ICO probes £50m Sky CRM operation

sky-movies-in-time jpBSkyB’s £50m CRM operation is being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office after being placed on its “watch list” because of concerns about compliance at the company’s contact centres.
The company first launched the CRM strategy in 2000, and it has been the main driver of its sales and marketing operation ever since, with thousands of staff promoting Sky services.
The media giant now has contact centres operating in ten locations, including Livingston, Dunfermaline, Newcastle, Leeds and Dublin.
However, the contact centres have been at the centre of a major row in recent weeks over staff bonuses and pay, amid claims staff are having their pay slashed if they cannot persuade customers against cancelling their account.
Employees at the firm’s Livingston base claim some colleagues have tried to dodge “cancel” calls by pretending headsets are not working; others keep customers on hold in the hope they get fed up and put the phone down; while there have also been bust-ups between colleagues in an attempt not to take calls that may reduce their bonus.
Meanwhile, the Communications Workers Union has claimed engineers have been subject to covert photography by managers, which has then been used to discipline or dismiss them.
BSkyB boss have refused to comment on the claims.
The company is one of 14 businesses now placed on the ICO watch list, including Fusion Media, 247 Home Rescue; and Apple Home Improvements.
However, according to ICO figures, concerns about sales calls reported to the regulator are at their lowest level since October 2012, with an 84% reduction in complaints since March 2013.
The ICO stated: “We believe it is a strong indication that the high public interest and concerted action by regulators, consumer and industry groups is having a deterrent effect. It is particularly encouraging as it is now much easier for the public to report concerns than before.”


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