100 telco jobs under threat

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 11:17 26/02/2014

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At least 100 jobs are under threat as Telecom's Gen-i changes the way it supports business mobile customers, sources say.

Gen-i spokeswoman Kate Woodruffe said customers had until now called one of three service partners - BlueCo, Total Network and Leading Edge - when they wanted to order new or replacement products, such as phones, sim cards or even phone cables.

The company would now encourage customers to order equipment online through an internet portal Gen-i had set up for the purpose, she said.

The change will see Gen-i end its agreements with Total Network and BlueCo, she said. LeadingEdge would be retained on an exclusive basis to provide more-complex support for customers.

It is understood all three companies' businesses revolve around the work they do for Gen-i.

Total Network, which describes itself on its website as "New Zealand's longest-running independent dealer of Telecom and Gen-i products" and has 50 staff, and BlueCo, "a premier Telecom and Gen-i partner" which has offices in nine cities, have been approached for comment.

Upper Hutt-based Leading Edge declined to comment on the implications for its business.

Woodruffe said it was up to the three companies to comment on the possibility of redundancies.

"Leading Edge have been appointed our sole mobility provider so obviously you would anticipate that would flow-on to impact the other two suppliers," she said.

Gen-i's existing customer service model was "high touch" and moving basic transactions online would be more efficient, she said.

"You shouldn't really need to pick up the phone and talk to someone about it."

But customers would still have that option by calling Leading Edge, she said.

The changes followed a strategic review, she said.

Gen-i boss Steve Mills said the transition would begin next month and would be completed before the end of this year.

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- Fairfax Media

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