Articles about Call Centre

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Google TensorFlow AI bots drafted into Ocado call centre service

Like so much in Britain, you can credit the weather for this. Ocado has rolled out AI using Google’s open-source TensorFlow to improve service at its customer call centre. The online food retailer took six months to build and install a system based on machine learning., using Python, C++, Kubernetes on Google Compute with …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Oct 2016

Police raid India call centre, detain 500 in fraud probe

More than 500 call centre staff have been detained by police in India, after allegedly threatening US citizens and siphoning off their money. The raid was carried out by over 200 Indian police personnel across three separate call centres, according to reports. The operators are alleged to have posed as officials of US Tax …
Kat Hall, 06 Oct 2016

Three outsources staff to Capita

Staff at Three are poised to receive a very early Christmas present - in the form of a Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment notice to everyone's favourite outsourcer Capita. Under the £70m deal over the next seven years, 450 employees in customer service, sales and operational management in Three’s Glasgow contact …
Kat Hall, 20 Sep 2016
Florian Lukavsky, director, SEC Consult Singapore. Image: Interpol World.

Hacker takes down CEO wire transfer scammers, sends their Win 10 creds to the cops

HITB Florian Lukavsky hacks criminals profiting from out-of-control multi-billion dollar CEO wire transfer scams ... and they hate him for it. The director of SEC Consult's Singapore office has made a name striking back at so-called "whaling" scammers by sending malicious Word documents that breach their Windows 10 boxes and pass …
Darren Pauli, 06 Sep 2016

InIn now in Genesys

Customer service tech specialist Genesys has acquired rival firm Interactive Intelligence for about US$1.4bn. Interactive Intelligence pioneered software-as-a-service for the call centre and customer service capers, adding unified comms and telephony along the way. The company brings in about $400m a year. The two companies …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2016

Two G4S call centre staff sacked over 999 answering scam

Two G4S staff who were investigated over a scheme to fraudulently meet quotas for responding to emergency calls within a reasonable time have been fired. Earlier this year five former Lincolnshire police employees were suspended from their jobs with G4S after allegedly calling 999 during quiet periods to improve their …

English Uber alles in London taxis? No way, TfL – taxi app titan

Uber is embroiled in another legal battle over Transport for London’s new rules, which will require all drivers to take a compulsory English test. The multi-billion pound taxi app company has faced bans and protests worldwide. Black cab drivers have taken part in protests bringing traffic to standstill many times, prompting …
Katyanna Quach, 17 Aug 2016
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Shark bosses sink teeth into booming ransomware market

Cybercrooks are harnessing the “ransomware-as-a-Service” (RaaS) business model to mount a new scam. Coders distributing a ransomware builder to aspiring attackers that can be used on condition that a 20 per cent cut of any ransom payments it generates is returned to the original coders. The “Shark” ransomware is being …
John Leyden, 17 Aug 2016
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Brisbane council loses $500k to scammers

The local council of the Australian city of Brisbane has been fleeced of A$450,000 (£248,000, US$334,000) from email-whaling scammers who tricked staff into wiring money into their bank accounts. The scammers phoned and emailed the council posing as one of its suppliers. Lord mayor Graham Quirk has commissioned Deloitte to …
Darren Pauli, 16 Aug 2016

IT snafu takes down Action Fraud's web crime reporting form

An unspecified IT problem has taken down the online reporting tool for cybercrime victims in the UK. Action Fraud is the public-facing body which supports victims of online crime in the UK. It is not an investigative body and refers fraud crimes to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which is run by the City of London …
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No supercomputer cash? Time for a systems squeeze

Many companies have, understandably, a burning desire to learn things from their data. There's a cost and this manifests itself in one – or, frequently both – of two forms: money and time. Big data equals big storage and big processing power, and both of those equate to a financial cost. (And yes, we could go into the idea of …
Dave Cartwright, 08 Aug 2016

Genesys stalks Avaya: report

Genesys Labs is poised to write a US$3 billion cheque for Avaya's call centre and customer service business, reports Reuters. Genesys is a call centre specialist that, like everyone else in the field, is trying to take transplant its customer service expertise into “omnichannel” service spanning voice calls and any imaginable …
Team Register, 08 Aug 2016
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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
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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
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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

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
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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
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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
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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

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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