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More complaints over Telecom call centre

Published: 6:39PM Saturday February 20, 2010 Source: ONE News

Another alleged case of Telecom's Philippines based call centre staff harassing New Zealand customers has been revealed.

The mobile giant has already stood down four staff members over abusive texts and now an Invercargill woman claims she has been victimised also.

Paula McMeekan claims she is the victim of harassment - 15 prank calls in just an-hour-and-a-half that she claims started as soon as she hung up from a terse phone conversation with a Telecom call centre worker in Manila.

"I rung telecom and asked them to search the number. They confirmed to me that these 15 phone calls had come from Manila and from Telecom," McMeekan says.

And then she found herself locked out of her Telecom internet account.

"It was too much of a coincidence that this had happened after the 15 prank calls," she says.

Telecom has told ONE News it has tracked down the staff member allegedly behind the prank calls and it is investigating the allegation. A spokesperson says the staff member is being spoken to with some priority and if the claims are true, it is unacceptable behaviour.

On Friday the telecommunications giant suspended four of its Philippines based call centre workers after five Telecom customers received offensive text messages.

Andrew Little from the EPMU says he is not at all surprised.

"Telecom made the deliberate decision to contract out this work to the Philippines because they thought they could get customer service done cheaper. And now they're getting what they're paying for," he says.

But Telecom says that is "absolute unsubstantiated rubbish" and it is happy with the level of service it is getting in Manila.

But McMeekan wants it to end and she wants Telecom to improve their customer service.