800 new jobs as Sky TV to open call centre
BOOST: Telly giant aims to tackle Irish complaints
SKY television is hoping to finally improve its poor public relations with its Irish customers.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned broadcaster is to open an 800-job call centre in the centre of Dublin.
Previously Sky customers had to go through Scotland and other overseas centres when problems arose - and many calls went unanswered or broke down after a lengthy wait.
Now News Corp has decided to take seriously its 670,000 Irish subscribers - mainly due to the arrival on the scene of some big competitors.
The company said the new jobs will come on stream at its Burlington Plaza base in Dublin's city centre in August this year. Currently, customer service for the TV firm is routed to various locations across the UK - including Livingston and Dunfermline.
Sky Ireland director Mark Deering said the significant move to Ireland was supported by a growing customer base in Ireland -- more than 670,000, according to the latest figures.
"Over 40pc of households in Ireland subscribe to Sky services," he said. "We know that the customer is only one phone call to cancelling their subscription, so it is important to keep our customers happy. We think that having those advisers in Ireland in a single location will ensure that we are Irish-centric in our customer service and improve customer satisfaction."
Mr Deering said they are looking for "enthusiastic" individuals for a variety of roles from customer service manager and adviser roles to training, coaching and HR positions.
And the new positions are part of Sky's wider workforce expansion, which will see the creation of a total of 1,300 Sky jobs across the UK and Ireland over the next two years.
But Mr Deering dismissed suggestions that while Sky was happy to take Irish consumers' money, it was failing to develop quality home-grown programmes.
"We've made significant investment in home-produced content," he said.
"Currently Moone Boy, with Chris O'Dowd, is being filmed in Roscommon which was a multi-million investment. The Take was filmed in Dublin and Neverland was partially filmed in Dublin.
"We've also invested millions in rolling out a digital platform."
The new Dublin site will be Sky's 10th customer service centre, joining other Sky sites across the UK in Scotland and England.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, welcomed the significant jobs announcement.
"This is great news, and represents a very welcome vote of confidence in our workforce and in the Irish economy by a leading company," he said.