Call Center Openings: Home Depot Confirms Plans for Tampa Location

Home Depot, Atlanta, has confirmed that it plans to open a new call center in Tampa, FL. Scheduled to open in the fall, the call center will employ 1,000 workers, 20 percent of whom will be transferred from other Home Depot facilities. The call center will be 100,000 square feet, more than twice as big as the company's call centers in San Diego and Dallas, and will be capable of handling about 100,000 phone calls per day. The center will handle calls made to Home Depot stores in Florida, Puerto Rico and southern Alabama. The facility is part of the company's efforts to free in-store staff from having to answer telephones. In addition to customer service, the call center's agents will take sales orders as well as field service and installation scheduling calls. Tampa was picked partly because the city, with more than 70 call centers, has developed a pool of experienced phone representatives, the company said.

Hotel Reservations Network, Dallas, said it would increase its booking capabilities 70 percent with the planned opening next month of a new call center in Pharr, TX. The center will have an initial staff of 100 and will be capable of employing an additional 140. The company said it built the center in reaction to call volume growth resulting from increased bookings. The new center also will allow the company to pursue business opportunities with affiliates that do business by phone. The company has two other call centers in Dallas and Fort Worth, TX.

ICT Group, Langhorne, PA, has opened a contact center in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. The center is equipped with 150 workstations. The company said it would expand the center's work force to 300 agents within a year. ICT Group operates seven contact centers in Canada with about 1,500 workstations.

InService America, Forest, VA, has opened a 50,000-square-foot call center. The new center serves as the company's headquarters. No further details were released.

Nextel Partners, Kirkland, WA, has said that it plans to construct a call center in Panama City Beach, FL. The new 65,000-square-foot call center is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2002. The facility is expected to employ 600 people and will pump an estimated $10 million annually into the local economy. Nextel said it needs a new customer care facility to keep up with the demands of subscriber growth. The company operates one other call center in Las Vegas.

T-Netix, Englewood, CO, has opened a new 9,000-square-foot facility in Carrollton, TX. T-Netix, which provides telecommunications services for the corrections industry, will use the facility to field customer service and support calls for more than 1,600 T-Netix customer facilities nationwide and more than 20,000 calls from inmates' families that the company handles monthly.

Verizon Wireless, Bedminster, NJ, said that it expanded its Laurel, MD, call center by 160 employees to help keep pace with customer demands. The center has more than 500 employees, up from 345 at the end of last year and from 271 at its inception in 1999. The company said it planned to make unspecified further additions to the center's work force by the end of the year. The expansion of the Laurel call center is part of Verizon Wireless' nationwide expansion of its customer service staff from 13,800 to 14,700 this year. Further expansions are planned for 2002 and 2003.

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