Articles about Call Centre

Chain expressing freedom (Stepph / Wikimedia)

Capita was always going to axe staff under Project Vincent – sources

Capita was always going to axe staff working in the outsourced O2 call centre under an initiative code-named Project Vincent once the two-year TUPE agreement period was over. Or so claimed employees that headed into Capita’s office in Glasgow, Scotland, today knowing it will be their last – still at least they won’t have to …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2016
Vibrant Evening Sunset At Twistleton Scar In North Yorkshire, UK. Photo by Shutterstock

Crashed and alone in a remote location: When paid help is no help

This Damn War This Damn War image via Shutterstock I took the plunge and became a freelance IT consultant in 2001. Through an unlikely series of coincidences (former colleague from London goes to travel show in France and bumps into two guys from Yorkshire who are looking for a software and database architect) I ended up in North Yorkshire …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2016
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Capita redundo staff: We are free at last, free at last… at the end of this month

More than a year after Capita initiated redundancies at its O2 call centres, the staff based in the Glasgow offices are finally set to exit the building at the end of this month. A call for volunteers to leave the business was first made in June 2015, and a couple of months later 700 of those placed at risk put their hands up …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jul 2016
Super-villain Dr Evil puts finger to lip in scheming manner, asks for one million dollars. Pic: New Line Cinema

Tesco Mobile does what? Hahahahahahaha. Sorry customers

Tesco Mobile’s 4.5 million customers might want to get ready to panic note that call centre customer support is to be outsourced to Capita from 1 August in a five-year contract worth £140m. The grocer’s MVNO arm is to transfer around 550 permanent staffers under TUPE regs and around 240 temps will continue to work for Tesco …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jun 2016

TalkTalk scam-scammers still scam-scamming

Updated TalkTalk customers are still being targeted by scammers, following a series of data breaches at the company. In the last four years, TalkTalk has had to admit to four different breaches of data, two directly from the company itself and two others from partners here and in India. Most notorious was its attack in October last …
Kat Hall, 03 Jun 2016

G4S call centre staff made 'test' 999 calls to hit performance targets

Five former Lincolnshire police employees have been suspended today from their jobs at G4S after allegedly calling 999 during quiet periods to improve their performance ratings. It has been alleged that the staff made more than 600 "test calls" to 999 for the purposes of improving their performance ratings, which The Guardian …
IT Crowd's Roy: "Have you turned it off and on again?"

Microsoft phone support contractors told to hang up after 15 minutes

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, in its regular Friday slot where we bring you readers' stories of stuff that goes on in the workplace. Yesterday's tale of four fellows paid elephant bucks to do nothing for three months prompted a submission from reader “Ivan” who says his first job in tech support was for “a call centre company that …
Simon Sharwood, 13 May 2016

EE grows network by one-third, promises to build 750 new sites

EE has is expanding its 4G network by one-third to cover 95 per cent of the UK by 2020 – following its mega contract with the Home Office to provide emergency services coverage across the country. Under the plan the operator is building 750 new sites across the country in a bid to eradicate "notspots". It is the first major …
Kat Hall, 25 Apr 2016
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Angry Vodafone customers spark Ofcom probe after phone bill overcharge snafu

Vodafone has once again come under fire for poor customer service, this time for its handling of a computer glitch that led to customers being overcharged. A spokeswoman admitted the company experienced problems last year when it migrated records onto a new billing system. "Unfortunately, there were some problems during the …
Kat Hall, 06 Apr 2016
Woman reads book, sips tea on couch. Photo by Shutterstock

Data protection: Don't be an emotional knee jerk. When it comes to the law, RTFM

How many times have you spoken to someone in a call centre who refused to give you information on the basis that the "Data Protection Act" prevents them? Any potential customers in Germany who told you they can’t buy your IT or cloud service because their law prohibits data transfers outside Germany? Has anyone told you that a …
Frank Jennings, 10 Mar 2016
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IBM staffer at risk of redundo? Capita will wipe away your tears

The thousand-plus IBM UK Global Technology Services peeps at risk of redundancy need fear not – caring corporation Capita has been contracted to provide support services for those affected by the process. The Global Technology Services arm at Big Blue last month put 1,352 staff at risk of redundancy as it trims the local wage …
Paul Kunert, 08 Mar 2016

Outsourced Virgin Media techies botched this infosec bod's Poodle fix

Virgin Media has promised to ensure all its agents are fully equipped to offer advice on the Poodle vulnerability, after a security expert exposed the failure of outsourced Indian call centre staff to explain and fix the problem. Independent security consultant Paul Moore, who is also a Virgin customer, was contacted by the …
Kat Hall, 04 Mar 2016
Zenith Rumba 2 stage desk

