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EarthLink to Offshore More Call Center Jobs

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Posted January 6, 2004 By Roy Mark     Feedback

ISP is closing contact centers in Pennsylvania and California as part of the move.

Internet service provider EarthLink plans to eliminate approximately 1,300 call center jobs by shuttering operations in Pennsylvania and California and outsourcing the positions.

The Atlanta-based company said customer support functions will be routed to its remaining Atlanta staff and to outsourced contract providers in India, the Philippines and Jamaica.

"About 70 percent of our calls are already outsourced," EarthLink spokesperson Dan Greenfield told internetnews.com. "It has proved to be successful and allows us to contain costs. At the same time, we have not noticed a decline in service quality."

Contact center representatives generally handle inquiries from customers dealing with tech support, billing and service upgrades.

"By improving operational efficiencies, this plan allows us to serve our customers and better compete in a highly dynamic marketplace," Garry Bettis, EarthLink's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

EarthLink expects to record a facility exit loss of approximately $36 million in the first quarter of this year after closing operations in Roseville, San Jose and Pasadena, Calif., and Harrisburg, Pa. Included in the cost are $13 million for employee-related costs, $14 million for lease termination costs, and $9 million for non-cash asset write-offs.

The job cuts and facility closings announced Tuesday are the culmination of a year and a half effort at EarthLink. In 2002, the company closed its Phoenix call center and cut 250 jobs. Early last year, EarthLink slashed another 1,300 positions and closed more call center operations.

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