Soul admits staff cuts

Telco says it moved Perth roles offshore but is adamant the business is not experiencing financial difficulty

SP Telemedia subsidiary, Soul Telecommunications, has admitted cutting staff in Western Australia and moving sales offshore but denies not paying staff entitlements.

Several claims have been made to The Australian against the telco over the past week, the most recent that Soul is being investigated by the Australian Workplace Ombudsman in several states for not paying employee entitlements. .

A former Soul call centre employee, who asked not to be named, told ARN most of its customer care, dealer, credit and sales functions had been offshored to Manila and that a large percentage of WA staff were made redundant on April 30. At its height, the company had up to 600 employees in Perth, the former employee claimed. The Perth call centre was responsible for customer and dealer service, sales and credit.

The former employee also said Soul customers had often faced delays of up to two hours before getting through and that several had threatened to complain to the Ombudsmen. According to the former call centre employee, Soul staff constantly received calls from dealers chasing up payments and that bills were not being paid. The Workplace Ombudsman confirmed to ARN that it had received complaints about Soul and was investigating the company

It is also understood Soul has struggled to pay its bills on time, with one customer being cut off from the Internet due to .

In an ASX statement dated May 29, the telco admitted cutting staff in its Western Australian branch and moving some functions to NSW or offshore. It also claimed it was assisting with enquiries in connection to a former Soul dealer, Soul Shop, but insisted that it had paid all employee entitlements.

The former call centre employee also claimed dealers were also often calling to chasing up payments. The source had received their entitlements within a few weeks, but said some former staff were still chasing up money.

The Workplace Ombudsman and Soul had not responded to requests for comment at time of press.

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