Convergys To Move Call Centers From Canada To Overseas

Ottawa Citizen

The above link in the Ottawa Citizen indicates that one of the largest employers in Atlantic Canada (the largest private employer in St John’s NL) will be closing up all it’s Canadian operations.

Comcast customers – which is one of Convergys largest contracts – will see support go from bad to worse. Including a very distinct cultural language barrier.

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46 Comments on Convergys To Move Call Centers From Canada To Overseas

  1. The story does not say that all of the centres are closing.

    “Convergys chief executive David Doughtery told analysts “most notably we’re being hurt today in Canada and we are taking action to close centres there and move work to other geographies.”
    . . .
    A spokesman said Convergys has 12,000 employees in 15 Canadian operations, including some in Ottawa, but would not say how many will close.”

  2. i like how you extrapolate this to mean ALL centres closing when the article clearly states they would not comment on how many centres are closing… i’m not saying they might not all shut down, just that you are misrepresenting the article to a degree.

  3. Notice how they do not say any will stay open. It’s typical business talk that allows the company to operate in the grey while they decide which centers to close. It is purposeful language on their part. Note the language in “Hurt today in Canada” and “taking action to close centers there”. They imply all and do not suggest that only some will remain open. For the record I hope I am wrong! If I am it means some friends might keep their jobs.

  4. If St. John’s does close I guess it’s time to save some money since they won’t have to pay my tuition or my glasses or my dentist bills, but on the other hand I can recover from my tendonitis, anxiety disorder, back problems, prescribed amounts of pills that have permanently damaged the lining of my stomach that i took for the tendonitis in the first place as well as actually having time to study, and oh yeah, I can finally get off those antidepressants and have my wrists stop sounding like a cement mixer… The pay I can leave or take but after three years, the benefits and tuition reimbursement are the only thing keeping me here, If it pulled out, it would be mostly a relief if EI picked up part of the tab!

  5. Well, Lets look at the facts shall we. All of a sudden out of teh blue this report comes out and puts doubt in to the minds of many Canadian employees. A new centre has just opened in Cebu (Philapines) and we have operations and members from our support down there as we speak training them in Check-Ins, Pre-Prov and other various DOJ job roles. They now even have a “Back Up Queue” for the Comcast Technician line (TASC). Now this is typical for a call centre to train in another in its roles before it closes. It just makes more sense business wise to ease the transition. No down time basically. But who knows. Oh and the lease for the St. Johns site on torbay road is up the end of this year by the way. Thats not say we actually will close, but may be a good idea to polish up those resumes. On the bright side Canadian law indicates we are to get 3 months notice. So we can all berepared. As well, the Province/Country used to pay CVG so much here for each employee. That dosent happen anymore, at least not for the last two years. But who knows, we will all just have to wait and see.

  6. This is not all of a sudden. Anyone watching the market (stock, invesetments, etc) would know something like this was coming. Call Centers moved to Canada because it was cheaper and now that the dollar is strong it does not make sense to continue those operations since all indications are the dollar will remain strong. Just as a year ago all signs were the dollar would gain on the American dollar. They are just following the trends and looking for the cheapest investment.

  7. This is true….Sad….but true. Guess we should have seen it coming. Who knows what the next few months will bring. Its all speculation. What I posted previously added to the fact that this center has just lost its Work Force Managment (Scheduling) and 90% of its HR department was moved to Winnipeg (I Think It Was Winnipeg) makes it all very supicous. If you ask a TL or Ops now they tell us to tell everyone “Don’t worry, its not here that is affected, just trust me”. Wonder if every person in authority in every Canadian center is saying that same thing to ease the tension? Who knows. Id love to hear the viewpoints of someone from another Canadian center besides St. John’s. Curiousity killed the cat so they say. The worse thing about all this now, with this possibility of closure and un-employment creeping up on us all, moral is destroyed completly at this center, not that it has been very good here at all lately. Bad Moral makes bad agents, bad agents makes bad customer service, bad customer service is ultimately bad business. Way to go Dave Doherty!

