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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Customers balk at offshore moves
Call centre worker
Unions fear jobs going overseas
A third of UK consumers say they would take their business elsewhere if their bank or insurer moved its customer service operations overseas.

Consumers were worried about language and cultural differences, a survey from consultancy firm Troika found.

However, only 4% of people said they had switched provider in response to customer services moving abroad.

Concern has been growing among unions that many call centre jobs could be moved abroad to low-cost locations.

Recently, insurer Norwich Union announced it would be moving nearly 1,000 call centre jobs to India.

Exodus

Outsourcing jobs abroad can offer huge savings to companies and financial services firms have led the exodus from the UK.

For a third of consumers to say they would switch if their provider announced a move offshore is a dramatically high number
Andrew Veal, Troika

In India, UK banks can cut costs by paying graduates as little as $200 a month to work in administration and answer customer calls.

Troika said that their survey - which interviewed 2,000 UK consumers - indicated that banks and insurers had to do more to educate consumers as to why they were switching jobs abroad, and that offshore workers did not equal poor customer service.

"Given the traditionally high levels of inertia in financial services, for a third of consumers to say they would switch if their provider announced a move offshore is a dramatically high number," Andrew Veal, Troika director, said.

Mr Veal added that the fact that less than one in five people believed they had used a call centre overseas indicated that "offshore locations are fitting seamlessly into their UK-based operations".




SEE ALSO:
Norwich Union moves jobs to Asia
22 Sep 04  |  Business
Greying of India's call centres
05 Aug 04  |  South Asia
Tesco 'outsources jobs to India'
23 Jul 04  |  Business
Sri Lanka embraces outsourcing
13 Jul 04  |  Business


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