|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
UK firm showers praise on Indian call centres
Shyam Bhatia in London | November 13, 2003 15:21 IST
Another British company has lavished praise on the quality of call centre staff in India, saying they do a far better job than their counterparts back home in the United Kingdom.
National Rail Inquiries chief executive Chris Scoggins told British Members of Parliament that at least 50 per cent of future inquiries could soon be answered from India.
"The quality is as good as, or in some cases better than, the quality of our existing service," Scoggins told members of the UK Parliament's Transport Select Committee.
Although Indian staff are paid one-sixth of what their UK counterparts receive, Scoggins explained that call centre work in India attracts 'very high quality staff.'
During testimony before the committee Scoggins was forced to admit that a pilot project to shift National Rail Inquires to India has been underway for the past eight weeks.
His admission followed criticism from a leading trades union official who told how he had received 'muddled information' about a journey from Burnley in Lancashire to London.
David Fleming, general secretary of Amicus (one of Britain's largest workers' unions) told the committee: "I talked to an operator who admitted she was not in the UK but refused to say in which country she was based."
"What has the service got to hide if it is instructing its staff to cover up the fact that they are based thousands of miles away from the towns, cities and rail networks they are supposed to service.?"
National Rail Inquiries chairman Charles Belcher told the committee in separate testimony that the company is under intense pressure to save costs and moving abroad could save an estimated �25 million over five years.
His statement has received an unsympathetic hearing from union officials.
Richard Rosser, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, told rediff.com, "Whilst National Rail Inquiries is talking about how much it could save, its not saying how much this could cost.
"It should be developing its staff and giving them reasons to stick around, rather than treating them like cannon fodder."