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Fasthosts to offshore support staff

Romanian call centre to offer 'improved experience'

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Budget web hosting provider Fasthosts will soon make almost all of its UK customer service team redundant, to be replaced by call centres in Romania and the Phillipines, staff were told on Wednesday.

Up to 38 posts are set to go at Fasthosts' Gloucester HQ as a result. In a statement to The Register today, the firm said the "regrettable" job losses "will further improve customer experience" and enable it "to better serve its hundreds of thousands of customers".

The staff affected handle support for Fasthosts' direct clients. Customers who resell hosting will continue to be served from the UK.

Fasthosts said offshoring its customer service operation would bring it in line with other companies owned by 1&1 Internet. The German ISP bought the firm from dotcom entrepreneur Andrew Michael for £61.5m in 2006.

Sources said there were rumours inside Fasthosts that servers will also be moved offshore. "The company continues to operate at its state of the art facilities in Gloucester, and does not envisage moving any other operational functions overseas," Fasthosts said.

The firm has a poor reputation for customer service after a series of technical and administrative failures. In 2007 it hit headlines after a hacking attack prompted Fasthosts to reset passwords without warning. Thousands of web masters were frozen out of their sites for several days as a result.

Fasthosts will now enter a statutory consultation period of several weeks with the 38 staff whose jobs are being eliminated. "[Fasthosts] will endeavour to secure redeployment within the group wherever possible," it said. ®

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