T-Mobile USA announced on Friday that it would lay off 1,900 call center employees in an effort to drastically cut costs at the struggling wireless carrier.
Company officials also announced that other “restructuring” would arrive before July in order to “optimize operations” although executives have not specifically said whether additional layoffs would be part of those plans.
In a prepared statement T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm announced:
“These are not easy steps to take, but they are necessary to realize efficiency in order to invest for growth.”
While T-Mobile USA is still a profitable business it has had to invest billions of dollars in 4G technologies in order to play catch up to Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless and Sprint Wireless.
T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom tried to sell the company to AT&T in 2011 for $39 billion but that merger failed to pass regulatory approval.
In attempting to control prices the US wireless carrier will eliminate 7 call centers, taking the total number of centers from 24 to 17 over the next three months. When combined with the recent layoff announcement 3,300 positions will be lost in certain areas. Once call centers are consolidated however the company will hire 1,400 new workers for still open locations.
The company has also offered some relocation assistance to certain employees wishing to stay with the company.
T-Mobile will close its call centers located in Allentown, Penn.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kan.; Thornton, Colo. and Redmond, Ore.
News of call center closings couldn’t come at a worst time for T-Mobile which recently slipped to next-to-last place in customer support according to a survey conducted for Consumer Reports. It has been a long fall for a company that once use to reign atop customer service satisfaction polls.
In the meantime T-Mobile will be creating some new positions under its restructuring plans, for example 1,000 new business sales positions will be added to the company.
There is always the possibility that through the consolidation of their call centers T-Mobile will be better able to monitor employees for purposes of quality control which in turn should help its customer service scores.
Do you think restructuring the company by closing a good chunk of its customer service support centers is a wise decision on T-Mobile’s part or will it come back to bite them in the butt?