O2 News Update: O2 and Capita Call Centre Closures

Capita and O2 Call Centre Closures

A recent O2 news update detailed that following an outsourcing deal announced in May this year, Capita are looking at closing two UK based O2 call centres that employ over 1200 staff.

The two call centres – one in Bury, Manchester and the other in Glasgow are likely to have their contracts terminated at the end of 2015. The centres’ closures have occurred because of a £1.2m deal struck by Capita to outsource the customer services facilities to other locations. O2’s Dearne Valley and Leeds call centres will also see a cut in employment – from 2000 employees to just 730 for the former and a cut of 145 positions out of 725 for the latter.

The plan incorporates a deal that says of the 1370 out of 3700 jobs that will be lost; a minimum of 500 employees will be redistributed around the Capita business as a whole. The plan has been codenamed ‘Project Vincent’ in order to keep the plans under wraps until Capita were ready to share their plans with the public and their employees.

The outsourcing looks likely to be located in Cape Town and India. A Capita call centre in Cape Town currently handles a small number of O2 customer service calls and has 200 employees is looking to expand to 660 employees. As for India, currently they only provide customer service via a web chat service but they are also looking to expand as part of a plan known as ‘contact deflection’ to discourage customer calls and promote web based assistance. All of these plans are likely to be in place by 2015.

What This Means for O2 Customers

To put it bluntly – the worldwide based 5800 Capita staff that currently serve O2 customers will be cut to fewer than 3000 by the time Capita reach the end of their ten year contract. This is less than positive news for O2 customers that have already lost some of their Wi-Fi perks this year thanks to the termination of their BT contract.

‘Project Vincent’ will ultimately save O2 just short of £1bn over the course of the scheme through the discouragement of customer calls and promotion of self-service, web based assistance will account for half of this total, a third of it will come from the outsourcing of call centres to foreign countries and the simple closure of sites and the rest will be from productivity gains. Unfortunately for O2 the Communications Worker’s Union has been outraged and the repercussions of their duplicitous relationship with Capita could prove to be detrimental to their image.

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