T-Mobile to axe 1,900 jobs, close seven call centers

T-Mobile USA said it will cut 1,900 jobs as it moves to consolidate the number of its call centers around the country from 24 down to 17. T-Mobile's closures come on the heels of a similar decision by Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) to shutter and merge call centers.

T-Mobile's move will lead to the closure of call centers in Allentown, Pa.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Brownsville and Frisco, Texas; Lenexa, Kan.; Thornton, Colo.; and Redmond, Ore. T-Mobile employs around 3,300 people at the seven affected cell centers. However, the nation's No. 4 carrier said it will begin hiring immediately at the remaining 17 call centers and expects to fill as many as 1,400 positions, resulting in 1,900 net jobs lost. T-Mobile has around 36,000 total U.S. employees.

"Concentrating call centers is an important step to achieve competitive cost structures to successfully compete as challenger and value player in the wireless market," said T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm. "These are not easy steps to take, but they are necessary to realize efficiency in order to invest for growth."

T-Mobile said it is inviting affected employees to transfer to another facility, and that employees who transfer will be offered relocation assistance. The affected call centers will remain open for three months and employees will continue to work during this time. Employees who choose not to transfer to a remaining center, and are employed on the date the center closes, will be offered transition packages including severance pay and outplacement support. T-Mobile said it is establishing on-site career centers at all seven facilities to assist employees.

Additionally, T-Mobile said it will restructure other parts of its business by the end of May. The company did not specify what those changes might be. A T-Mobile spokesman told FierceWireless that the planned changes will not affect customer service representatives in the remaining 17 calls center, network technicians and engineers or front-line employees at T-Mobile's branded retail stores.

Verizon said earlier this month that it plans close a handful of call centers across the country in a move that could affect up to 3,175 jobs. Verizon workers affected by the closures will either be offered jobs in nearby Verizon locations, a $10,000 post-tax package for the cost of relocating or a severance package.

For more:
- see this T-Mobile release
- see this The Verge article

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