John Lewis relocates call centre jobs to The Philippines

John Lewis relocates call centre jobs to the Philippines
Reports say 300 UK workers have been laid off.
// John Lewis reportedly outsourcing call centre jobs to The Philippines
// 300 Plymouth call centre workers laid off in the run-up to Christmas by US firm Sitel, which operated it on behalf of John Lewis
// Move comes as John Lewis undergoes major restructuring of management

John Lewis is reportedly relocating call-centre jobs to The Philippines as part of new cost cutting measures.

According to a report by The Guardian, 300 UK call centre staff have reportedly been laid off in the weeks before Christmas, with staff at its outsourced call centre in Plymouth told to expect redundancies on December 20.

READ MORE: John Lewis Partnership seeks to cut costs from landlords

At least 20 per cent of their work will now be switched to contract workers in Manila, with more offshoring of further roles to come.

John Lewis said they themselves did not do the redundancies, as the Plymouth call centre is run on the retailer’s behalf by US firm Sitel.

John Lewis also denied it was moving substantial numbers of the Plymouth jobs to The Philippines but admitted that it expanded its Manila operation in March.

It now has 180 staff handling “non-verbal” John Lewis customer service queries.

The Guardian reported that staff at the Sitel Plymouth site were allegedly asked to train new workers in The Philippines before being made redundant by Sitel.

A John Lewis spokeswoman stressed that the Plymouth redundancies was not linked to its Manila expansion.

“The reduction of the scale of our operations at the site in Plymouth is in no way related to the small operation which launched from an international Sitel site over a year ago,” she said.

“The changes at the Plymouth site are part of a wider strategy to strengthen the capacity of our UK in-house contact centres, which are run by John Lewis Partners.”

The reports come two months after John Lewis revealed a major restructuring of its management team.

The high street retailer also warned landlords that some of its properties will withhold 20 per cent of the quarter’s service charge as it believed the current charges are too high.

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  1. Nice one! I’m sure them 300 people who have lost their jobs will be loving the free time and inability to pay bills over Christmas.

  2. Always liked john Lewis, what a shame. No longer will it be my go to place.when will business understand what customers value about them or make them choose to spend money with them over other retailers. These moves do not increase profits other than in the short term.

  3. When will these companies understand that when we call to speak with someone, we expect to hold a conversation with someone speaking clear understandable English, not some heavily accented responder who is hard to understand on a poor quality phone line. They are really shooting themselves in the foot by irritating existing customers who are probably calling with a problem and hoping for some good customer service.

    • Actually… They speak better and grammatically correct English than us. Don’t be racist. I’ve been to the call centres myself personally.

  4. When I ask for advice the centre only gives same information as I am able to read on website so have had to abandon my favourite store who over the last 50 years has given such great advice before buying.

  5. Just what I expect from John Lewis. As long as top management are ok, to hell with the peasants. Makes a mockery of the staff that thought they were partners.

  6. Called them twice and each time I could not understand them or them me. Not going to trust my credit card details to anyone outside of the UK. Sorry John Lewis – Goodbye


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