Call It a Week! February 17, 2012: Valentines Day Edition

Call It a Week!  Valentines Day Edition

The One-Stop, Week-in-Review for BPO & Call Center News – from a People Perspective 

Only at CallMe! IQ


Promotions, Awards and other Advancement

  • Call Experts has promoted Elliot Thompson and Stephanie Wells to team leaders at the company’s Charleston call center.
  • Jessica Ballotta was promoted to VP and customer care manager with Kennebunk Savings in Maine, where she will oversee the call center team.
  • The winners of this year’s Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service have been announced.  Congrats to all who made it!
  • Terri Maxwell has been hired as SVP of sales and marketing at Texas-based Working Solutions, an at-home provider of contact center services.

Change Agents

Openings, Hirings, Closings &…Layoffs

– Openings and Hirings –

  • Livingshield, an insurance service contract company, is establishing a new call center in Bluefield, West Virginia in a move that looks to bring new 150 sales positions to the town.
  • ACS is opening a new call center near the Nashville International Airport, according to the company.
  • Sitel is looking to fill 100 new full-time positions at its Erwin, New York call center.
  • As part of a new strategy, Time Warner Cable will be moving its outbound call center operations from Albany to Raleigh, thought the resulting layoffs will be offset by the opening of a new inbound call center in Colonie, New York later this year.
  • is looking to open a new call center in Tennessee, according to comments from a state senator this week.
  • Convergys Corp. plans to add dozens of customer service support jobs to its Charlotte call center, according the company.
  • A Vangent call center in Virginia has been given a second chance after a change in the HHS’s bidding process.  Read more about it here.
  • West Business Services will be hiring 60 agents for B2B sales and account management at its Wasau, Wisconsin location.
  • Alorica is looking to add 100 new employees at its North Sioux City call center.
  • HomeServe USA, the “AAA of the housing industry”, is looking to hire 130 agents over the next 18 months in Chattanooga.
  • Alorica has announced that it will be hiring 400 full-time customer service reps at its El Paso location.
  • AT&T will be bringing approximately 30 call center jobs to Florida after signing a new contract with the Florida Public Service Commission.
  • Adecco is looking to fill over 200 customer service positions in the Texarkana area.
  • A company called Collaborative Consulting is looking to open a new center in Wasau.
  • Conn’s Department Store is relocating 50 call center agents from its corporate office in Beaumont, Texas to its San Antonio site.
  • Consumer Cellular, a wireless carrier that serves the seniors market, announced plans to hire up to 300 agents when it opens a second call center in Phoenix in the next 2 years.
– Closings and Layoffs –
  • Auto and home insurance provider Unitrin Direct is relocating a call center from Chattanooga to Scranton, in a move that will result in the layoff of 30 employees.
  • StarTek has warned that its Jonesboro, Arkansas site could face closure if it does not find new business in the next 60 days, a move that would result in the layoff of 223 employees.  It has given its Decatur, Illinois location the same notice, which would affect a further 258 employees in addition to the 100 that were set to lose their jobs there this week.

M&A &More

Mergers, Acquisitions, Partnerships & Corporate Reports

  • Portfolio Recovery Associates announced 4th quarter earnings today with record-breaking results.

Industry Insight

Trends Macro & Micro, International & Domestic

  • Mutual of Omaha is pioneering the use of mini-treadmills at the desks of its call center employees.  For more on this interesting story, check out this link.
  • Article on iQor: “Someday, I hope to work at a call center”:  a behind-the-scenes look at iQor, one of the world’s biggest.
  • Ireland-based HCL BPO Services is laying off 425 at its Belfast contact center, citing economic conditions.
  • Agent productivity and customer satisfaction are the top call center challenges, as Jacada CEO Gideon Hollander points out in this piece.
  • A newly introduced bill, SB1331, threatens to uproot the award-winning Safelite call center from its location in Chandler, Arizona.  For more, check out this report.  (As an update, this bill has since been withdrawn.)
  • Interesting article here on the use of outsourced call centers for startups.

Did we miss anyone or anything?  If so, let us know!  Email us at, and we’ll be sure to include them in next week’s “Call It a Week!