BT defends call centre move to India

British
Telecom (BT) has defended the decision to move call centre jobs to India,
saying the new centres provide a better service than those in Britain.

Piere
Denon, BT Retail chief executive, speaking at the company’s annual meeting,
said the call centres, which will employ 2,200 people by the end of the year,
were a success and cost cost up to 40 per cent less than those in Britain.

The
centres send out bill reminders and deal with directory enquiries.

Outside
the meeting, unions paraded an inflatable pink elephant in protest at this
"stampede" of jobs.

BT
chairman Sir Christopher Bland said that the union concerns were
"fundamentally misguided".

BT
has plans to spend £105m on 31 state-of-the-art call centres in Britain, which
would be staffed by 17,000 people. This dwarfs the £3m spent on two centres in India,
Denon said.

By Michael Millar

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