Connect with us

Media

Virgin Media to recruit 500 call-centre staff in UK – Financial Times

Published

on


Virgin Media will employ 500 new call-centre staff in the UK to deal with the impact of coronavirus in countries including India and the Philippines where offshore workers handle customer service calls. 

The move is the first sign that the telecoms industry is moving to address the potential issue of offshore workers no longer being able to handle calls at a time when the number of customers calling to complain of issues or to upgrade to faster services has boomed. 

Ministers, the regulator Ofcom and telecoms executives discussed the issue of disruption to offshore workers in countries such as India on a call last week to discuss network resilience. 

Companies including Vodafone, Virgin Media, BT’s Openreach and Three use offshore call centres in India and other locations and have had to prepare for the disruption caused by coronavirus restrictions in those countries. 

Editor’s note

The Financial Times is making key coronavirus coverage free to read to help everyone stay informed. 

Find the latest here.

Virgin Media is looking to rapidly employ the 500 new staff using video calls for interviews to deal with a sharp rise in call waiting times driven by the number of people working from home and looking to upgrade to better broadband packages.

The roles will be at existing call centres in Teesside, Sheffield, Manchester and Birmingham and will require workers to go into call centres. 

Abby Thomas, Virgin Media’s customer director, said: “The company has introduced a number of measures to ensure its people remain as safe as possible while continuing to help answer customer calls and queries. This includes providing remote working capabilities, where possible, and ensuring strict social distancing and hygiene measures are in place for sites that need to remain open.” 

The virus has already caused problems within Britain’s call centres because of the threat of infection in the working environment. Some locations have already closed.

Coronavirus business update

How is coronavirus taking its toll on markets, business, and our everyday lives and workplaces? Stay briefed with our coronavirus newsletter.

Sign up here

Companies including Virgin Media have split floors to guard against teams becoming infected with the coronavirus and spaced out desks to ensure social distancing measures are in place in locations that have remained open. 

Openreach, BT’s networking arm, has staff in Indian centres which has caused disruption to its internal processes. 

Vodafone uses call centres in both India and Egypt and has been preparing for the potential lockdown in the subcontinent by moving desktops to worker’s homes where broadband connections can support customer service work.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Media

Four-year-old Jets fan takes the social media spotlight – CTV News Winnipeg

Published

on


WINNIPEG —
A four-year-old Winnipeg Jets fan making the most of self-isolation with his parents has garnered the attention of the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets along with hundreds of other people across social media.

Ryan Palsson convinced his mom to record a video of him singing both the Canadian National Anthem and the Star Spangled Banner. Ryan’s mom says he is a huge Jets fan and normally likes watching Stacey Nattrass, the NHL national anthem-singer for the Jets, belt out the anthems.

But with home-isolation and the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the NHL to postpone the remainder of the season, the boy from Riverton, Man., decided to bring some of the game to his home.

Decked out in his Winnipeg Jets jersey and equipped with a toy microphone, and after receiving an introduction from his mom behind the camera, Ryan belted out the national anthems.

“They were all pretty bored, so he wanted to be introduced just like they do at the Jets game,” said Ryan’s mom Angie.

“He loves to sing. He’s always been very keen on music. When he listens, he seems to very intently listen to what’s being played.”

Since posting the videos, Angie said both the NHL and the Winnipeg Jets have asked to share the videos, and Stacey Nattrass even commented on the videos.

Angie said Ryan got his musical talents from his great grandmother, Dorothy Johnson, who played with Johnny and his Musical Mates, a folk band that gained popularity in the 1950s across Manitoba.

“I think she always saw something special in this one,” Angie said.

As for why Ryan wanted to post the videos, he has a very simple answer.

“Because I like singing,” he said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Trio of Lethbridge groups launch social media campaign to support businesses affected by COVID-19 – Lethbridge News Now

Published

on


Those who participate will be entered to win one of 10 $100 gift cards to support businesses in Lethbridge. From those who post on social media, 10 random names will be drawn, and they will get a $100 gift certificate to the business they tagged in their post.

There is no limit on the amount of posts residents can make.

Ted Stilson, Executive Director of the Downtown Lethbridge BRZ, said this is the second time they’ve done a campaign similar to this.

“Now more than ever, being in it together is an important thing to do for the success of our downtown businesses and businesses throughout the community,” he said.

