Friday, June 16, 2006

Powergen shuts Indian call centres

Good to see Powergen closing its Indian call centre, bringing 450 call centre jobs back to the UK.

Having spent what seems like days on the phone to Indian call centres mostly for techie problems relating to Dell and Netgear, I'd do pretty much anything to avoid the experience.

Indian call centre staff are nice and try to be helpful, but it’s never a satisfying experience.

Calls seem to last longer and be that bit more painful than they already are. I think it is actually worth asking these days where a company locates its call centres. If they are in India and you think you might be calling, consider going elsewhere.

I spent half an hour online the line last week to Netgear (they make wireless routers among other things) and I just hung up in the end.

It was a bad line, I had trouble getting everything that was being said and it was on an 0870 number. Talk about Con India.

Despite having shifted its call centres to the sub-continent five years ago, Powergen's managing director Nick Horler said that while offshore call centres "may have their place for certain industries", Powergen can best "achieve industry-leading customer service by operating solely in the UK. When customers contact us they need to be confident that their query will be fully resolved quickly".

Other companies have already switched back to the UK, but many more hang on, believing that the costs they save on low Indian wages makes it worthwhile.

But like Apple earlier this week with its China work camps, this stuff always comes back to bite you on the ass.


At 10:19 AM, Anonymous They solve a big problem said...

Now althought there is an annoyance factor with offshore centers, they do answer a major business problem. Its not just that they save money but there is a vast skills gap emerging in the UK at the moment.

Our domicile workers struggle even to fill the higher order jobs in this country so we need to look abroad to fill the void.

Immigration cannot solve the problem by itself and the right wing press would be devasted if it did so we have to offshore.

It may not be popular but any number of studies will back this.

Its early days for the process so there are bound to be some problems but once people realise this is a global business world we live in and accept that some functions need to reflect this, the better.


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