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BT is to create hundreds of jobs in the UK over the next year to fulfil a pledge to stop using Indian call centres after customers complained that they were unable to speak to workers in Britain.

The communications giant which has more than 10 million customers and has used call centres in Bangalore and Delhi to supplement UK operations, said it will move to answering 80 percent of consumer calls in Britain by the end of 2016 and eventually stop using Indian call centres altogether.

BT moved much of its call centre work to the sub-continent more than a decade ago with the loss of more than 2000 UK jobs and since then many customers have complained that their calls about broadband or billing problems have been dealt with thousands of miles away in cities such as Bangalore. More than half of all BT customer service calls are still being handled in India.

BT said it has already created more than 1,000 new UK jobs to meet their customer care commitment as the price of  running contact centres has rocketed reducing the cost benefit of outsourcing the work offshore. BT is in the process of buying rival EE which has already moved much of its customer call centre work back from places such as the Philippines.

Richard Lloyd executive director at watchdog Which? said “Consumers tell us that call centres not being based in the UK is one of their biggest bugbears.”

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