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Tunisian protests disrupt French call centres

Posted on Jan 19 2011
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 The protests forced centres to shut down or reduce their hours, prompting some companies to route calls back to helpdesks in France.

French group Teleperformance (ROCH.PA: Quote), the world's leading call centre operator, said on Tuesday that it had reopened all of its centres in Tunisia after heavy disruption on Monday but that opening hours remained restricted by a state curfew.
A France Telecom spokesperson told Reuters on Monday that calls were being redirected to France, noting some nine percent of calls from France Telecom's internet subscribers were handled by centres in Tunisia.
Telecoms operators and other companies have increasingly been outsourcing their customer services departments to North African countries such as Morocco and Tunisia, in a bid to cut operating costs.
Tunisia has been rocked by four weeks of sometimes violent street protests that culminated in the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on Friday.
(Reporting by Marie Mawad and Vicky Buffery; Editing by Catherine Bremer and Jason Neely)
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