Shaw cutting 180 jobs at its Kelowna call centre

While the local call centre is closing, the company says it will offer work to cut employees in other departments in other cities.

Shaw Communications has announced what it calls a “realignment” of its customer care operations in its consumer division to better serve customers more effectively and efficiently. And to do it, the company is cutting 180 jobs in Kelowna and closing the local call centre.

Following a year-long review of its operations, Shaw’s customer care operations will be reorganized over the next 11 months around “centres of expertise” that will allow the company to continue to provide customers with the best and most consistent service possible, it says. All of Shaw’s customer care operations continue to be located in Canada. But there wile fewer of them.

“Our customers have told us they value our Canadian-based, personal customer service as a defining feature of doing business with Shaw,” said Chris Kucharski, senior vice-president of consumer affairs in a press release. “We are committed to maintaining all of our service operations in Canada, and moving to centres of expertise will enhance our ability to better deliver exceptional customer service now and over the long term.”

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran lamented the loss of the jobs in his city Wednesday, saying it was his understanding the company has offered some of the workers to be laid off other jobs in other communities where call centres will remain.

The company said the job cuts only affect the call centre here, not the other parts of Shaw’s operations in Kelowna.

Shaw’s customer care operations will be realigned in Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal around the centres of expertise, which include technical service, sales and billing, loyalty care, technical field support, e-Care, payment solutions and satellite operations.

About 1,600 employees in Shaw’s customer care operations in Calgary, Edmonton and Kelowna will be offered the choice of:

  • relocating to one of Shaw’s expanding contact centres, with the assistance of a package of $7,500 to help them move,
  • the opportunity to take on new roles in their current location, or
  • a generous severance package well in excess of the statutory requirements that recognizes their tenure and contributions to the company.

All of the customer care roles will be relocated to Shaw’s operations in Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Montreal in the next year. As part of the moves, Shaw’s Edmonton contact centre operations and part of its Kelowna operations will be closed in June, and its Calgary contact centre operations will be closed in January 2016. Shaw will also be consolidating six of its retail stores into neighbouring locations.

“We decided to expand Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal after looking at the long term performance of each of our locations according to a number of operational factors, and their ability to support our growing business. Our customers can expect even better and more consistent experiences, whether they are ordering new services, requesting technical support, or inquiring about their account,” ¬†ucharski said.

“We deeply value the contributions our employees make to our business. We know that change is difficult and we will support them during this process,” Mr. Kucharski said. “We have allowed several months for a smooth transition, and to provide employees with opportunities to continue growing in our company.”

Consolidating Shaw’s customer care operations from ten to seven centres will enable it to centralize knowledge, expertise, training, management and other processes to better serve its Internet, cable, satellite and phone customers, it said.

“More specialization will mean that our customers will be served by even more knowledgeable staff who can provide solutions or resolve issues faster, and generally deliver better and consistent customer experiences every time, ” Kucharski said.

Shaw’s contact centres in Nanaimo and Mississauga are not affected by the changes.

In addition, the changes do not impact the more than 4,100 employees who work in other parts of Shaw in Calgary, Edmonton and Kelowna, or the thousands of other employees across Canada who serve customers in their homes, provide technical service and otherwise support Shaw’s network and operations.

The moves build upon the corporate restructuring announced in April 2014 as part of Shaw’s multi-year Focus to Deliver initiative designed to enhance Shaw’s efficiency and growth potential while better meeting the needs of customers and viewers.


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