Sat. Jul 20th, 2019

Multichoice to shed as many as 2,000 customer service jobs

MultichoiceMultichoice could shed over 2,000 jobs in what they have described as a bid to keep pace with streaming services like Netflix.

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Pay-TV giant Multichoice could retrench as many as 2,194 of its employees from call centres and walk-in customer care centres.

The company say that the proposed retrenchments would be part of a restructuring its customer service delivery model.

Information Communication and Technology Union, ICTU, reportedly learned of the proposed restructuring on Friday afternoon and expressed alarm at the company’s actions.

“The employer has just notified employees, today 21 June 2019, at 3pm that it has identified 1,790 employees who are to be retrenched. The union has not been officially informed, which makes the process unlawful,” ICTU spokesperson Thabang Mothelo said.

“The employer has timed Friday to make an announcement which shows some cowardice tendencies of not dealing with the consequences of their actions.”

Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO, defended the move saying it was necessary in order for Multichoice to compete with Over-The-Top (OTT) media services, such as Netflix.

Mawela said that the company were already experiencing a decline in call volume as customers now preferred to engage with the company digitally.

“The realignment is a response to the changing behaviour of its customers, who are increasingly moving away from traditional voice calls and visits to Walk-in Centres and adopting new self-service and digital technologies to engage with the company,” Mawela said in a statement issued to the media.

“This has not been an easy decision to make, but in a business driven by advancing technologies, we must continue to drive efficiencies yet be agile enough to adapt to evolving customer needs.

“We must act decisively to align to the change in customer behaviour and competition from OTT services because if we don’t reposition now, we run the risk of being completely misaligned and we put everyone’s jobs at risk.”

Multichoice blame it on Netflix

The company are eager to communicate to the broader public that job losses are in part down to the popularity of OTT services. Multichoice have appealed to government to regulate streaming services in the past and jumped aboard that tired hobby horse yet again to defend their position.

“In contrast, self-service digital channels have continued to grow, now accounting for 70% of all our customer service contacts. The company is also in an environment where it will rely more on technology than people, as it faces increased competition from technologically advanced and unregulated OTT platforms.”

Multichoice’s very own streaming platform, DSTV Now, suffered a high profile malfunction that affected subscribers on the final day of the Premier League season and prevented some from enjoying the first broadcast of the Game of Thrones finale. DSTV Now is only available to customers who have a satellite TV subscription.

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