O2 and Capita Hitting the News over Call Centre Job Concerns

O2 and Capita Hitting the News over Call Centre Job ConcernsFor a company that aspires to lead the way in customer services, O2 have today (21/05/13) sparked major concern for the nearly 3’700 staff, employed in call centres in Glasgow, Leeds, Bury, and Warrington.

The concerns come as O2 make the announcement that all customer services staff will be transferred from Telefonica UK, over to Capita. The move will see all call centre staff, transfer their employment over to the Capita group.

A major company, whose business is in professional outsourcing.

It’s estimated that the pay rate between the O2 to Capita hourly rates, could see staff take a hit of around £3 per hour less than their current rate of pay. That’s for the staff who remain after the cost saving measures are implemented. On an official statement released on the CWU website, (Communication Workers Union,) the figures show a more serious picture.

  • 600 redundancies
  • Over 3’000 transfers

The total numbers of jobs affected are 3’670. Pay rates for those transferring to Capita, are expected to fall from an average of £10 per hour, down to the hourly average of £7 per hour for the staff transferred to work through Capita.

Working 40 hours per week, losing £3 on each hour is a huge hit to any household, taking a wage cut of £120 per week. Something that CWU is expressing concern with, in communications to O2, where they are asking for reconsiderations to be made.

The announcement made today, Tuesday 21st May also raises concerns over the legality of the move, as such action that affects the amount of jobs this decision will have, should see staff given 90 days notice of the full changes to their employment. The changes are scheduled to take effect from 1st of July 2013, giving staff only 41 days notice of the pending changes to their employment status with Telefonica UK.

Why O2 Are Taking Such Drastic Action

O2 have established a reputation for their customer services. Reviews of incoming calls to call centres are estimated to have plummeted by around 1 million fewer inbound calls per month.

The change is put down to ever improving technology, such as Blackberry, Smartphone technology and other communication channels online, where customers are seeking answers to their problems, without using the customer services telephone number.

The move will see O2 invest £31 million into their digital service channels where customers can get answers to problems faster than waiting in queues to speak to an operator. A further £19 million will be invested to overhaul the highstreet stores, operated by O2 to bring together the brand image to mirror both online and offline shopping experiences for customers.

The aim of O2 is said to be to reflect the change customers look for support. In this day in age, that’s increasing becoming online support gateways, which investments are being made to improve digital communications and enhance the digital shopping experience.

What exactly does this mean for jobs with O2?

In terms of working in customer service roles, dealing with inbound calls, resolving any queries customers have, you won’t find those jobs with O2. Not in the next decade anyway.

The move has extended the firms outsourcing to Capita for an extended 10 years, which is raising concern, since last year, Capita relocated thousands of jobs to India, creating job cuts, to raise profitability. That part’s still unclear, as to how the firm plan to handle the increase in call centre operators.

The outsourcing of customer service agents from Telefonica UK, over to Capita, will allow for O2 to focus on improving customer services through their digital channels. These include:

  • GuruTV – Hosted on YouTube
  • Web Chat Services
  • MyO2

An additional service is scheduled to roll out in a few months, which is collaboration between O2 and IMImobile services, which will allow customers to access their account details, by tweeting the service, believed to a first of its kind service, to the mobile industry.