  8. Well… our center is down to 150 HSI… havent hired anyone since last july… well we hired a few only 4 left from that class… thats in lethbridge, and well rumor has it edmonton layed off all its new emp and are no longer hireing šŸ™

  9. I work at the convergys welland site adn we have been told our center would not be closing due to the contract we have w/ at&t wireless we have always been in the top 5 of all vendor centers for production and we have been busy every day of the week. we also know they r opening centers in texas and sending people from our center to go help train the new reps

  10. I used to work at the Winnipeg Center before they let me go due to “corporate cutbacks” in September 2007. From what I’ve heard from friends there, they are still cutting back slowly and quietly. I can see some of the smaller centers in Canada closing and some of the bigger centers being scaled back significantly. It’s not the first time Convergys has gone through a major organizational change and it won’t be the last, however if you really believe what your Ops Mgr says about “it won’t be us”, you really need to wake up and smell the coffee. I worked there for 9 years and believe me, I’ve heard that line a few too many times. Hell I never thought it would happen to me until “Black Tuesday” rolled around and they let 6 of us Team Leaders go. It’s too bad that Convergys was not the same company that I started with way back when they actually cared about their Agents and Team Leaders. For the last several years it’s been about the dollar and getting more profit for their shareholders. Senior management really needs to look at where the company is today as compared to 10 years ago and go back to their roots. They have a hard time bringing in talent and keeping that talent. Something maybe they should take a good hard look at.

  11. I’m in the comcast project in NEW GLASGOW, NS yes we’ve heard the same BS from Managers and MO’s about the it won’t happen to us.
    First losing the Microsoft Windows XP/Vista project to India and then the Microsoft Office/Outlook as well. I know they let some managers go a few months ago, but they haven’t done any scaling back lately. We have all US contracts here, Cigna healthcare, Comcast, and Microsoft CC & Pro support. They just finished 2 classes for comcast, that have now hit the floor, and they just started up a new training class for cigna, not sure if the government still gives them money for each person they hire but doesn’t make sense why they would still be advertising to hire people if they are thinking about leaving. Unless they are getting money upfront from the government for each person they put into training. Would also like to hear what is going on with convergys in other centers as well.

  12. Brandon is going down. they have not officially told us but the writing is on the wall. One clients left already and the other client leaves the end of april. The say they are trying to get a new client but all the phone staff and training staff up to TLs have been given notice. There does not look like there is much activity in finding a new client so looks like we are one of the sites going.

  13. It seems as though the same feelings are felt across the country. i work at the lethbridge center. there has been a more then steady decrease of employees at this center over the past 6 months. so much so that they closed down half the computer stations in the center. the are starting to cut everyone down to part time positions because the say we havent “worked enough hours on average per week for the last 52 weeks”. They also seem to be making us angry in an effort to make us quit our jobs. the only thing that i can think of would be because if we quit before they close down, no severance. They have stopped granting vacation hours unless you have accrued the time. which would indicate to me that they dont want to have to chase people around after the center closes to collect their missing money. i would all look for new jobs if i were you. signs are everywhere that convergys is leaving canada all together. this center is offering employees a 10 000 dollar reward for anybody who gets another company to take on convergys. first off, when you are offering employees that much money to find somebody else to take calls for, you are obviously losing footing in the market. secondly, if i knew of a company big enough to be taken on by this center, let alone the person in charge of that, wouldnt i be working for them? its all very fishy. i’m getting my resume ready

  14. Well ladies and gents, I work for Convergys in Lethbridge, Alberta and the rumor has been flying around that sick, sadistic hell hole for God knows how long. Truth be told, I’d be happier than a pig in crap if that place shut down. I keep hearing from all of the higher up’s at that place not to worry because the rumor has been there for so long. And FYI, our center has the worst track record of all the center’s and we’re still open, so take that into account before you go blurting out random crap until you pass out!

