Mobile phone giant EE is pulling the plug on its overseas contact centres and bringing them back to the UK as part of plans to improve its customer communications strategy.
The move, among a number of pledges by new chief executive Marc Allera, will create 600 new jobs, with new sites set to open in Plymouth, South Wales and North Tyneside.
It makes EE, which currently has 31 million connections in the UK, the latest in a string of companies to abandon overseas call centres reversing the stampede to India and other lower-wage nations in the mid-2000s.
In January, EE’s new owner BT announced its own recruitment drive after huge numbers of complaints from frustrated users. BT pledged to hire 1,000 more UK staff and move much of its Indian workforce into positions which do not involve talking to customers.
It was part of a promise to spend £80m on customer service and ensure at least 80% of calls were answered in Britain by the end of this year.
EE has also promised to improve its high-speed 4G mobile internet service by reaching 95% of geographic areas, even those as remote as the Shetland Islands.
Allera, who took on the role in January after EE merged with BT, said: ‘We are really pleased we’re rolling out 4G coverage further than any mobile operator has ever gone. At the start of this year our geographic coverage was around 50%, but we’re going to push that up to 95% by the end of the decade.
He said the company was improving its customer service, and now received 16% of industry complaints while having a market share of 34%.
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