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Foxtel to make further layoffs in call centres to compete with global counterparts

Foxtel is to make another round of layoffs with an undetermined number of call centre staff to lose their jobs as the subscription TV operator moves further into providing web-based customer service.

Mumbrella understands the latest redundancies are not related to last year’s merging of the Fox Sports and the Australian News Channel news rooms, the write downs announced by parent News Corp earlier this week or the recently finalised merger between Fox Sports and Foxtel

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Saying the changes allow the subscription TV operator to “be better able to compete with global competitors who employ virtually no Australians and therefore have a significant cost advantage”, the latest round of retrenchments follow a round of sackings announced in late 2016, following the company announcing an $11million loss.

Foxtel previously fired around 100 customer service staff in its ‘Command Centre’ reorganisation two years ago. Mumbrella understands none of the affected jobs in this cull will be outsourced to offshore call centres.

An anonymous commentor on a previous Foxtel story claims 77 staff will be let go, however Mumbrella was unable to confirm that number.

In a statement, Foxtel said that customers were shifting to online support channels which has seen a fall in calls to its contact centres resulting in a reduced need for customer service staff.

Foxtel’s statement in full is below:

Foxtel continues to evolve its service model enabling customers to engage with us as they wish. Increasingly, that means using online customer service tools which are quick and convenient.

In the past year alone, we have seen an 11 percentage point increase in online sales and a significant rise in instances of digital customer service transactions.  This has meant a commensurate decrease in the number of calls to our contact centres.

Unfortunately, a consequence of this is that we do not have the work to support the current number of employees in our contact centres. We have attempted to manage this by natural attrition; however, we have proposed a change to our operating model where there will be a people impact.

We’re now in a consultation period with staff to determine the full impact. These changes not only enable Foxtel to serve customers as they increasingly wish, but also to build a more efficient business, better able to compete with global competitors who employ virtually no Australians and therefore have a significant cost advantage.

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