Telstra has reignited the offshoring debate with its announcement that it is closing a Philippines-based help service, about six months after it began.
"The change is being made because our customers asked for it," Telstra spokesman Rod Bruem told The Australian.
The move back to Australian staff followed complains from corporate customers, and from small business customers who said poor language skills undermined the Memo service, which saw Filipino staff act as virtual secretaries.
Telecom has outsourced around 700 call centre and back-office jobs to Manila - including a recent tranche of 250 - in an effort to save around $7.5 million in annual salary costs.
But unlike Telstra, our national carrier has no plans to pull any services back home.
Chief financial officer Russ Houlden has previously said that Filipino staff cost less than half their Kiwi counterparts, but perform just as well.
Today, Telecom corporate spokesman Ian Bonnar reiterated the telco’s position, telling NBR:
“We are very happy with the service provided by our outsourced contact centre partners.
“We have been careful to ensure that any contact centres that we outsource at least match the service provided by onshore contact centres. As such have been very selective in which functions we outsource, and insisted on very high levels of performance from our outsource partners.
“We have no plans to review our current outsourcing arrangements.”