back to article Garlands folds: 1000 call-centre jobs axed in Northeast

Garlands Call Centres has gone into administration with the likely loss of 1,000 jobs in the north east. The firm, which worked with Vodafone, TalkTalk and Virgin Media among others, promised better staff development than many call centres are infamous for. It had centres in Hartlepool Marina, Middlesborough and South Shields …


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  1. Rob Crawford

    Oh bugger

    I always found that if I got a North East accent when phoning Virgin that matters usually improved.

    Certainly in the Virgin empire the call centres in that region where actually helpful and useful therefore I am saddened both for Virgin customers and most of all for the staff who have lost their jobs

  2. devilman

    Better staff development?

    "The firm, which worked with Vodafone, TalkTalk and Virgin Media among others, promised better staff development than many call centres are infamous for."


    "Chief Executive Chey Garland told staff over the PA system yesterday afternoon that their jobs had gone and they had an hour to leave the building"

    I hope they treated their staff better while they were actually employed.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @ devilman

      Oh dear, someone else trying to flame someone on something they know nothing about. FYI they had 3 sites to tell simultaneously and rather than having other directors do it in each site she did it in the only way tecnically possible (obviously there were directors available on each site to talk with staff after the announcement)

      For me the saddest thing here is that a company with a strong people and technology focus in the North East has gone due to cheaper labour aborad. The outlook in the area is currently not good either (anyone remember Corus).

      AC as family member used to work there.

      1. devilman

        Hardly flaming

        I just think there are better ways of doing it - an email explaining the situation, letters from HR maybe. Maybe some of that happened but the article implies it was more blunt.

    2. hi_robb

      No they didn't.

      Garlands had one of the highest staff turnovers of any company I've ever worked for. They paid low, and didn't seem to care very much for their staffs welfare, gripes etc. They would employ just about anyone, even staff who had been sacked for fraud from other companies!

      I worked there for a couple of years, taking a job in their Orange call centre when I was desperate for work and there were no IT jobs in the area to which I'd just moved to be with the significant other. Out of the 30 people who started the same day I did, only 3 survived to the end of the 4 week training course. Every time a bunch of new starters came in, it was the same thing. Out of 20 starting, 1 or 2 actually stuck it out.

      I went in to the job knowing that the minute something else came up doing what I normally done, I'd be out of there. As it happened,within 3 days of completing my training on how to answer a phone, a job came up in their IT department and I got it and moved there. They did treat their backend staff better than the agents to be fair, but the agents were like cattle to them.

      In the end I left after over two years there having been what I felt was constructively dismissed as I was effectively sidelined so the boss could get his best mates in to do the job I was doing. This was after the guy who was boss when I started left due to the same sort of treatment.

      He did warn me before he went that I was likely to be next.

      However, to be fair while that guy was there he put me through some certs, and got me into telephony, IVR'S etc. Due to that my career progressed quite nicely after a I left. So while I left with a lot of grievances towards the company, they very quickly subsided and I was thankful to my old boss for furthering my career. Kind of 2 steps back to go ten steps forward.

      The one thing that used to irk me badly though was that they employed anyone. Some of those employees customer services mannerisms were terrible and must have gave the mother company their contracts were offered to a very bad reputation. A lot of the agents just thought they were there because they had to be and it was their god given right to be as rude to their customers as possible.

      That IMHO does not make for a good company reputation.

      However at the end of the day, it's a shame they have gone as no one likes to see lots of people being made redundant and there was some very good people working there.


  3. dogged

    trebles all round

    Who is Garland's major creditor? Who is Garland's accountant? Can we expect yet another article in Private Eye - never repeated elsewhere - about how PWC have advised a bank to to put a company into administration and have - amazingly! - also been awarded the administration contract?

    PWC do very, very well out of closing down companies. Often, companies which they have recommended be closed. It's a bit like having a cannibal as your GP.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. rapid

    I worked there!

    Up until yesterday I worked for Garlands, I was a team manager on the TalkTalk contract.

    Anonymous Coward is right, there were multiple sites and it would have been impossible for the directors to have made an announcement in person to every employee, the in house radio was the obvious way, that is as good as it got for employees at Garlands!

    They were not the best employers and I suspect they did not know what employee care was, their pay and conditions were below industry average. TalkTalk pulled out of Garlands as since the take over of Tiscali, they have been in the possession of the Manilla call centre, which is now a TalkTalk operation, from what I have been lead to believe, Manilla operates at a saving of 6p per agent per hour!

    Today I signed on and have began applying for new employment.

  5. wondering soul

    Garlands missed opportunity

    Less than 2 years ago Garlands had major plans to open a call centre in South Africa.

    They even sent flyers round all the sites showing people the region of Cape Town were they would be getting premises...

    Jobs were offered to staff here in Middlesbrough to move over there but as the start date got closer, less and less chat about the opportunity was mentioned. An October start date was pushed back to a February start date and then nothing was even communicated again.

    Garlands had its future in its hands and let it slip through its fingers.

    They can hardly blame “the work going abroad” when that was their plan too. I just wonder why this opportunity was missed. I’m sure Ms Garland is asking her team the very same question.

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