Don’t call us we’ll call you is the message from TelstraClear to its workers at the Paraparaumu call centre. The company has announced a Philippines call centre will replace the Kāpiti operation, with the axing of 70 jobs here.
While there has been the expected weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth from those in high places the move should not come as a great shock.
Telstra is a multi-national company that has loyalty to its shareholders, not the community of Kāpiti which had shown huge loyalty to the company since it started competing with Telecom.
Nature Coast Enterprise chief Chris Barber sees the move as TelstraClear turning its back on Kāpiti, while Mayor, Jenny Rowan said she was very upset about the decision. “Many of the workers are family members who rely on this source of income. They have provided loyal service and this is what they get in response.
“I accept TelstraClear’s right to make its own business decisions, but you have to ask how much better their support service will be when it is based in Manila? I have already had feedback about how poor that service has been.” Many people who have waited for ages then been put through to someone for whom English is a challenge will attest to that.
There will also be question marks around how clever a business decision this is. There are lots of players in the market now and customer loyalty is getting harder to hold. And the offshore move doesn’t always work out well. Ask anyone with shares in Fisher & Paykel.
The last word goes to Mark Ternent, chair of the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce who eschews the hype of such businesses and urges Kāpiti to focus on attracting sustainable businesses that will create jobs and maintain them.