UK-based Aviva subsidiary Norwich Union is reportedly moving a number of its Indian call centers back to the UK. According to the Financial Mail on Sunday, the insurance company has been forced to rethink its outsourcing policy after misunderstandings between UK customers and Indian staff made the service unworkable.
The newspaper reported that Norwich Union, which has been outsourcing to India since 2003, would return 150 jobs to the UK to deal with services such as household insurance claims, credit hire and executive pension schemes. The Financial Mail on Sunday also reported that, although Norwich Union remains committed to its Indian call centers, it could transfer more business back to the UK going forward.
According to the BBC, however, Norwich Union has denied that the move is as a result of communication difficulties; a spokeswoman is reported as attributing the move to a restructuring that saw jobs moving backwards and forwards constantly.
In addition, Forbes has reported a spokeswoman for Aviva as stating: Customer satisfaction surveys show that our call centers in India get equally high scores as our call centers in the UK.
In September 2006, Aviva pledged to dismiss 4,000 UK staff, 1,000 of which would be relocated to India. According to the Financial Mail on Sunday, Norwich Union’s parent group was aiming to have transferred 7,800 jobs to Delhi, Pune and Bangalore, or to its call center in Sri Lanka, by the end of 2007.