“We know that a lot of our businesses, as Trevor said, are pivoting into different business models, which is exciting, and we just need to continue on promoting and supporting those local businesses.”

The campaign will kick off Monday, April 6 and is set to run until May 18.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Edmonton Institution inmate punished for speaking to media about COVID-19 – CBC.ca

Published

on


An inmate at the maximum security Edmonton Institution has been punished for speaking to the media, with his phone privileges suspended.

Jonathan Henry, 32, is serving a ten-year prison sentence for drugs and weapons-related offences. He is scheduled to apply for parole in May. 

In a story published by CBC News last Monday, Henry expressed concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I have chronic asthma,” Henry said. “I take medication for high blood pressure, so I’m more susceptible to catching whatever this thing is.” 

He also complained about the reaction from some prison staff to the pandemic. 

“They think it’s a big joke,” he said. “You’ll ask for something like a request form and he’ll pretend to sneeze on the request form. Like, it isn’t funny to me.”

Henry’s wife said that behind prison walls, there was an immediate reaction to the CBC story. 

“Apparently the guards had a meeting about him that morning,” Deanna Henry said. “I think somebody might have heard it on the radio. So they called a meeting and talked about him that morning and they decided then that they would be suspending his [phone] card for 45 days.” 

Jonathan Henry, 32, is serving a ten-year prison term for drug and weapons offences. (Deanna Henry )

All visits to the prison are forbidden due to COVID-19, so phone calls are the only way she can stay in touch with her husband. 

“I’m very upset about it,” Deanna Henry said. “I mean, this is a global pandemic that is happening right now. And for them to just cut it off for 45 days when that’s the only way for me and the kids to be able to speak to him. It’s very concerning to me.”

Henry’s lawyer calls the prison’s response “draconian”.  

“It’s appalling,” Amanda Hart-Dowhun told CBC News. “It looks like they are trying to prevent prisoners from talking and from telling the public how they are actually being treated.” 

‘Punish and muzzle’ 

As soon as she heard about the phone suspension, Hart-Dowhun sent an urgent letter to prison warden Gary Sears. 

“The suspension of Mr. Henry’s phone privileges as punishment for speaking to the media about the concerns of inmates during a pandemic creates a chilling effect,” she wrote. “That action will discourage inmates from voicing any concerns about their quality of care during this time.” 

Defence lawyer Amanda Hart-Dowhun calls the suspension of telephone privileges for 45-days ‘draconian.’ (Janice Johnston/CBC News )

On Friday, Hart-Dowhun received a response from the warden. The letter was provided to CBC News. 

In it, Sears appeared to suggest Henry had broken prison rules by speaking to a CBC journalist. 

He quoted from the inmate handbook, noting, “Third party calling is not permitted under any circumstances. Any misuse of telephone privileges, particularly third party calling, may result in an inmate’s phone privileges being restricted or suspended for a period of time.”

The response didn’t satisfy Hart-Dowhun or Henry’s wife. 

Deanna Henry said her husband was never given a copy of the inmate’s handbook when he was transferred to Edmonton Institution. 

Hart-Dowhun sent a letter Friday to the Public Safety Minister, the Commissioner of Correctional Services Canada and correctional investigator Ivan Zinger, asking for their help to resolve the situation.

“I ask that you take steps to intervene in this decision and allow Mr. Henry to have contact with the community during this health crisis,” she wrote.

“This censoring of an inmate in the wake of him publicizing his fears and the conditions inside of prison is appalling. It gives the appearance that CSC will punish and muzzle any inmate that publicly voices concerns about their treatment during this pandemic.”

The correctional investigator declined comment on the case in an email to CBC News, but said he would investigate the situation. 

Inmate rules for speaking to media 

Esther Mailhot, a CSC communications officer, responded to a request for comment from CBC News with a reminder that journalists “are required to inform CSC of their requests” to interview an inmate. 

Mailhot added that prisoners are also “responsible for informing their parole officer of their interest in being interviewed by the media.”   

She declined to comment on Henry’s case, citing privacy reasons. 

Meanwhile, Deanna Henry sits by the phone, willing it to ring. 

“It’s extremely frustrating and we’re sitting here worried about him,” she said. “We don’t know if maybe he’s going to start showing symptoms and has no way of calling us and letting us know.”

The most recent CSC statistics indicate three inmates at the Edmonton Institution have been tested for COVID-19. Two of the tests have been negative, while the third result is pending. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending