A supermarket’s job hotline was swamped with more than 10, 000 calls an hour


SCOTS swamped a supermarket jobs hotline with more than 10,000 calls in an hour – an incredible rate of almost three calls every second.

The phone mayhem erupted after Morrisons advertised 250 vacancies at a new store in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

To make matters worse for jobseekers, they discovered they were being charged 21p every time they left a message on the jammed hotline.

One branded the situation disgusting after ended up with a £40 bill.

Fife has the third-highest unemployment rate in Scotland, 7.8% of residents are unable to find work.

The phone line was set up by for Morrisons by Opportunities Fife, a body which helps local people find work.

Callers were supposed to be able to sign up for a jobs open day which could lead to a position at the supermarket, which is due to open in October this year.

Rosaland Betts, from Burntisland, Fife, was just one thousands who swamped the phone hotline to try to get a job – and ended up with a £40 phone bill.

Each time she made a call, instead of hearing an engaged tone, she heard a pre-recorded message, explaining the line was busy.

Ms Betts said: “It was a waste of time and money.”

Linda McAllister, from Opportunities Fife, said: “We had 10,500 calls in the first hour alone.

“We had been approached by Morrisons to use our service which we did in good faith as we want to support Fife people and help them get jobs.

“We’d never taken on anything on this scale before and it’s unfortunate that there were problems but we entered into this for the right reasons.

“We’re helping people into work but we were simply overwhelmed by the number of calls we received.

“We apologise to Ms Betts and she will be reimbursed.”

Fife Council’s ambassador of youth employment, Councillor Tony Martin hailed the campaign as a success.

He said: “Morrison’s has commented that this recruitment campaign has been one of the quickest and smoothest ever done for a store.

“This shows the benefit of all the partners working together with businesses to exploit all opportunities for job seekers.”

The desperate job seeking has mirrored the opening of Asda in Glenrothes when nearly 7000 people were said to have expressed interest in positions and 400 people secured part and full-time jobs at the store.

Some 14,000 job seekers applied for the 250 vacancies which will open in Invertiel this winter.