Feature Article

January 09, 2013

T-Mobile to Refocus on US Call Centers, Customer Care

T-Mobile has announced its intention to hire 130 full-time customer service representatives to staff the company's call center in Salem, Oregon. The news comes after a string of consecutive layoffs plagued the wireless carrier over the past 18 months.

In 2011, T-Mobile lambasted reports that its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, was cutting 2,600 jobs. T-Mobile said the rumor was spread by the Communication Workers of America union and that the information provided was false. In the six months following that report, T-Mobile announced the closing of seven out of its 24 call centers in America.

The fourth place U.S. wireless carrier stated at the time that the company's cost structure must be better optimized to match its customer base and call volumes. T-Mobile offered to relocate 1,400 of those positions to remaining call centers, leaving 1,900 employees out of work.

In July 2012, the United States Department of Labor revealed that T-Mobile moved call center jobs overseas after it closed local call centers amid layoffs of U.S. employees. The labor department's findings stated that T-Mobile let go "a significant number of its workers while at the same time acquiring, from a foreign country, services like or directly competitive with services provided by its former U.S. employees.” Those former U.S. employees were made eligible to apply for retraining and assistance.

In August, JD Power and Associates listed T-Mobile in last place when it came to wireless customer care and service performance. In previous years, the marketing information services firm ranked T-Mobile first in customer service, an honor it received quite frequently.

Now, however, T-Mobile is looking to turn things around. In November 2012, Deutsche Telekom announced the merger of T-Mobile and pre-paid regional carrier MetroPCS. T-Mobile and MetroPCS have already begun repurposing their existing spectrum to deploy 4G LTE services, with a Las Vegas LTE market launch scheduled for later this month.

At a Deutsche Telekom’s analyst conference in December, T-Mobile CEO John Legere revealed that the company struck a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone. To coincide with the new phone, T-Mobile eliminated subsidies completely, charging customers full price for their devices – an industry move that AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are watching closely.

T-Mobile will hold an open house Wednesday, January 9 to fulfill positions at its new customer care center.

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