Standing desks have no effect on productivity, boffins find

Convertible desks that allow you to sit or stand don't have a measurable impact on productivity, according to a pilot study of 30 call centre workers. The study, conducted by Sydney University’s School of Public Health at Australian telco Optus and published in the Preventive Medicine Reports explains that its premise was to …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2016
Life of Brian

British Airways, IT staff job cuts, an outsourcing biz ... you get the point

Techies working at British Airways are staging a protest at the airline's corporate HQ over plans to outsource and offshore work to Tata Consultancy Services. According to the GMB trade union, which is organising a 15-minute walk from the corporation’s head office in West London to a local hotel on 29 February, all 900 of BA’s …
Paul Kunert, 25 Feb 2016

Bug bounty hunters score big dollars and the boom's only just begun

Feature Nathaniel Wakelam made US$250,000 last year. In his second job, finding and reporting bugs to bug bounty programs. Wakelam's a 20-year-old high school and university drop-out who has become something of a poster boy for the bug bounty boom, a movement that sees the world's biggest companies pay guys like him tens of thousands …
Darren Pauli, 22 Feb 2016
Virgin Media content searching on TiVo

Virgin Media spoof email mystery: Customers take to Facebook

Customers of Virgin Media who are increasingly convinced their service provider has been victim of a security breach have formed a Facebook group to share their experiences and push for answers. Virgin Media is firmly denying any breach of its systems but users are equally adamant that the cause of a widespread and ongoing …
John Leyden, 09 Feb 2016
Blackhat

Russian ATM-popping gang used nation state cybercrook tactics

Cybercrooks are increasingly adopting tactics from more advanced hackers in order to steal millions of dollars from banks and other financial institutions. The first of the two cybercrime groups, dubbed Metel, are mostly active in Russia. The group’s typical modus operandi involves gaining control over machines inside a bank …
John Leyden, 09 Feb 2016

Ex-TalkTalker TalkTalks: Records portal had shared password. It was 4 years old

Exclusive Fraudsters who attempted to scam TalkTalk customers by using records of their maintenance engineer visits are thought to have bought that info from current or former staff. According to one ex-TalkTalk employee, who asked not to be named, the company uses a third-party system called Qube Portal to book visits and record …
Kat Hall, 09 Feb 2016

TalkTalk confesses: Scammers have data about our engineers' visits to your home

A number of TalkTalk customers have had their maintenance visits data breached by fraudsters in an attempt to gain remote access of their computers, it has emerged. One customer, Chris, told The Register that a week after the cyber attack was reported he experienced some issues with his broadband, so TalkTalk sent an engineer …
Kat Hall, 08 Feb 2016
A person measuring her waistline

Reg readers speak out on Thin Client technology

Survey Results Managing PC estates is a time-consuming, expensive and thankless task. Better provisioning and management tools can obviously help, but implementing one or more of the various forms of desktop virtualisation available nowadays may also be beneficial. The virtualisation option, and particularly the use of hardware-based thin …
Dale Vile, 28 Jan 2016
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Apparently we have to give customers the warm fuzzies ... How the heck do we do that?

Analysis “The customer is king” is up there with some of the most overused corporate mantras. But it has now been translated into a new buzzword – Customer Experience, or CX – and a whole industry is evolving on the back of it. The purveyors of enterprise software, cloud services and digital devices would have you believe you can …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Jan 2016
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Whew! How to tell if a DevOps biz is peddling a load of manure

Comment If you are a data centre provider with a new DevOps division that is actually just two blokes sat in a call centre who kind of know what DevOps is, then you're probably not doing DevOps. Also, if your DevOps toolset doesn’t include quantifiable tasks metrics and call stack analysis technology, then that's probably not DevOps, …

Techie on the ground disputes BlackEnergy Ukraine power outage story

Updated A Ukrainian telecoms engineer has raised doubts about the widely reported link between BlackEnergy attacks and power outages in his country. Illia Ilin said that reports suggesting Russian state sponsored hackers used the BlackEnergy malware to infect the control systems of energy distribution utilities and cause blackouts …
John Leyden, 27 Jan 2016
Confused computer keyboard

Capita hiring temps to cover for call centre redundancies – staff sources

Capita is hiring a bunch of temps to deal with customer requests being directed at its O2 call centre, just months after initiating a redundancy scheme due to perceived lower levels of work. This is according to the outsourcer’s staff based north of the border in Glasgow, who agreed voluntary redundancy terms last summer but …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jan 2016
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HSBC COO ‘profoundly apologises’ for online outage

Updated HSBC has pushed forward its chief operating officer to "profoundly apologise" for the online outage that began on Monday morning and which is continuing to cause havoc for millions of internet banking customers. The bank's online banking for personal accounts continues to be out of action, with business banking running at a " …
Kat Hall, 05 Jan 2016

