Rogers, Telus, Bell and Shaw have shed more details on its plans to reopen retail stores and safety practices for employees and customers, as COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be slightly relaxed.
The Globe and Mail recently shared comments from these companies and how they expect to continue dealing with COVID-19. During the pandemic, telecoms have shifted to self-install models for customers while also allowed employees to work from home for providing phone support. These practices may continue for some telecoms once quarantine measures are relaxed.
Rogers said its team of over 7,000 customer care and technical support agents have been able to work effectively from home, and has plans to permanently increase its remote workforce. The company says its customers have embraced the new model, which includes “self-assisted installs.” One Rogers technician in New Brunswick reached new heights to help an elderly customer, by climbing a ladder to the second floor, providing support through an open window.
Bell has reopened close to 270 of its retail stores consisting of Bell Canada, The Source and dealer stores, mainly in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario. The company says an additional 250 stores may reopen this week as various provinces lift COVID-19 restrictions. Bell also said its office employees will continue to work from home “until further notice.”
Most retail stores are deploying similar safety practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including removing demo units, installing plexiglass dividers between staff and customers, frequent cleaning, giving masks to staff and also having hand sanitizer on hand at entrances, along with limiting the number of people allowed in a store.
Shaw says it plans to continue its self-installation model even when quarantines are lifted. Shaw also laid off close to 100 field technicians in the Lower Mainland of B.C., due to the success of self-installations.
A Telus spokesperson told the Globe, “our team member and customer safety are our top priority, so in-store we will be providing a touchless experience.” Telus says customers should order phones online and have them shipped to their homes.
If you’ve been the type of person who likes to hold and touch a smartphone before buying it, that most likely isn’t going to happen during COVID-19.