Is the time up for offshore call centres?

Jun 30 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

In the week that a worker in a Bangalore call centre operated by banking giant HSBC was arrested for allegedly supplying personal details to fraudsters who went on to steal £230,000 from 16 UK customers, Miles Brignall in the Guardian asks whether the time is up for Indian call centres.

With absenteeism and staff turnover in India now approaching levels in the UK, many companies are starting to ask whether the savings are worth it. Particularly when they see rivals promoting the fact they remain in the UK - and picking up customers on the back of it.

And according to Mike Harvard, managing director of CM-Insight, an independent consultancy which advises companies on call centre management: "Questions are being asked in boardrooms across the country about whether the savings are worth the potential loss of consumer confidence."

But Ė and it is a big but - as the report also points out, frauds committed by staff employed at home are rarely reported in the same way - not least because the banks are much better at hushing them up.

The Guardian | Is it finally time to hang-up on Indian call centres?


Older Comments

It would help if they could actually speak ENGLISH as we do but they rearly can and you just end up hanging up on them. They love to waste your time and money as we are the onea who gets the phone bill at the end of it all.

Jane Leach ENGLAND and proud of it

It really is beyond a joke now and time we all just refuse to go with any company who have indian call centres! There absolutely useless and just mess you about as long as possible so as to make them some more money with the 0870 or 0845 rip off phone numbers(i use say no to 0870 website to try to combat this evil)I have a 3 mobile on contract which I am not renewing this month! and any other companies which rip us off with indian call centres and 0870 numbers i will avoid like the plague in future!

Billy Sing (lol)

My recent experience of foreign call centres says it all. It took two weekends and nearly and hour on an 0870 number just to order a new store card!

Laura Nottingham

I understand why businesses choose to employ staff in other countries it saves money. Having worked in call centres and managed both inbound and outbound teams in the U.K the one area you cannot not cut cost is in the managerial roles. Indian people or any other nationality are not stupid people and with the right training and ongoing KPI's and SCA reports Im sure that they would be as competant as english staff. It is down to higher management to make sure that our foreign counterparts have a basic grasp of the english language as standard before taking that person any further within the call centre industry. So to all of You large businesses looking to set up over sea's go for it you will any way but dont cut corners where it really matters responsible higher management and training.

Francine Staffordshire