Ruskie rats selling Choose-Your-Own-Adventure love scams

Russians have delivered another blow to beleaguered love rats with the sale of automated and plug-and-play online dating scam packages. The services are slung on underground crime sites and promise a response rate of 1.2 percent from love luckless men. The rort will earn net scum US$2,000 a week if they send out 30 romance …
Team Register, 05 Jan 2016
Facepalming statue

Brian Krebs criticises PayPal’s security as authentication flaws exposed

Updated Enemies of investigative reporter Brian Krebs took over his PayPal account twice on Christmas Eve, but were foiled on both occasions in their attempts to transfer funds to an account associated with an assassinated jihadist hacker, he said. Krebs, who has been the target of several previous unsuccessful attempts to discredit …
John Leyden, 30 Dec 2015

Serco slashes profit outlook thanks to call centre biz exit

Profits at outsourcing giant Serco are expected to plunge by almost 50 per cent next year to £50m next year, on revenue down 20 per cent to £2.8bn, according to a statement released today. The warning follows the loss of a number of key public sector deals which had previously contributed toward a sizeable chunk of its revenue …
Kat Hall, 07 Dec 2015

Fix sweetens foul cookie that kept open Aussie tax login portals

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has crushed a cookie-related flaw in which sessions failed to close allowing the next user of a public computer to access tax records. The flaw reported to the office by Sydney Arduino tinkerer JP Liew occurs when tax payers obtain a PDF from the ATO and in doing so are directed away from the …
Team Register, 19 Nov 2015
Selection of Australian banknotes

Writing on the wall for Australian Technology Park

Software developer Atlassian’s well-and-truly-off-core-mission tilt at property development has failed, with the state government preferring a Mirvac-led proposal for the Australian Technology Park at Redfern to a bid that didn't make the deadline. And it's not just the soon-to-IPO vendor (still laughingly referred to as a …
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Black Friday Blues: How to dodge a thankless day's online sales crush

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, the day when – having celebrated the Pilgrim Fathers' survival of their first winter – the public celebrate by going shopping. Indeed, so enthusiastic was their celebration, retailers would see their balances slide into the black. Increasingly, Black Friday has moved into the …
Dave Cartwright, 09 Nov 2015

Cyber racketeers convicted over $1bn international conspiracy

Two members of an illegal international gambling enterprise which operated over the net and telephone have been convicted of a racketeering conspiracy. Kelly Dorn, 53, of Oklahoma City, and Kory Koralewski, 45, of Parker, Colorado, were found guilty of the offence, while Dorn was additionally convicted of conducting an illegal …
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Capita given early Order of the Boot from £500m Post Office deal

Capita has been booted off a £500m deal with Fujitsu to supply a broadband network to the Post Office, following reports of underperformance by the outsourcer. In 2012 the Post Office signed up Fujitsu for the five year deal to provide its "next-generation network (NGN) broadband experience combined with enhanced customer care …
Kat Hall, 26 Oct 2015
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Capita: O2 call centre staff exodus is premature evacuation

Capita has “invited” O2 call centre staff with one eye on the exit to stick around for a little longer, and the resulting excitement at such a prospect is palpable. Some 700 workers opted for voluntary redundancy last month, helping the outsourcing monster wring more profits from the £1.2bn, ten-year contract signed with O2 in …
Paul Kunert, 29 Sep 2015

332M Kick Ass pirates get asses kicked by scareware ass-kickers

The world's most popular pirate torrent site KickAss Torrents is serving scareware advertising, helping dodgy call centre operators con users into handing over remote access to their machines. KickAss Torrents gained the top spot among movie, TV, and software pirates after the temporary scuppering of the Pirate Bay, which …
Darren Pauli, 28 Sep 2015
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SAP pitches Cloud Foundry real-time customer service

SAP has become the latest enterprise giant to promise real-time “insight” into customers, via the cloud. Europe’s tech giant is re-serving the Hybris e-commerce platform it bought in 2013 with a shot of Cloud Foundry, the open-source project it joined in 2014. Hybris has been updated with the addition of two modules, SAP …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Sep 2015

Capita: Listen up redundo staff, we know you're leaving but...

