Vodafone may lose around 100 permanent customer care staff, with plans to almost halve the size of its consumer mobile service team, extend the graveyard shift to 7.30am and increase outsourcing to a call centre in the Philippines.
The proposal, outlined in an internal document obtained by the Herald, is part of a restructuring expected to bring 200 to 250 job cuts.
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The consultation document, provided to Vodafone customer service staff last week, said average revenue per customer was falling and the firm was forecasting a 2 per cent year-on-year revenue decline.
"As this pressure continues, we need to accelerate our plans to transform our costs and reduce our costs to serve, sell and deliver our products to customers," it said. "Therefore we are going to be reducing our employment costs across the board."
Vodafone head of external communications Craig Jones said 50 to 100 contract customer service roles might also be affected. The contractors were employed to support the integration of TelstraClear, acquired in 2012, he said.
In consumer mobile, the number of prepay and on-account customer care roles would be cut from 100 to 55, with 29 related contract roles also set to be terminated by the end of this month, according to the document.
Ninety per cent of prepay and 50 per cent of on-account calls will be handled in the Philippines by call centre operator Teleperformance, with the balance handled by Vodafone, the document says.
"We will be extending our existing capability at our Philippines service centre for simple transactional and administrative tasks," said Mr Jones. "However, complex customer services will continue to be managed by our New Zealand-based team."
He said customers could expect faster call answering times and quicker resolutions.
The document said the number of customer care team leaders would drop from 34 to 19, while six customer fault escalation roles and 15 fixed technology positions would also go.
The company's "resolve team" would be reduced from 24 to eight agents by February 28 and Vodafone is proposing to extend the end of its graveyard shift from 6am to 7.30am.
Craig Young, chief executive of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand, said he was always concerned when providers downsized in customer service.
"That's the one area that directly relates to users," he said. "But ... consumers will make a choice and if they end up getting bad service from one supplier then they've got plenty of other suppliers to go to."
Vodafone New Zealand reported a full-year loss of $27.9 million last year.