  15. Convergys Kamloops, well cut backs have been happening in management for the past two yrs. last summer all of HR and payroll closed, there is one HR left for hiring (he doesn’t look so good) but a lot of TL’s have been leaving for better jobs. With the remaing staff we have been told Kamloops has an 80 % profit and Amex is very happy with us, Fedex and Suddenlink are stable but Charter not so much. The call volume drops everyday and concern over this leads everyone to believe that our doors will close too. We were suppose to get dp training but no scheduling yet. Currently there is a Amex training class that just started a week ago and supposidly Fedex class soon. I asked for ops and site director to come on the floor and calm down concerns … they don’t leave their office. The company is responsible to their shareholders first so if stock is down 44% last yr for all the reasons we know – still means profit/loss and accountability, but management is not interested in doing their job…if you can’t manage people you can’t manage a project and agents have to remember that as we all see this coming, it is time to look elsewhere for employment. Any people that have given loyalty to this company will not be acknowledged or rewarded, you have just been used and that is how large corp’s work. We are all in the same boat and when these jobs moved to Canada it took work away from someone else… I guess it is our turn. Lets not act like other people in other countries where if you don’t like the rules – change them and thumb your nose.

  16. CVG Ottawa Herongate has just been informed that Time Warner is going to be redirecting their business class technical support volume to the Philippines, most likely at the end of this month or mid month April/2008. This leaves the one remaining contract there, which is the AT&T billing contract. Most agents on the TW biz class tech support contract in Ottawa are considering not signing the AT&T training documents, on the basis that TW is technical, where AT&T is billing, and they are planning on getting a forced laid-off instead, so they can relax and drink beer at home for 6 months or so. Sounds like a great plan, especially since the rumor-mill has it that AT&T will also be closed soon at the Herongate location, leaving about 1000 employees in Ottawa sucking up UI and getting stone-faced drunk every second day.

  17. Lethbridge Convergys officially laid off šŸ™ so is Brandon Manitoba… we dont know whats happening to edmonton yet… but reddeer has also been closed down….

  18. I work at Convergys in the USA. We’ve just been informed, seven of us in support, that our jobs are being moved to the Philippines at the end of this month. It was a total shock! We never saw it coming. So far the agents still have their jobs. Is this a trend? Has Convergys given you any kind of compensation package because your jobs were moved to a foriegn country?

    My best to all of you.

  19. CVGQueen, based on the replies above it appears you might be wrong. Centers are being downsized and closed all over, it’s just a matter of time. There is a reason this company has declined on Fortune’s list of 500 companies Convergys declined to 684 from 673 in the 2007 year.

  20. You are exactly right Christopher Mercer, I think just a matter of time before we are all history with this company, in Canada at least. I think the remaining centers that are still open and expanding will be the taking the brunt of calls from centers that are currently closing, but once all is beefed up with the employees in the Phillipinnes we will be axed as well.
    Yesterday employees in Edmonton were called into an emergency meeting and told that there center is also closing at the end of June.
    So to date that is a total of 4 centers closing in Canada seems like the farther east you are, the safer you are for now!!!!!!!!

  21. Red deer and Edmonton are closing on June 30, Red Deer only got notice better than a month ago due to the leasing agreement being blabbed to some employees, and so they had to make it official sooner than later, and edmonton only got notice a week or so ago, for the same close date…. as if the plans are not already in place.

  22. Well…I know Convergys in Windsor is closing down. They bought us in October 2007 from BBDO Detroit with Chrysler as the Client. The shut down has groups shutting down in Aug, Sept, Oct and the paperwork team last in November. Pune, India will have us.

  23. …no one knows when or even if it will,we are down to 450 reps or so,spread out over a 24 hr. day,the call volume is still brutal as it ever was,plus the new added presure to up-sell features,the rumour is that if it does close you won’t know about it till you show up for work that day and the doors are locked,they dont want people on the phones all pissed of and what not.

