Altice to close Suddenlink call center in Parkersburg
PARKERSBURG — The Suddenlink call center in Parkersburg will be closing this summer, affecting about 167 jobs, a company official said.
Officials with Altice, the cable/communications company that bought Suddenlink over a year ago, made the announcement Wednesday.
Lisa Anselmo, head of communications for Altice USA, said the company has made investments in technology, tools and resources that allow the company to enhance its service capabilities and to offer a more reliable service experience.
These include self-service tools, where customers can pay bills, troubleshoot technical issues, view educational tutorials, track a technician’s arrival time and chat with a customer care representative.
These also include technology enhancements, including proactive network monitoring to identify and correct issues before they become outages and other customer care technology investments which optimize the company’s ability to fix service issues during the initial phone call or technician visit, Anselmo said.
“These investments, along with others, have contributed to achieving a 20 percent decline in customer call volume over the past year as well as improvements in other service areas,” Anselmo said. “These results are positive for our customers and as a service-focused company, we have to ensure we continue to align our resources to best service our customers.
“Following an extensive evaluation of our current operations, as well as improvements in customer call volume and patterns, the company will close its contact center in Parkersburg, West Virginia this summer,” Anselmo said.
This decision is only for the call center. Other local area operations will remain in Parkersburg, including a customer walk-in center, and technical support will continue to operate locally, the company said.
A closure date has not been announced. The call center is located near the U.S. 50 and I-77 interchange in Parkersburg.
Some local employees will have a chance to apply for other positions within Altice USA, the company said.
“We value our employees and encourage them to apply for other roles at Altice USA as we continue to employ hundreds across West Virginia and hire across our footprint,” Anselmo said. “Employees not transitioning into other Altice USA roles are eligible to receive severance and outplacement assistance.”
“This does not impact our customers — local customers will not notice any changes other than an improving service experience,” Anselmo said. “Customers will continue to experience exceptional support over the phone through our topic-based (rather than location-based) customer service model.”
The company remains committed to its local customers and has invested in the network and introduced high-quality service offerings for the West Virginia customers, Altice said. This includes the 1 Gigabit Internet service in Parkersburg and other nearby areas over the last year. The company has other new products that it will launch later this year, Anselmo said.
“Altice USA is committed to West Virginia and to serving our local customers with best-in-class products and a superior service experience,” she said. “We continue to invest in and enhance our product offerings, providing more service touch points than ever before, and we have seen reductions in customer call volume and improvements in call patterns.
“As we look to strengthen our operations across our footprint, we are aligning our contact center organization to maintain the highest level of service and meet the current needs of our customers,” Anselmo said.
Altice continues to employ hundreds of people across West Virginia and has provided cash, in-kind and/or volunteer support to events and a range of community institutions and programs throughout the area, she said. These include donating to the Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club and providing financial and in-kind support to local employees, residents and communities, as well as the American Red Cross, to support relief efforts during the flood in the southern part of the state last summer.