Feature Article

February 14, 2014

Verizon Closing Doors on Offices for Over 5000 Employees

The largest mobile phone carrier in the U.S. could be facing financial problems. On May 8th, Verizon plans on shutting down five of their largest customer service call centers in an effort to save money, which will affect around 5,200 different employees. With an estimated total workforce near 73,000 employees, this shutdown will affect close to seven percent of all Verizon employees.

The specific offices that will be shut down are located in three states. From Pennsylvania, offices in Cranberry and Warrendale will be closed permanently. The same goes for two Californian offices in Irvine and Folsom, as well as one of their call centers in Meriden, Connecticut.

The big question everyone is asking is why – could this be a sign that Verizon is facing financial difficulty? Or perhaps they have found a more efficient method to replace customer service call centers with automated systems? According to Tom Pica, a spokesman for Verizon, the shift has nothing to do with the pending purchase of Vodaphone's stake in Verizon's stock: $130 billion for 45 percent of the company. According to him, “We value these employees, They are well trained and very skilled.”

Of these “valued” employees, Verizon is only shifting around 2,200 employees to nearby offices for continued employment. The other 3,000 were offered a buyout package, and encouraged to apply for different jobs or relocate elsewhere in the country. After the closures, Verizon will drop to having 26 call centers for customer-service nationwide.

One possible explanation for why Verizon is trying to cut so many costs could be the rising prevalence of VoIP phone systems, especially for mobile phones. VoIP allows users to use their phone's data plan to make phone calls instead of pre-paid minutes, which could be causing Verizon to lose profits that they would otherwise be earning off of their smartphone customers.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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