, for instance, Graeme Trask of Kapiti Independent News had problems with a Vodafone account and tried to get satisfaction through a call centre.

After several incomprehensible conversations with a succession of foreigners over several days, he finally asked where the call centre operator was speaking from, as he seemed to have very little knowledge of the problem in New Zealand.

“Egypt,” the expert answered helpfully.

NOTE: In future, Kapiti Independent News intends to highlight instances of bad customer service (as well as good examples) which result from companies downgrading the interests of Kiwi consumers by outsourcing work overseas.

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