BT in pledge to bring customer call services back to UK
Telecoms giant BT has pledged to answer more than 80% of customer calls in the UK by the end of 2016 under plans to bring back services from overseas.
The move will create hundreds of new jobs over the next year, as well as securing existing posts at call centres across the country.
The company said its customers preferred to speak to a UK call centre rather than one based overseas.
BT opened contact centres in India in 2003 and will retain sites there for back office functions that do not involve taking customers' calls.
The firm has more than 20 UK contact centres in areas including Wales, Cornwall, Scotland and the Midlands.
John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, said: "Our customers have told us that they would prefer to speak to a contact centre in the UK when they call us.
"When we launched BT Mobile earlier this year, we located customer service in the UK and our customers have valued that.
"We think doing this for our other products is one way in which we can boost the service that we offer customers.
"This move will secure thousands of existing UK jobs and create new UK jobs.
"Our offshore partners have provided a good level of service for our customers and we will still have offshore partners to help us to deliver various campaigns and services.
"However, we believe that now is the right time to commit more investment to the UK and that this is something that customers will appreciate."
BT said it had already created more than 1,000 new jobs in this country to prepare for bringing customer service back to UK centres, adding that the figure will continue to increase.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "Consumers tell us that call centres not being based in the UK is one of their biggest bugbears, so it's good to see BT responding to what their customers want. Companies that don't give customers the care and attention they deserve risk losing out to competitors."