Media Group Loses $5 Million For Calling Software House ‘Call Centre’
By Bala Shah
Just how sensitive is the issue of moving Call Centres to India? The following incident shows how an Australian newspaper ‘Telegraph’ lost $5 million dollars in advertising for labelling a Software Development Centre in Bangalore as a ‘Call Centre’.
News Corporation is one of the most successful and powerful media groups in the world. It owns the prestigious ‘Times’ and ‘Sunday Times’ as well as the tabloid ‘Sun’ in UK. In USA, New Corp owns ‘New York Post’. These are just a few of their quality newspapers around the world. They also own Fox TV and Studios, as well as Satellite TV BskyB in Europe. The list just goes on and on. Microsoft head honcho Bill Gates once famously remarked that the New Limited Chief Rupert Murdoch had more influence than him.
ANZ is one of Australia’s most respected banks and has made a Year to date profit of more than $2 billion dollars. ANZ, like many of its peers, runs a Software development centre in Bangalore which employs 1,300 Indians. ANZ has kept all its Call Centre services in Australia because its customers prefer to talk to locals. It proudly advertises that its Call Centres are based in Australia.
On Oct 10th, Sydney based News Corp newspaper ‘Telegraph’ ran a report sub-titled “The Indian call centres undercutting our workers’ which claimed that ANZ Bank was running a Call Centre in Bangalore which paid employees $400 a month and each Agent was expected to answer 100 calls a day.
ANZ Bank management swung into action. They shot off a letter to the newspaper correcting the facts - that ANZ ran a software development centre in India not a call centre, and clarifying that all their call centres were in Australia as local customers preferred to talk to Aussie call centres.
Telegraph did not clarify the issue that ANZ did not have any call centres in India. ANZ management were livid and withdrew $5 million dollars of advertising with News Corporation.
News Corp newspaper ‘Telegraph’ published a retraction making the point that ANZ did not have any call centres in India. But it was too late. Their ex-client has now moved the advertising to News Corp rival the Fairfax group which owns Sydney Morning Herald and Age and other premium media.
All goes to show what a touchy subject outsourcing is in some quarters.