The management team at Capita are all heart – they have asked staff being made redundant at a Glasgow call centre running O2’s phone support desk to prep newbies coming to the team. Some 700 workers – split evenly across centres in Bury and Glasgow – last week opted for voluntary redundancy, though according to the …
Paul Kunert, 18 Aug 2015
Confused computer keyboard

Take redundancy if you want, Capita IS for turning now, after all

Crapita is to shutter both the Bury and Glasgow call centres that provide phone support for O2 customers after hundreds of staff – all of those in scope – accepted voluntary redundancy, a union said. This is a complete about-turn by the integrator-cum-outsourcing monster which even until a few weeks ago was telling us that no …
Paul Kunert, 14 Aug 2015
One Nation Under CCTV

Safe as houses: CCTV for the masses

Feature The technology to keep our homes safe has been remarkably static over the years. Most alarms still rely on the same tried and trusted techniques to work out if there's someone in your home when there shouldn't be. Typically they rely on motion detectors, door and window sensors, or pressure mats. Oh and you can have fancy light …
Nigel Whitfield, 08 Aug 2015
The Art of Social Media

Be quick or be silent: Social media as a business tool

As many readers know I live in the Channel Islands. A while back someone started a very popular Facebook group called “Bad or Good Jersey Businesses”, and the locals are not backward in coming forward with both bouquets and brickbats for businesses they've recently dealt with. Unsurprisingly, more and more business people I …
Dave Cartwright, 03 Aug 2015
Ideal for a summer blast

How to keep track of your flexible workers

It has been two years since Yahoo! chief Marissa Meyer hauled her remote working employees back into the office, intent on eliminating flexible working. The concept is becoming more popular, though, whether people like Ms Meyer like it or not. In June 2014, an amendment to the UK’s Children and Families Act came into effect. …
Robin Birtstone, 23 Jul 2015
Laurel and Hardy on the phone

Scammers going after iOS as fake crash reports hit UK

Tech support scammers have begun targeting UK iPhone and iPad users, offering to fix problems that don't actually exist. Cold call scams that seek to hoodwink Windows users into paying for useless remote diagnostic and cleanup services have been an issue for years. More recently, scammers have broadened their sights to target …
John Leyden, 21 Jul 2015
Example of tidy cabling

Reg reader casts call centre spell with a SECRET WORD

On-Call Is there anything worse than a contact centre operative who just will not help you, even if you've told them there are metaphorical flames licking around your feet, and no matter what their script says they really need to help you out? NOW!? Reader Alan hit just such an operative when, back in the day, he tended a 4.5Mbps …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jul 2015

Europol knocks out mobile cybercrime gang in Spain

Europol and la policía española have taken down a gang of alleged cybercriminals engaged in a fraudulent phone calls scam, said to have caused financial damaged estimated at €2m, as part of an operation codenamed "Walker". Coordinated police action in Barcelona on 6 July resulted in the arrest of nine suspects and the …

Sophos' putrid patch snuffs Citrix kit, kills call centre

A Sophos Web Appliance update has crashed users' PC fleets including knocking offline the Australian call centre of a global company for two days after support was quietly revoked for SSL 3.0 ciphers used in Citrix Receiver. The British security firm pushed out update version 4.0.2.3 last week to correct four non-critical issues …
Darren Pauli, 29 Jun 2015
keyboard with 'Help' key

Layoff-happy Capita charges staff to use cutlery in canteens

Times are tough for Capita, or so it seems. The outsourcing giant is squeezing extra margin from its employees by charging them to use cutlery, cups and trays in the canteen. Our insiders tell us that call centre workers in Bury and Glasgow who decide to eat their own food in the canteen are forced to pay to consume their …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jun 2015
Plain Capita logo

Capita: Call centre workers, can you fall on your swords? Please?

The kind souls at Capita are placing hundreds of workers at risk of redundancy at call centres across the UK that service O2 clients, according to documents seen by The Channel. The work was outsourced to Capita back in 2013, the contract is valued at £1.2bn over ten years and is the biggest of its kind. The Communications …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jun 2015
Osborne Logo

20 years ago this week, Microsoft just about killed Australian PC manufacturing

In late June of 1995, Australia's top PC manufacturer Osborne went into voluntary administration, caused in part by tactics that made Microsoft the titan it is today – and shaped our industry in nasty ways. Osborne Australia started life as the local distributor of the famed Osborne One CP/M luggable made by US company Osborne …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jun 2015

Phone scamming up 30 percent last year: Report

Retail and finance call centre phone scamming in the US is up 30 percent according to research. The 2014 findings are based on some 86 million scam calls a month picked up by Pindrop Security in which attackers aimed to obtain personal information on potential victims. The phone security company says one in 2200 calls are …
Darren Pauli, 18 Jun 2015
Bug

United Airlines accounts open to mass lock-outs

A simple brute-force attack is all that's needed to lock users out of their frequent flyer accounts. However, in spite fof the discovery, by Turrisio Cybersecurity security officer Yosi Dahan, being disclosed under the airline's bug bounty in March, the researcher is complaining that United isn't responding to him. Dahan says …
Darren Pauli, 10 Jun 2015