Egypt unrest: what price for call centres?

Vodafone says it will be shifting its mobile customer center back to New Zealand, a recent report by Radio New Zealand revealed. The phone company says mobile customers have been calling its Egypt base since 2007 – but that will change from May, following the recent dramatic changes in the Middle East most populous country. The Cairo call center has managed 25 percent of New Zealand’s total helpline calls since 2007 and employs approximately 100 Egyptians. The center was closed for a month during the unrest that brought former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, but the transfer has been decided according to “changing customer needs,” said Kelly Moore, Vodafone’s Director of Service.

It says it always planned to move the centre back, so the move is not because of the current unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. oore says they’re consolidating all their New Zealand contact-centre operations with the aim of getting closer to customers.

Maged Osman, Egypt’s minister of communications, met Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s CEO, last week in order to discuss the company’s future investments in Egypt. Colao assured Osman of Vodafone’s “keen interest” in maintaining its partnership with Egypt, and reiterated its commitment to boosting investments in Egypt in the next period.

The number of mobile phone subscriptions in Egypt increased by 27.7 percent up from the year before, and up to 70.66 million custmers, according to government data. Egypt’s three mobile operators Etisalat, Mobinil and Vodafone provided an estimated 55.352 million customers with service.


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