Powergen call centres return home from India

24-08-2006

Powergen is to return its call centres back to the UK from India.

With a view to better management and training in the UK, and after a number of complaints from customers, the energy giant said inquiries would be dealt with in call centres in Bolton, Bedford, Leicester, Nottingham and Rayleigh in Essex.

Powergen, part-owned by German group E.ON, set up the Indian call centres almost five years ago.

Customer services will cease in India at the end of the year.

The firm, which took over TXU Energy in 2002, said it aimed to train 980 new staff by the end of the year.

Nick Horler, managing director of Powergen, said he was of the view that "industry-leading customer service" should operate solely in the UK.

Despite the cost savings from outsourcing to the Indian subcontinent, he said Powergen was "simply not prepared" to jeopardise customer satisfaction.

The firm has six million domestic customers.

Amicus' national secretary, David Fleming, welcomed the announcement.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that the business case for off-shoring is being eroded by the day. There is a growing crisis in the Indian call centre and back-office industry.

"Labour costs are rising, turnover is spinning out of control and middle management are ill equipped to deal with the challenges of managing offshore services.

"We will see more and more companies looking back towards the UK as they realise the high-skilled, low-cost spin sold to them by consultants was exactly that: spin," he said.

Powergen currently employs 5,000 workers.

A total of 450 jobs will go in India as a consequence of the decision.



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