An outsourced call centre worker got so miffed by the antics of Western customers he went bananas and started sending them abusive SMS messages.
New Zealand Telecom outsourced its call centre work to Manila but did not seem to account for he fact that their Kiwi customers were not exactly polite.
Apparently certain customers started to receive SMS messages telling them to go forth and multiply which appeared to come from New Zealand Telecom.
Four people were suspended after an investigation, but it turned out that only one was responsible who will face the full force of a disciplinary action.
However employees at another call centre told the Dominion Post that the problem is not really the Philippine workers but the fact that Kiwi callers are racist and he is not surprised an employee in Manila sent customers abusive texts.
Call centre staff frequently hear racist comments from callers. “They say, ‘Thank God I’ve got a Kiwi. Stuff those bloody Asians’. Quite a good portion of Kiwis are culturally insensitive.”
The Manila worker might have received “a lot of abuse about being yellow-eyed little bastards or whatever”, he says. “That eats away at you.”
Telecom and Sitel are taking legal advice as to whether they should contact the relevant Filipino coppers about the situation.
Part of the problem is that Telecom invites customers to rate calls and poor ratings can mean staff are not paid monthly commissions.
If you get abusive people ringing up and looking for credit, the call centre staff might do everything right and say no. In the post call survey they are scoring revenge for towing the company line, the former call centre employee said.
NZ Telecom denies this and says that call centre employees are given a two week training course on Kiwi culture.