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StopItRawr
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Message 1 of 16
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Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-43987314

 

As some of the Forum Team I think are based here, I do NOT want anyone celebrating the loss of jobs here, as it'll be awful for anyone who will be facing this and unable to relocate.

 

To the higher ups at VM who obviously are counting the beans and not caring for staff or their customers, let me say this:

Save Swansea, DITCH OFFSHORE.

The UK teams are the only thing that keeps many customers happy, with other companies like EE leading the way in keeping support to UK and IE so that people can have actual meaningful conversations with people who can understand and empathise, rather than someone reading form a script dealing with people so far away they cannot possibly serve their customers in a personal way in an increasingly impersonal world.

You should be creating more, not less jobs not only in Swansea and elsewhere and using the goodwill it generates to re-take the lead in customer services. That will pay off, but LG are too focused on costs, rather than people to give a damn.

 

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Andruser
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Message 2 of 16
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Re: Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.

I second all of those comments, StopItRawr.  A miserable, short termist decision by the overly well paid directors of a company that doesn't care about its staff or its customers.  Sympathies with everybody affected, and a recommendation to those affected (based on personal experience) - the decision is already taken, and the "45 day consultation" is merely window dressing to comply with the law.  Get looking now, try and find an employer who can use your skills, and don't wait for the consultation, and the (probably) not very good redundancy terms on offer.  

For customers, I'd note that the BBC announcement referring to more jobs in Manchester and Glasgow seems to add up to about 90 net job losses in customer service.  That's a loss that Vermin Media can ill afford, when their offshore customer service is so poor as to be barely functional.  I've already passed up a good value mobile deal from VM simply because their customer service is rubbish - and now they want to make it worse.

 

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jamesofmerton
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Message 3 of 16
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Re: Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.

'Save Swansea, DITCH OFFSHORE'

i agree but offshore is cheap. been there, done it.

from an initial business view it is vast money saved. from a longer term customer and business reality it is large amounts of money lost due to poor service and little customer retention.

one thing you didn't mention is this forum. will it close or will regular users like you and me and the others be relied upon to replace swansea. i think a fraction of the 800 will remain wherever they are based.

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LittleMick73
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Message 4 of 16
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Re: Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.

I really hope that the nice helpful people on here are not affected, or come to that any call handlers.Regards Micky
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frank_gm
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Message 5 of 16
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Re: Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.

Given that a company with a very poor record of customer service plans to reduce the level of service still further suggests that both customers and staff are a very low priority for the current management/owners. Perhaps the plan is to squeeze as much money as possible from the assets before offloading? It must be obvious to anyone following these forums over the last couple of years that the current ownership has not been positive for Virgin Media.

With regard to forum contributors being used to replace actual, paid, staff, then that can only be viewed as immoral. In those circumstances surely even the most die-hard VM supporter must rethink their position and consider withdrawing support?  Yes, customers will continue to suffer, as they do at the moment, but that is more likely to make them consider changing suppliers. It would appear that only losing an increasing number of customers might have any effect on the current policies.

 

 

Nice to be able to post again, after their mistake (removed by the Censorship team).
¡No Pasarán!
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Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person
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Message 6 of 16
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Re: Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.

I don't think there's any information as to how it will affect the Forum.  However the Forum is currently run out of Swansea, and a lot of the staff there have second line experience, plus they've built up a good rapport with other parts of the company. 

A lot of the Superusers also have a good "working" relationship with the Forum staff, enabling us to be taken seriously when we do raise issue that need investigating. 

For my part I've written to Tom Mockridge and my own MP regarding this.  Personally when you claim that you've got an increasing customer base, and then want to close centres like Swansea down, it doesn't necessarily add up.  And certainly when your first line support staff appear technically clueless, and lack understanding of the companies structure and history (in my personal experience), you really need to look at whether outsourcing the calls to an offshore base really is in the company's best interests.

If people are genuinely concerned, I do urge that you contact your local MP in whatever part of the country you are in and urge them to raise this.  My personal feeling is that the closure of Swansea potentially means that everyone loses.

Tim

As a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share my knowledge. I don't work for Virgin Media.

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teabag
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Message 7 of 16
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Re: Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.

Think Virgin should be looking at what using offshore has done to BT's reputation, at least it looks like BT has realised  https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.standard.co.uk/business/bt-to-bring-call-centres-back-to-britain-by...

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rcoley
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Message 8 of 16
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Re: Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.

100% agree, offshore call centres typically struggle as the nuances of the language are lost and scripts are the go to form for any communications, when you’re trying to communicate something to someone who a, doesn’t listen, b, cannot understand properly, it’s very frustrating that a simple call that would normally take 5 minutes lasts for 20 plus minutes often with no actual resolution. EE have brought their customer services back to the UK and it makes a massive difference. The problem is that companies are beholden to share holders who want profit which means cost cutting, the unfortunate fact is that offshore call centres are a lot cheaper than UK ones.  

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chenks
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Message 9 of 16
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Re: Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.

a UK based call centre doesn't suddenly fix every problem that an off-shore based one has.
if the UK based staff as just as badly trained and have to stick to script then it doesn't solve anything. also, you have no guarantee that any UK based call centre will be staffed with white british native queens english speaking staff.

as i always say, the location of the call centre is mostly irrelevant. it's the training of the staff that is important.

i use this as a prime example - plusnet (owned by BT) has a UK based call centre and it is absolutely abymsal.
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wez
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Message 10 of 16
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Re: Virgin Media to close Swansea Customer Service Centre.


@chenks wrote:
a UK based call centre doesn't suddenly fix every problem that an off-shore based one has.
if the UK based staff as just as badly trained and have to stick to script then it doesn't solve anything. also, you have no guarantee that any UK based call centre will be staffed with white british native queens english speaking staff.

as i always say, the location of the call centre is mostly irrelevant. it's the training of the staff that is important.

i use this as a prime example - plusnet (owned by BT) has a UK based call centre and it is absolutely abymsal.

Having a UK call centre won't magically fix customer service problems, but it will make it easier. Even if its just to help customers be able to more easily understand the agent on the phone. It would also make customer care more consistent and accountable. It would make it easier to focus on shortcomings in the agents - its won't be a convenient excuse anymore that it was an offshore agent.

Case in point is the recent offshore mobile agents refusing PACs when requested when customers have arrears or buy outs, and when also connected to a freestyle agreement (see the posts in mobile forum) - get a UK based agent and its processed straight away. 

By all means keep some offshore for out of hours work, but base your 8 am to 8 pm work in the UK.

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