Telecom NZ to divert call operation to Malaysia.

Sunday February 3, 2008
"What you say?"
Photo from Malaysian call centre training video.

Telecom New Zealand has announced they will be diverting their 018 call centre operation to Malaysia. Ros Ramley of Manly reports.
“Yes it’s indeed on the cards, and we’re very excited about the big move,” says Telecom spokesman Wally J Bolton. “We believe the restructuring of our 018 directory help service will benefit all concerned, including management, the new kid from that big PR company who came up with the idea, and shareholders alike. Sure it may mean we gotta give a bunch of our current loyal employees the boot, but then hey, them the breaks.”

The Other News asked Mr Bolton what the implications were in moving a localised helpline to a foreign country. We were told, “Well, in Malaysia they got a lot of people with telephones and PC’s willing to work for next to nothing, so we just thought the arrangement could work out just fine and dandy.”

Bolton went on to say that he didn’t see the language barrier being too much of a problem as most people they had interviewed spoke reasonable English, although a few struggled with the pronunciation some place names like Rangiora and Kohimarama. “So if you’re sitting on the side of the road with your car on fire, or trying to find a pizza shop in a town with a funny name, be sure to have the number on your speed dial just in case.” Bolton also went on to say, “Although the labour is cheaper, we believe we can make up for this with the extended call time required to explain instructions at least several times over, thus up-selling more call time. And that will surely keep management and shareholders very chipper indeed.“

PR spokesman Harold McNight of top management said. “Yes the move has come up with much criticism, however we made sure future employees were well up to scratch with local New Zealand knowledge. Our training kit includes the complete hi-definition DVD series of Lord of the Rings, the ‘87 All Blacks tour, matching set of jandals and some other stuff too. And surprisingly many had relatives and friends now living in New Zealand. An important segment of the population our market researchers are more than willing to take advantage of. Ch’ching, why yes siree.”

After studying much of the information and economic benefits for moving large corporate operations off shore, James Herbert, expert economists says, “This is pure genius. Without those high local labour costs, just imagine how much money NZ companies could all save by hiring staff in Asia at a fraction of the local cost. This indeed is the economic future for NZ. Yes, truly exciting times ahead.”