Update: In the two years since news of the suspected 'data breach' broke, Sky and Firstsource have repaired their relationship to a huge degree. Indeed, in January the companies announced that they'd signed a deal which meant that for another decade at least, Sky would use Firstsource call centers. That deal will mean that Sky and Firstsource will have enjoyed 25 years of cooperation.
Indeed, they've also announced that 1,200 more staff will be taken on in Derby in order to serve Sky customers with issues regarding partially recorded programmes, Sky Cinema and much more. What follows is our original article discussing the data breach:
Firstsource, a call centre in Londonderry which handles a number of Sky's customer service requests has suspended 138 of its employees today under suspected mis-selling of products and fraud. The investigation solely related to calls made on behalf of Sky and could lead to more than 100 people losing their jobs full time. The company employs a total of 1,120 people, meaning the claims of corruption affected roughly one in ten employees. The suspensions, however, have been met with backlash from unions and workers as a lack of clarity exists within the case.
The employees, it has emerged, are charged with mis-selling client products and breach of confidence as well as 'alleged' fraud, which has yet to be investigated fully. In a statement Firstsource claims that "an internal investigation is underway as a number of policies may have been breached by members of staff". Their use of language remains hazy, partly due to a suspected lack of concrete evidence against the employees. Sky, on their part, have remained quiet about the call centre operation, preferring instead to let Firstsource deal with it themselves.
It's a rare blip for Sky's customer service record, which has been extremely strong over the last few years. During 2014 Sky invested a total of £20 million into their customer service schemes and won't be pleased to hear of some third-party employees abusing the relationship between the Sky name and their customers. That £20 million was split betwee training and development of their automated customer service technologies, designed for those who wanted to contact Sky through other means than the Sky customer service telephone number.
Ofcom's recently published annual customer satisfaction survey found that Sky had made some gigantic improvements in the way they handle customer service requests, improving in every possible area over last year already strong results. In areas of TV, broadband and telephony Ofcom found that Sky had customer satisfaction scores above the industry averages. In terms of landline and broadband customer service, Sky exceeded the industry averages by large amounts, putting other customer service providers to shame and marking a true success for the company.
Sky was, in fact, the only company to improve its overall customer service satisfaction rating during 2014. In a year where Virgin, BT, TalkTalk and the other large communications companies either stayed put in terms of satisfaction or dropped, Sky's satisfaction rating rose an astonishing 10 percentage points to reach 79%, an industry leading high. In terms of pay-TV alone Sky scored 81% , up 15% over the last few years and gives Sky the most pleased customers in TV.
That being said, any accusations of mis-selling are incredibly grave and Sky will doubtlessly want to stamp this out as soon as possible, lest it begin to affect their sterling record. We expect more news on this to come and will update this as we find out more.
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