Digicel chops customer care service to 12 hrs

As part of its restructuring process local cell phone service provider, Digicel has reduced its customer care service from 24 hours to 12 hours.

Customers were informed via text message that Customer Care accessed by dialing 100 from their Digicel phones will only be open from 8am to 8pm daily. During closing hours assistance can be accessed through Webchat via the MyDigicel App.

Public Relations Officer Vidya Sanichara confirmed last evening that this reduction in available hours is part of the restructuring process announced in February.

Stabroek News has previously reported that Digicel is set to significantly scale down staff here by year end with some employees already having accepted severance packages offered.

In July staff of the company were told that the amount of jobs would be cut by around half.

One employee told this newspaper that they were advised at a meeting of the global downsizing by the Irish-owned company and it meant that she along with many others would no longer be employed. “They said that some departments were no longer needed and they had formally notified everyone,” one staff member said.

Attempts by this newspaper to confirm how many members of staff are set to be laid off have so far proved futile.

Emails were forwarded to Head of Group Public Relations, Antonia Graham who promptly replied.

However, Graham did not address the concerns raised as it pertains to Guyana and instead sent a global release from the company, previously reported, saying that there will be an “approximate 25% reduction of the global workforce over the next 18 months.”

She also explained that the company was  re-designing its organisation to be fit for purpose for 2030 and beyond and that its future market structure will comprise a small number of regional hubs with two for the Caribbean and Central America regions and two for the Pacific region. They will house back office centralised functions and deliver shared services.

“This means that staff in our 31 markets will be focused on sales and enhanced service delivery and resources and investment are prioritised to drive competition and innovation. This will result in an approximate 25% reduction of the global workforce over the next 18 months. The first step will be the offering of an Enhanced Voluntary Separation Programme to all staff across the globe. As this is an Enhanced Voluntary Separation Programme, it is not possible to predict what volume of applications we will get,” she explained.

Back in February of this year, the Irish telecoms company announced that it would cut over 1500 jobs globally.

According to a February report in the Irish Times, the restructuring is aimed at overhauling the debt-laden business. The report said that the Bermuda-based company hired consultants in December to aid it in cutting a €6.2 biallion debt, which credit analysts had described as “unsustainable”.

Digicel had announced a restructuring that involves cutting 25 per cent of its workforce and signing a new deal with a Chinese group, ZTE.

Digicel’s statement did not say how many people it employed, but the Irish Times said that figures published ahead of an abandoned flotation bid in 2015 showed that it had 6,334 permanent staff and a further 989 on temporary contracts.

Those numbers have not altered significantly since then. It is understood that Digicel’s Head, Denis O’Brien’s group will focus on its permanent staff when it is actually cutting jobs and that the final tally is likely to be more than 1,500.



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