  24. I also used to work in the New Glasgow NS center – and was always curious to know why Microsoft pulled their contract after so many years.
    While Cigna and Comcast are still going strong at this point, anything can change and big corporations like this are not terribly concerned about their employees – look at TeleTech in Halifax (Bayer’s Lake) – I worked there too and they laid off everyone. Unfortunately (for Convergys), I think their biggest obstacle is being able to find qualified, computer-savvy people in this area – I hope for the sake of the workers here in New Glasgow they don’t decide to pull out though. They are a major employer here.

  25. Meant to mention in previous post – I think outsourcing support to foreign countries whose people are not native “English speakers” is just wrong. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a CSR who barely speaks English and/or has such a heavy accent you can’t understand them when you have a tech support issue. All for the sake of saving a few bucks…it really pi**es me off! There needs to be support in all countries and all languages to support Convergys’ claim of catering to “diversity”.

  26. to cvgns.. i think it’s unfair to judge the people of the Philippines (they are not the issue here, by the way) the way they speak. They may not be “native english speakers” as you have said, but they speak excellent english and have excellent communication skills. They are more educated and well-mannered than you are. Keep your “ill-temper” to CVG and not the people of the country which they have chosen to have business with.

  27. We are coming to grips that due to the revolution of the internet and E-mail Calls will eventually disappear, call centers will eventually lay off people and shut down call centers across the country and all over the world. It is time for ALL of us to hang up our headsets, stop being lazy, learn a trade, and start your own business. I have done so myself, and I am making more money than I ever would at a boring and dull call center. I myself have worked for call centers in my town for a couple of years before AOL started to lay off people. So, the answer is plain and simple, STOP WORKING FOR OTHER PEOPLE, AND WORK FOR YOURSELF!!!

  28. They laid bunches of us off last summer and then brought us back in.
    We were cheated out of promotions and bonuses due us. The absences and other negative things counted still after the 6 weeks but they took our seniority with the company. Then we say recycle barrels show up all over the place and we are demanded to recycle our empty bottles for the revenue of this site employment. When I began the stock was 16.00 a share now at a blazing 7 dollars and change and fluctuating. This was all less than a years time. Something bad is happening to this company. I decided to quit before they laid us all off again. I am fortunate, I have may credentials. Just working here until I finished some continuing ed for
    my primary livelihood. They brought a project in and 30 days later to the date is nose-dived and all employees fired. They have done this to about 400 people since I have been there. Not my immediate worry anymore, I will definitely pray for the others that fear for their jobs. This is the main conversation in the lunch room. “What is going to happen to us”. After talking it over with my spouse, I quit. I am quite intelligent and developed another source of income right away. I suggest that the readers of this do likewise. Three layoffs in less than a year of a mass of people?????? Can’t speak for the whole company, but this site is going down, down down!

    God Bless all the mis led, and mistreated employees from top to bottom.

  29. Word has it Convergys Kamloops has a freeze on hiring but I still see the ads – I left a few months ago, my current job is over due to downturns in that industry, apparently the Fedex project in Kamloops is very much reduced too.

    The demands being put on the Charter csrs continues to escalate and become more and more unreasonable. I really don’t want to go back, even if I can, but am in a pickle at the moment.

  30. I work at cvg in Winnipeg, and boy am I horrified right now. In the past few days we’ve laid off alot of employees, 25 on a thursday, 25 on a friday. All new employees, them being on probation it was easy to find any excuse to “let them go”. We also had let a training class ( in their 3rd week) go, and a training class that was suppose to start next week got canned even bfor they started. I’ve been working there for a few years now and i’ve never seen it to this extent. Honestly. I am very very worried at this point. This process seem familiar to any of you out there? What happens if I get laid off? Any compensation? What’s going on here!!

  31. Newfoundland is the same… a ton of new hires, few people have been let go… cracking down on AHT and a major push for selling our clients favorite phone service. most are quitting because of problems with shifts etc. they haven’t laid off the new hires yet. which is a good sign. mind you…. there are a lot of people with seniority getting pissed off and leaving because of the shifts… they are offering vgh in several projects. not sure if that amounts to less call volume or we just have a lot from the new hire class… so far so good by’s

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