Friday, 02 November 2018 12:02

Optus staff told to please customers or face sack: report

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Optus staff told to please customers or face sack: report Pixabay

The head of Australia's second biggest telecommunications company has told staff that they would be fired if they upset customers, a report claims.

Allen Lew, the chief executive of Singtel Optus, also told staff, during a weekly meeting, that they should report colleagues to who were not up to the mark, MSN  reported.

Lew made his statements at the weekly TGIF (Thank God It's Friday) meetings. Optus has seen a 35% surge in complaints in the recent Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman's report.

The report quoted Lew as telling employees, "The customer is why we exist. If you make customers unhappy, you will be sacked."

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently commenced court action against Optus, alleging the company made false or misleading representations to consumers in relation to its third-party billing service known as "Direct Carrier Billing".

The company faces $10 million in penalties in connection with this action.

At the meeting in question, staff were shown a segment from Channel Seven about the complaints.

Lew told his staff after this had screened: "Watch this and be embarrassed. At Optus there is only one boss: not me, the customer."

MSN quoted Optus vice-president of regulatory and public affairs, Andrew Sheridan, as saying in a statement that Lew was "passionate about customer service and in a recent address to staff did not sugarcoat his bitter disappointment regarding Optus’ performance in a recent annual TIO complaints report".

"Allen expects every Optus employee to be clear that we are all answerable to our customers, and that we are all responsible for delivering exceptional customer experience, not just those interacting with customers through stores and call centres," Sheridan added.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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